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Subject-Verb-Direct Object-Complement

Meaning in an English sentence is conveyed not only by the words but also by the arrangement, or pattern, of the words.

There are five basic sentence patterns in English.

One pattern consists of a subject followed by a verb, a direct object, and an object complement

A word or group of words that renames or describes a direct object.
. The object complement may be a noun, as in the following examples:

His sister called him a genius.
        subject = his sister
        verb = called
        direct object = him
        object complement = a genius

The object complement may be an adjective, as in these examples:

His sister called him brilliant.
        subject = his sister
        verb = called
        direct object = him
        object complement = brilliant
Her flattery made him embarrassed.
The local residents called the travelers intruders.
Most countries make their flags both decorative and symbolic.

A sentence in this pattern is usually about a relationship between the subject and the direct object. The complement describes that relationship.

This pattern is especially effective in providing evidence for an argument. It allows you to report the gist of someone’s statements, position, or attitude, as in the following sentences:

Experts consider the president’s environmental policy disastrous.
Vacationers found the year-round residents antagonistic.
Some Puerto Rican citizens have made statehood a priority.


Quick Check  

Which of the following sentences is in the subject-verb-direct object-object complement pattern?

Lombard Street in San Francisco is called the world’s crookedest street.
Romans considered the Egyptian queen Cleopatra decadent.

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