Transitive Vs. Intransitive Verbs — A Quick Guide

Whether or not an object is necessary for the verb…

Whether or not an object is necessary for the verb to express a complete thought, a verb is either transitive or intransitive. Only when a verb acts on an object does it make sense as a transitive verb. In the absence of one, an intransitive verb makes sense. You can use some verbs in both ways.

In today’s article, we are going to take a look at transitive vs intransitive verbs. Specifically, what is what and how to use both in sentences?

What Are Transitive and Intransitive Verbs?

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When a verb expresses an action the subject carries out, it is referred to as a transitive verb.

Understand that transitive verbs adhere to two rules to define them. First, all action words are transitive verbs.

Since no action is occurring, you cannot have a transitive verb that describes a state of being. A linking word doesn’t adhere to the definition of a transitive verb either. As a result, verbs like “be,” “feel,” and “grow,” in all of their forms, cannot be transitive verbs. As such, the dictionary will list them under the intransitive verbs category.

Second, you must always connect a transitive verb to the sentence’s object. Let’s dissect the fundamentals of sentence structure to see what that means.

The subject of every sentence is a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun that is doing or being something. The verb will also describe an action or state of being, linking them or occasionally to an object.

A transitive verb is defined as a verb “having or needing an object,” per the Cambridge Dictionary. 

You can probably guess what an intransitive verb would be now that you know what a transitive verb is. There you have it.

You can use an intransitive verb in sentences or contexts without necessarily needing an object to explain the action the subject is performing.

Nevertheless, a few exceptional verbs can serve as transitive and intransitive verbs.

An intransitive verb is “characterized by not having or containing a direct object,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The Cambridge Dictionary defines an intransitive verb as one “having or needing no object.”

Transitive vs Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs have an object when they appear in a sentence with an action word. When not present in sentences with action words, action words are intransitive verbs.

You must first define the main distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs, which is as follows. Here are a few examples of transitive verbs to illustrate how transitive and intransitive verbs differ in their use.

Only when a phrasal verb is present can a verb be considered transitive despite not having an object. Without looking at phrasal verbs, the topic of “what is a transitive verb” cannot be fully explored.

You can use both transitive and intransitive verbs with phrasal verbs. Action verbs or states of being are employed in sentences without apparent purpose.

Final Thoughts

Transitive and intransitive verbs create a verb tense in English based on what object is performing the action. In a verb tense, both types of verbs are transitive, not direct. To make things clear, transitive verbs are the verbs in the English language that require a direct object.

We hope you enjoyed our guide on transitive vs intransitive verbs. If you have any more questions, make sure you let us know!

Frequently asked questions

How do you find the transitive verb in a sentence?

Transitive verbs are used when there is an object in a sentence that contains an action word. The action word is an intransitive verb if there is no object in a sentence containing an action word.

What are 10 examples of transitive?

  • Alex sent a postcard to Argentina.
  • As a gift from my mom, I wrote you a letter.
  • The keys were left at the table.
  • After dinner, Alicia washed the dishes.
  • She struck Joe after the teacher turned.
  • Get me a dog!
  • My father took me to the movies on his birthday.
  • I let my dog eat carrots off the floor.

Is I kicked the ball an intransitive verb?

Kicking the ball. Hence, kicked is a transitive verb in this example.

Is eat a transitive verb?

Eat is a transitive verb, while it can be intransitive if describing a habitual action. At 6 p.m., he is eating.

Why is it important to know if a verb is transitive or intransitive?

What is transitive versus transitive. What are the uses of transitive or intransitive verbs? An object of a verb must first be understood in order to understand transitive verbs and intransitive verbs.

Which verbs are both transitive and intransitive?

There are also examples of transitive and intransitive verbs such as walk, drive, read, and understand.

How do you identify intransitive and transitive verbs easily?

The main difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb is that transitive words require or demand an object to make complete sense, whereas intransive verbs do not require any object to construct a complete sentence.

What is intransitive verb explain with example?

The word “flies” is an intransitive verb in “the bird flies.”.

What is the difference between transitive and intransitive verb with example?

Noun/noun phrase/pronoun follow-up verbs are transitive and intransitive, while no object follows verbs. An object refers to a person or thing affected by the action of the verb. We ask the person that we met automatically when someone says, “I met.”.

Do intransitive verbs have objects?

There is no object in an intransitive verb. It is incorrect to use an object immediately after an intransitive verb. Furthermore, there may be other information after the verb, such as prepositional phrases.

Is the glass fell an intransitive verb?

Intransitive verbs like “fell” (fall) are intransitory. On their cars, they are sitting. “Siting” (sit) is an intransitive verb.

What are the 3 types of verbs transitive?

A transitive verb has three subtypes: monotransitive verbs have only a direct object, ditransitory verbs are both direct and indirect. Multiple-transitive verbs have a direct object and an object attribute. A monotranscript: He bought a book.

How do you know if a verb is intransitive?

A direct object is not required for intransitive verbs. Intrantrantive verbs follow the subject and complete an independent clause, and they may be followed by prepositions, adverbs, or another clause that contextualize the verb’s action.

How do you find the intransitive verb in a sentence?

  • First, identify the subject and verb.
  • The second step is to identify the subject and verb and determine if a direct object follows them.
  • Step 3: the verb in your sentence is intransitive if there is no direct object.

How do you tell if a word is transitive or intransitive?

Depending on whether the verb requires an object to express a complete thought, the verb may be transitive or intransitive. In transitive verbs, an object is only meaningful when it is actioned. Without one, you will lose meaning to an intransitive verb.

Transitive Vs. Intransitive Verbs — A Quick Guide

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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