In school, I was taught that action verbs have direct objects and linking verbs have predicate adjectives or nominatives; however, some verbs seem to use both simultaneously.
For example, in “I made it blue,” made seems to have both a direct object it and a predicate adjective blue.
In the early stages of my adverb obsession, I suspected that “All men are created equal” should be “All men are created equally”1 mostly because it was not clear to me how equal as an adjective could be validly placed in that position. Thinking of it as “[unspecified subject] created all men equal”, men seems to be the direct object. But then what to do with equal?
Is it possible for a sentence to have a direct object and predicate adjective, or is something else going on here that I’m not seeing?
1I have since realized that they express distinct ideas, the equality of the process of creation and the equality of the created men respectively.
I made it blue does not have a [subject]* predicate adjective. The word
blue is an object complement [a predicate adjective of the object]. The sentence follows this pattern
Subject + verb + object + complement
Here are more examples of this pattern.
- I painted the house brown.
- I found the child silly.
- He considers the idea ridiculous.
http://www.englishgrammar.org/verb-patterns-subject-verb-object-object-complement/ has more information about this pattern.
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All men are created equal should be All men are created equally, I used to think that Apple’s slogan
Think Different was ungrammatical. Then I heard an interview with Steve Jobs where he explained that he wanted
different to be what we think, not how we think, such as
think victory or
*Update: I updated this answer based on BillJ’s helpful comment. The updated parts are in brackets.