Object complement definition: An object complement is a word that follows a direct object to state what it has become. An object complement may be a noun, pronoun, or adjective.
What is an Object Complement?
What does object complement mean? An object complement (also called an objective complement) follows a direct object. It may be a word or phrase that gives further meaning to the direct object. In a sense, it explains what the direct object has become.
Object Complement Examples:
- He made her happy.
- “her” is the direct object
- “happy” is the object compliment
- “happy” is what she, the direct object (“her”), has become
Object Complements vs. Subject Complements
Object compliments and subject complements are not the same.
An object complement gives further meaning to the object.
A subject complement, however, gives further meaning to the subject. A subject complement will only follow a linking verb and describes the subject, not the object.
Examples of Object vs. Subject Complements:
- Shane made Neil frustrated.
- “Neil” is the direct object
- “frustrated” is the object compliment
- “frustrated” is what he, the direct object (“Neil”), has become
- Neil was frustrated.
- was = linking verb
- frustrated = subject complement
Object Complements Can be Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives
Object complements can be nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Here are some examples of them acting each of these.
Object Complements as Nouns
A noun object complement can be a single word or a phrase.
- Shan named John the new manager.
- “John” is the direct object
- “the new manager” is a noun phrase
- “the new manager” is the object compliment
- “the new manager” is what John, the direct object, has become
Object Complements as Pronouns
- They chose the candidate who was best.
- “the candidate” is the direct object
- “who was best” is a relative pronoun phrase
- “who was best” is the object compliment
- “who was best” is what the candidate, the direct object, has become
Object Complements as Adjectives
An adjective object complement can be a single word or a phrase.
- We considered him worthy.
- “him” is the direct object
- “worthy” is an adjective
- “worthy” is the object compliment
- “worthy” is what he, the direct object (“him”), has become
Common Verbs for Object Complements
Object complements require the sentence to have a direct object. Consequently, some verbs more commonly produce object complements than others. Below are some of those verbs with sentence examples.
Usually these verbs are those of creating or nominating.
- to make: They made him supervisor.
- to name: We named our dog Peter.
- to call: She called me silly.
- to choose: We chose James for captain.
- to elect: They elected Margaret Board President.
Summary: What are Object Complements?
Define object complement: the definition of object complement is a complement that follows a linking verb and modifies or complete the sentence’s object.
In summary, an object complement:
- follows a direct object
- provides additional information to a direct object or says what a direct object has become
- can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective
- typically follows certain verbs