What are Transitive and Intransitive Verbs?

what is a verb

Verb Definition: Transitive 

Verbs are the horses, toiling in language, be it actions, states of being, or even happening. Despite that verbs are numerous, the word class formed by their connection to other words in the sentence exists within the vast pool of verbs. This time, you will understand precisely how transitive and intransitive verbs are identified and well enough to apply them correctly in your written and oral communication.

What is a Verb?

A verb can be a word that is impossible without it because it simply describes what is happening, existing, or what one does. Action verbs are most abundant, and they represent both physical and nervous activities. Verb definition - run, think, dream. Moreover, verbs are frequently used to make statements (found in the state of being words). e.g., By it (create, make, force, look, or happen) or actions (e.g., staining, abrasion, or corrosion) (or) events (like changes in temperature, pressure, or electromagnetic fields).

What Are Verbs Transitive Verbs?

Imagine a verb by analogy to say someone throws a ball. Transitive verbs are like those who "throw the ball" to a receiver, they need an object to complete their work. Such verbs will have a missing direct object in their construction and be used to convey the execution of the action that the verb is expressing. Here's how transitive verbs function:

They depict actions that transfer to an object. For instance, in "She built a sandcastle," "built" is the transitive verb, and "sandcastle" is the direct object receiving the action of building.

They can often be turned into the passive voice. Since they have a direct object, transitive verbs can be rephrased in the passive voice, emphasizing the object receiving the action (e.g., "The sandcastle was built by her").

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Examples of Transitive Verbs in Action:

"The artist painted a masterpiece." (painted - verb, masterpiece - direct object)

"We planted a tree in the garden." (planted - verb, tree - direct object)

"He reads a book every night." (reads - verb, book - direct object)

Intransitive Verbs: Standing on Their Own

Now, picture a verb where the action still stays with the subject by saying of a person bouncing a ball without throwing it. An intransitive verb, distinct from a transitive one, does not require a direct object to convey its full meaning. They represent a full sentence without the involvement of another sentence. Here is what makes intransitive verbs unique: 

These tableaux symbolize the viciousness of cruelty, and this forms part of its creative whole. To illustrate, "The baby laughed. " Depicts of "laughed" is the intransitive verb that completes the action of the baby without telling who or what he or she is laughing at.

They are unable to be turned into passive voice logically when trying to translate from one language to another. Because of their inability to possess a direct object, intransitive verbs are not able to be rewritten into "passive voice".

Examples of Intransitive Verbs in Action:

"The dog barks ‘bark!' very loudly." (barks - verb)

"Her broad eyes glimmer, though. " (glimmer - verb) 

"They danced till midnight. " (danced - noun) 

Overall, a deeper understanding of transitive and intransitive verbs is essential to improve our ability to communicate effectively. Calling for the knowledge of the entity between transitive and intransitive verbs is among the basic elements of creating beautiful and crystal-clear sentences. The right verb lets you write a suitable sentence that describes the action exactly and the words it needs for further explanation.

This article gave you a taste of verb mastery! To truly conquer verbs, you will need practice and a deeper dive into conjugations and sentence structures. 98thPercentile's English classes offer just that! Explore the brilliant world of after-school enrichment classes through interactive exercises and expert guidance at 98thPercentile. Enroll now and take your writing and communication to the next level! 


Q1: Can a verb be both transitive and intransitive?

Ans: Yes! Some verbs change based on context (e.g., "run" - intransitive, "run a race" - transitive). 

Q2. How do I tell if a verb is transitive or intransitive?

Ans: Try adding a "what" or "whom" after the verb. If it makes sense, it's likely transitive! 

Q3: Can intransitive verbs have objects?

Ans: Sometimes! They can have prepositional phrases acting like objects (e.g., "She arrived at noon”)

Q4: Are helping verbs transitive or intransitive?

Ans: Helping verbs do not convey the action, so they are not classified as transitive or intransitive. 

Q5: Is there a trick to mastering verb types?

Ans: Practice with examples and sentence building! 98thPercentile can help with that. 

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