I'm trying to better understand verb phrases with indirect objects. My starting point is that indirect object is usually marked with à, but à can also be "just a preposition", and the reliable way to tell a difference is to see whether the object can be replaced by an indirect object pronoun:
- Je parle à Jean => Je lui parle (indirect object)
- Je pense à Jean => *Je lui pense (NOT indirect object)
- Je vais à Paris => *Je lui vais (NOT indirect object)
Apparently sometimes the same verb can sometimes use à to mark an indirect object, and other times use à "as a preposition":
- J'envoie mes livres à Marie (indirect object)
- J'envoie mes livres à Paris (NOT indirect object)
Is the above correct? Is there a standard way to call phrases like "penser à Jean" or "envoyer à Paris", if they're not verbs with indirect objects?
What prepositions can be used to introduce indirect objects? I thought it was only à, but then saw an example with "acheter pour" which apparently is also considered a verb taking an indirect object. Is there a fixed list of prepositions that can introduce indirect objects? In particular, can de ever introduce an indirect object?
Is there a list of all verbs taking indirect objects, such that e.g. "donner à" and "parler à" are in it, but "penser à" and "aller à" are not? I understand that some very frequent verbs are such, e.g. donner and parler, but is it otherwise a large category of verbs, or a small set that can be usefully enumerated?