Objects vs Complements: Difference and Comparison

Objects and complements are two primary components of a well-structured sentence. In English, we have different parts of organizing compound statements.

Key Takeaways

  1. Objects are nouns or pronouns that receive the action of a verb, while complements are words or phrases that provide additional information about the subject or object of a sentence.
  2. Objects are direct objects, receiving the action of a transitive verb, while complements can be subject complements, object complements, or adverbial complements.
  3. Objects are necessary for a sentence to be grammatically correct, while complements provide additional information that helps to clarify or expand upon the meaning of a sentence.

Objects vs Complements

The difference between an Object and a Complement is that objects are the ones for which the verb is applied, and complements are the ones that define the objects and subjects better.

Objects vs Complements

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He drives quite ________, but his brother drives really ________.

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Objects are the entities that face the consequences of a subject’s action while a sentence is created. Complements are that part of a sentence which modifies the matter that the subject or the object tries to convey.

Objects can be divided into direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of a preposition. Complements are also similarly divided. When supplements describe a subject, it is known as a subject complement.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonObjectComplement
PriorityThe object is a crucial feature of a sentence. Objects are a must for a penalty.Complements are not much crucial while coining a sentence. They only add additional information.
DivisionsThe object is divided into direct and indirect objects and objects of the preposition.Complements can speak about objects as well as subjects.
States of existenceObjects can be nouns, pronouns as well as clauses.Complements can take any form, from nouns to verbs, adjectives, and clauses.
Part of existenceObjects are followed by verbs and can fit in any space in a sentence.Complements are used as modifiers and are commonly found in sentence predicates.
ContraryObjects can act as complements.Complements cannot take the place of objects.


What is Object?

Objects can be nouns, pronouns, and even phrases describing the actions that a subject initiates.  Generally, it takes the position after the verb of the sentence.

Moving broader, objects are divided into three categories – direct, indirect, and objects of a preposition. Natural objects are the ones that come immediately after the verb and complete the action of the subject. 

The next category is the indirect object.  Indirect objects collectively have all the words that come after the direct object in the sentence. Commonly the indirect objects get affected by the direct object.

The final category is objects of the preposition. This category is primarily avoided by most. It comprises the nouns and pronouns affected by the sentence’s preposition.


What is Complement?

Complements are that part of a sentence that complements the expressions in a sentence. Mostly they come in the predicate of the sentence.

Complements are divided into two – subject complement and object complement. Subject complements modify the actions that the subject does.

The next set comprises the object complement. Object complements describe the object. They commonly come after the thing in a sentence. They also can vary from nouns to adjectives.

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Main Differences Between Objects and Complements

  1. An object can act as a complement, but a compliment cannot act as an object. Hence additions are not as crucial for a sentence as things are.
  2. Objects follow the verb in a sentence and can be found anywhere in a sentence, but in the case of complements, they are found in the predicates.

  1. https://literarydevices.net/object/
  2. https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar/grammar-rules-and-tips/what-is-a-complement-in-grammar.html
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