How to Use Object Complements in a Sentence

This lesson will help you to understand how to use object complements in a sentence.

An object complement is a word or a group of words that provides additional information about or further describes the direct object in a sentence. 

They are used with action verbs, which makes them an essential component of many English sentences.

Grammatical Structure of Object Complements

The structure of a sentence with an object complement typically follows this pattern:

Subject + Action Verb + Direct Object + Object Complement

She considered him a great friend 

Like a subject complement, object complements in a sentence can be nouns or adjectives.

Action verbs commonly used with object complements are those connected to making (e.g. make, create) and naming (e.g. name, call, elect) but they can be used with a multitude of other verbs.

Here are examples to illustrate this structure, with the direct object and complement highlighted. Note how some are nouns (e.g. Paul) and some are adjectives (e.g. happy).

Object Complement Examples

  • She named her son Paul
  • He made her happy
  • They elected Donald Trump president
  • She decorated the house blue.
  • They considered the event a success.
  • He declared Mike the winner.
  • The chef made the soup spicy.
  • They found the movie boring.

Note that this is different to the composition and structure of direct and indirect objects used together, where an indirect object (e.g. me) is the recipient of the direct object (e.g. gift)

  • Indirect Object + Direct Object
    My friend gave megift

So the indirect object is identifying for whom or what the action of the verb is performed. However, object complements are:

  • Direct Object + Object Complement 
    I considered the gift inappropriate 

In this case the direct object is being described.

Phrases as Object Complements in a Sentence

Phrases, not just single words, can also be used as object complements in a sentence.

A phrase can consist of multiple words that work together to describe the direct object. For example:

  • She considers her vacation the trip of a lifetime.
  • He painted the room a calming shade of blue.
  • They named their dog Max, the adventurer.
  • The teacher found the students engaged and eager to learn.
  • She called the cake a delicious masterpiece.

'as' and 'as being'

'as' and 'as being' are also used alongside object complements in a sentence:

  • object + as (being) + complement

Usually preceding this structure are verbs such as describe, consider, regard, see etc


  • I think of the government as useless.
  • She declared the dish as delicious as a five-star meal.
  • The judges regard him as worthy of the prize.
  • He described his wife as loyal, loving and faithful.

as being

  • He sees the car as being a classic beauty.
  • They consider him as being a very smart person.
  • She sees him as being emotionally draining.
  • The teacher regards him as being disruptive in class 

Differences from Subject Complements

Object complements in a sentence differ from subject complements in their function.

Subject complements provide information about the subject of a sentence, whereas object complements provide information about the direct object. Subject complements are also joined with linking or copular verbs (e.g. is, seems, looks, tastes, feels, etc) rather than action verbs.

Subject Complement Example:

  • She is a talented artist
    "She is" connects the subject and subject complement, describing her identity or characteristics.

Object Complement Example:

  • She considers the painting a masterpiece
    "She considers" connects the subject and direct object, and "a masterpiece" describes the direct object.

Summing Up

Understanding how to use object complements in a sentence is essential for constructing more detailed and descriptive sentences in English. Object complements enhance your ability to convey specific information about actions and their outcomes, enriching your communication.

So, practice and apply this knowledge to your English language journey!

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