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What Is A Direct Object Or A Transitive Verb For That Matter? You'll Never Forget With This Short Video

Little John is here to save the day! He gives Robin Hood a lesson he'll always remember. Robin's bad grammar gets him in trouble in Sherwood Forest today. Little John explains what is a direct object by demonstrating how it is the receiver of the action of the transitive verb, literally knocking the concept into Robin's thick skull.

Whether you're looking for a simple grammar lesson or trying to grasp something a little more complex this comedy short is sure to add a little humor to your study of the objective case.

What Is A Transitive Verb?

A transitive verb is a verb whose action goes over to a receiver or target.

What Is A Direct Object?

A direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the action of a transitive verb in the active voice. It's the target. "To wit, hothead."

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Grammar Video Lesson: Robin Hood As Direct Object

Little John, staff in one hand and open grammar in the other, made his way one fine morning along the stout log that bridged the Little Tawny. In the middle he met Robin Hood, who also carried a staff--but no grammar. The log (for the purposes of this story) was too narrow to permit Robin Hood and Little John to pass. With two such strong characters, this had all the makings of a situation.

"Give way!" cried Robin Hood. "Retrace thy steps." 

"Why?" asked Little John, not unreasonably, looking up from the reading of his grammar and noting Robin's unimpressive size.

"So that a better man may pass. Or," said Robin, always grumpy before breakfast, "because I love thou not." 

"Tch, tch," clucked Little John. "Never say thou after a transitive verb. Say thee, man; use the objective."

"And what, prithee, be ye maundering about? Verb I know, but transitive hath a strange and Latin sound. Latin likes me not, except it be in church. Speak plain. Give me the Saxon of it."

"Nay better," answered Little John, his eyes glinting, "I'll show thee. My grammar knocks thy pate." And he took Robin a smart blow o' the head with his book. "Knocks is a transitive verb. That is to say, its action 'transits,' goes over into a receiver; to wit, thy pate. Didst note how thy pate received the action? Pate is called the direct object and is in the objective case, the case of the receiver of the action."

By this time Robin, though dazed, had regained his balance.

"What, man!" continued Little John, noting the dullness of Robin's eyes, "'tis a most unintelligent look thou hast. I give thee another ensamble: The brook cools a hothead." Saying this, he thrust his staff between Robin's shanks and toppled him into the Little Tawny.

"Note," he said as Robin, spluttering, trod water, "note that cools is here a transitive verb. Its action goes over into a receiver; to wit, hothead; to wit, thyself. In a manner of speaking, then, thyself art the receiver in the objective case, and shouldst know all about it. Dost thou take my meaning, sirrah? Speak."

Robin coughed.

"Ah," sighed Little John, "thou'rt a hopeless dullard, and I waste my time. Peruse this at thy leisure." He flung the grammar, accurately, at Robin's nose and sauntered off, singing "Oh, what a beautiful morrow! Oh, what a beautiful day!"

What is a direct object

It is our hope that you enjoyed watching this comedy short as much as we enjoyed making it.

A special thanks goes out to our actors, Nathan Fuerstenau and Michael Bowen.

Michael was handed the script the morning of the shoot and he did a fantastic job on such short notice.

Nathan played Robin Hood exactly as the Jesuits who wrote Correct Writing must have imagined him. The expressions on  Nathan's face really helped sell the lesson and explained to us all what is a direct object anyway.

Patrick Bowen directed this film and it was shot on the property line between the Bowen property and the McKnight property. Mr. McKnight dug the lovely pond and the Bowen boys makeshifted a rather nice bridge that stands to this day.

Robin Hood As Direct Object

It was fun working with Michael Osborne, a fellow Catholic filmmaker, on the music for this project. We all look forward to collaborating with him on music in the future.

Faustina and Mary were on set throwing in all their movie making knowledge and all costumes were reused from other projects.

Thank you to Lepanto Press for re-publishing this grammar book, Correct Writing, that is as fun today as it must have been in 1952 when it was originally published.

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