Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs - Explore What Makes Them Different from Each Other with Examples

Are you finding it difficult to comprehend the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb? It is not as confusing as you might think. This article on transitive and intransitive verbs will help you in understanding the usage of the two classes of verbs. You can also go through the examples and try out the practice questions given in the article to examine how far you have learnt.

Table of Contents

What is a Transitive Verb?

A transitive verb is a type of verb that needs an object to make complete sense of the action being performed by the subject.

Dictionary Definition of a Transitive Verb

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a transitive verb is a verb “having or needing an object”. The Collins Dictionary defines a transitive verb as “a verb accompanied by a direct object and from which a passive can be formed, as ‘deny’, ‘rectify’, ‘elect’”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives a similar definition. According to them, a transitive verb is “characterised by having or containing a direct object”.

What is an Intransitive Verb?

Since you now know what a transitive verb is, you will definitely be able to guess what an intransitive verb would be. There you go. You guessed it right. An intransitive verb is a verb that does not necessarily require an object to make sense of the action being performed by the subject in a sentence or a context. However, there are some exceptional verbs that can perform the role of both a transitive verb and an intransitive verb.

Dictionary Definition of an Intransitive Verb

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an intransitive verb as a verb that is “characterised by not having or containing a direct object”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an intransitive verb is a verb “having or needing no object”. “A verb that indicates a complete action without being accompanied by a direct object, as sit or lie, and, in English, that does not form a passive” is defined as an intransitive verb, according to the Collins Dictionary.

Transitive Verbs vs. Intransitive Verbs

Let us look at the following table and try to comprehend the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb.

Transitive Verbs

Intransitive Verbs

Require an object to make complete sense of the action being referred to.

Does not require an object to complete the sentence or make sense of the action being referred to.

Transitive verbs occur in sentences that follow the SVO, SVIODO, SVOC, SVOA, ASVO patterns.

Intransitive verbs usually occur in sentences with the pattern ASVC, SV, SVC, ASVA and so on.

A sentence that uses a transitive verb can be changed into a passive voice.

A sentence that makes use of an intransitive verb cannot be altered to form the passive voice.

Transitive verbs are followed by an indirect object or a direct object.

Intransitive verbs are followed by either an adjunct or a complement.

Examples of Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs

Check out the following examples of transitive verbs and intransitive verbs and try to understand the difference between the two.

Examples of Transitive Verbs

Example 1:

  • The dog / chased / the cat.

(subject / verb / object)

  • The dog chased.

The verb ‘chased’ in the above example is a transitive verb that demands an object. As you can see, the second sentence, “The dog chased” does not seem complete. The moment you say “The dog chased”, the people listening to you would definitely ask the question, “Chased what?” That explains why ‘chased’ can be classified as a transitive verb, and it follows the pattern SVO.

Example 2:

  • The teacher gave me a new notebook.

(subject / verb / indirect object / direct object)

  • The teacher gave.

The verb ‘gave’ in the above example is a transitive verb that needs an object. In the second sentence, ‘The teacher gave’ sounds incomplete without the indirect object and the direct object.

Examples of Intransitive Verbs

Example 1:

  • The old man felt weak.

(subject / verb / complement)

The verb in the above sentence is ‘felt’, and it connects the subject to the complement and does not require an object.

Example 2:

  • The baby is sleeping.

(subject / verb)

The verb in the above sentence is ‘is sleeping’ and does not require an object to complete the sentence.

Identify Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs

Identify the verbs in the following sentences and find out if they are transitive verbs or intransitive verbs.

1. Dave bought a new bicycle.

2. Firoz laughed so hard.

3. The children passed the books around.

4. I studied in California.

5. Can you bring me some mangoes?

6. Jack came home in the evening.

7. Eliza found the kittens in the corner of the street.

8. Roshan met his best friend at the park.

9. The car stopped suddenly, in the middle of the road.

10. Javed loved his new bike.

Let us check if you got your answers right.

1. Dave bought a new bicycle. – Transitive Verb

2. Firoz laughed so hard. – Intransitive Verb

3. The children passed the books around. – Transitive Verb

4. I studied in California. – Intransitive Verb

5. Can you bring me some mangoes? – Transitive Verb

6. Jack came home in the evening. – Intransitive Verb

7. Eliza found the kittens in the corner of the street. – Transitive Verb

8. Roshan met his best friend at the park. – Transitive Verb

9. The car stopped suddenly, in the middle of the road. – Intransitive Verb

10. Javed loved his new bike. – Transitive Verb

Frequently Asked Questions on Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs in English

What is a transitive verb?

A transitive verb is a type of verb that needs an object to make complete sense of the action being performed by the subject.

What is an intransitive verb?

An intransitive verb is a verb that does not necessarily require an object to make sense of the action being performed by the subject in a sentence or a context. However, there are some exceptional verbs that can perform the role of both a transitive verb and an intransitive verb.

What is the definition of a transitive verb?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a transitive verb is a verb “having or needing an object”. The Collins Dictionary defines a transitive verb as “a verb accompanied by a direct object and from which a passive can be formed, as ‘deny’, ‘rectify’, ‘elect’”. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives a similar definition. According to them, a transitive verb is “characterised by having or containing a direct object”.

What is the definition of an intransitive verb?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an intransitive verb as a verb that is “characterised by not having or containing a direct object”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an intransitive verb is a verb “having or needing no object”. “A verb that indicates a complete action without being accompanied by a direct object, as sit or lie, and, in English, that does not form a passive” is defined as an intransitive verb according to the Collins Dictionary.

What is the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb?

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

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*