A verb is an action word in a sentence that tells us what the subject is doing. It indicates actions (physical or mental) occurrences or states of being. There are many types of verbs, for example, action verbs, (transitive or intransitive) non-action verbs, (linking, auxiliary, model) regular irregular verbs, infinitive verbs, phrasal verbs, dynamic verbs, etc. But in this article, we will merely explain what transitive and intransitive verbs are their usage, and their identification with different examples.
What is a transitive verb?
A transitive verb is an action verb that requires or demands an object to receive the action. It transfers the action from a subject to a direct object. A direct object can be a noun a pronoun or a noun phrase that directly receives an action from the subject. Transitive verbs cannot be followed by prepositional phrases or adverbs but must be followed by a direct object. For example
He hits (verb) the ball (object).
So in this sentence, the action (hits) directly transfers from the subject (he) to the object (the ball)
A transitive verb (direct object) answers the question of “what” or “whom”. There can be two objects in a sentence (direct and indirect), and an indirect object answers the question of to whom or for whom. And if an action verb takes both direct and indirect objects it will be called a ditransitive verb. For example,
He sent her a letter.
An action (sent) transfers from the subject (he) to the direct object (a letter) and indirect object (her). (here Direct object answers the question of what he sent? and the Indirect object of to whom he sent a letter.
A transitive verb cannot stand alone without an object. For example,
(here opened is a transitive verb and without an object, this word cannot function, for example, you might be thinking, he opened what? So he opened is a transitive verb that demands an object (the door) to complete its meaning
I opened the door.
(Here the object ( the door) appears in the sentence to receive an action and now it makes complete sense)
And transitive verbs can be turned into a passive voice. For example,
She was reading a book. (Active voice)
The book was being read by her. (Passive voice)
Transitive verbs follow this pattern
Subject + verb + direct/indirect object
She washed the dishes.
She uses an umbrella.
He will celebrate her birthday.
They are playing football.
I baked a cake.
What is an intransitive verb?
An intransitive verb is the opposite of a transitive verb that makes complete sense without an object. It can stand alone and doesn’t require an object. Intransitive verbs are usually followed by an adverb and a prepositional phrase. And they don’t answer the question of what or whom. An intransitive verb only tells what the subject is doing and it doesn’t transfer an action from subject to object. For example,
I studied at Princeton.
Here an intransitive verb (studied) is followed by a preposition (at) it is not followed by a direct object.
Intransitive verbs cannot be turned into passive voices because a sentence without an object can’t be changed into a passive voice.
They are going to Peshawar. (preposition)
She speaks loudly. (adverb)
He is sleeping. (simple)
She sings beautifully. (adverb)
The library opens at 9 a.m. (preposition)
Transitive or intransitive verbs
Many verbs can be considered both transitive and intransitive. The presence or absence of a direct or indirect object indicates whether a verb is transitive or intransitive. For example,
England won the match. (Transitive)
England won. (intransitive)
She speaks English. (transitive)
She speaks very well. (intransitive)
Intransitive Words List
Hiccup / hic-cough
Hiccup / hic-cough
Transitive Words List
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