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'Object to Do', 'Object Doing', or 'Object to Doing'? Which One Is Correct? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 30 January 2024)


Object to Do, Object Doing, or Object to Doing: Which One Is Correct?

The verb object is used to express disagreement or opposition to something. It is often followed by the preposition to, and then either a noun/noun phrase or a gerund (a noun formed by adding -ing to a verb). It is not directly followed by an infinitive (to + base form of a verb) or a gerund. In other words, we say object to something or object to doing something, rather than object to do something or object doing something.

Object to + Noun/Noun Phrase

We object to violence. (noun: violence)
We object violence.

✅ I strongly object to the committee's decision. It's not in the best interest of our community. (noun phrase: the committee's decision)
❌ I strongly object the committee's decision. It's not in the best interest of our community.

✅ The lawyer objected to the introduction of the new evidence, claiming that it was irrelevant to the case. (noun phrase: the introduction)
❌ 
The lawyer objected the introduction of the new evidence, claiming that it was irrelevant to the case.

Object to + Gerund

I object to being treated like a child. (gerund: being)
I object to be treated like a child.
I object being treated like a child.

✅ Many people object to hunting for sport. (gerund: hunting)
Many people object to hunt for sport.
Many people object hunting for sport.

✅ We object to smoking in public places. (gerund: smoking)
We object to smoke in public places.
We object smoking in public places.

The residents objected to building an incinerator near their town. (gerund: building)
The residents objected to build an incinerator near their town.
The residents objected building an incinerator near their town.

Many employees object to doing unpaid work outside of regular hours. (gerund: doing)
Many employees object to do unpaid work outside of regular hours.
Many employees object doing unpaid work outside of regular hours.

It is also important to remember that the verb object is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable (/əbˈdʒekt/), unlike the noun form, where the stress is on the first syllable.

The entry for the verb object in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


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Examples from the Media

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Ōtepoti said it had objected to the renewal of the liquor licences for Countdown Cumberland St and Gardens New World. Otago Daily Times (2023)

They say they are not against vaccinations, but object to making them compulsory, saying the measure will lead to staff shortages. —The Guardian (2021)

A former elite soldier who was allegedly told by war veteran Ben Roberts-Smith to execute an unarmed Afghan man has objected to giving evidence about the incident in the Federal Court on the grounds he might incriminate himself. —The Sydney Morning Herald (2022)

Meanwhile, he said he has observed "Canadian patients" object to being treated by physicians from other countries or by non-Caucasian Canadian doctors. Toronto Sun (2013)

Murray and residents representing tenant groups also objected to allowing any building vacant for two years to be eligible for exemption. —The Washington Post (1984)

Real-World Examples of Misuse

1. In English, when you are using a singular, countable noun, you generally need to precede it with a determiner such as a, an, the, this, that, or myA yellow vest is a noun phrase describing what the man is wearing, and it requires the indefinite article a to be grammatically correct.
2. We say object to something or object to doing something. The to in object to is a preposition, and prepositions are typically followed by a noun, a pronoun, or a gerund.
3. Since the relative pronoun that refers to other words (plural), the verb that follows it must be in the plural form (mean).

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