Posts Tagged ‘complement’

Object complements

December 15th, 2010 in Improve English

Some transitive verbs are followed by an object together with an object complement. Note that an object complement is a word or phrase that gives more information about the object. It is usually an adjective or noun phrase.

She made me cry. (object – me; complement – cry)
You make me happy. (object – me; complement – happy)
You are driving us crazy.
She called me a liar.
I found her attitude strange.

‘Would you like to join the committee?’ ‘I would consider it an honor.’

Structures with as

After some verbs, an object complement is introduced by as. This is common when we say how we describe somebody or something.

We regarded him as a genius.
She described her attacker as a tall white man with a moustache.

Some verbs are followed by an object + infinitive + complement. The verbs that are usually followed by this structure include the following: believe, consider, feel, know, find, understand. In an informal style that-clauses are more common.

We considered him to be a genius. OR We considered that he was a genius.
They mistook her to be a German spy.

Note that the verb think is not usually followed by an infinitive + complement. Instead we use a that-clause.

I thought that she was mistaken. (More natural than ‘I thought her to be mistaken.’)

It is possible to drop to be after the verbs believe, consider, find and think.

We found her sincere. OR We found her to be sincere.
I considered the plan unwise. OR I considered the plan to be unwise.