Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Transitive and intransitive verbs

What are Transitive Verbs?

A Transitive Verb is an action verb that has a direct object, which receives the action. A direct object can either be a noun or a pronoun. A transitive verb needs to transfer its action to something, or someone, which acts as a direct object. Transitive verbs are followed by their direct object. Transitive verbs can also have an indirect object just before the direct object. Let's look at the example in the image below. It is a simple sentence with a subject, verb and direct object.

An example of a transitive verb with a direct object

Here are a few more examples:

  • Molly bought a new car.

  • She wrote a letter.

  • He is playing hockey.

  • Alice made a dress.

  • He likes chocolates.

  • Lily moved the luggage.

  • She played the guitar.

  • He read a story.

  • She sang a song.

  • Who gave him the chocolate?

Transitive verb Direct object
bought a new car
wrote a letter
playing hockey
made a dress
likes chocolates
moved the luggage

What are Intransitive Verbs?

Intransitive Verbs are also action verbs, however, they do not have a direct object to receive the action. The following are some examples.

An example of an intransitive verb without a direct object
  • She slept.

  • He laughed.

  • They have gone.

  • He is playing.

  • He cried.

  • She jumped.

  • She sang.

  • They arrived.

  • She smiled.

Note: Intransitive Verbs can not form passive voice, because there is no one to receive the action. They do not have a direct object.

Some verbs can be transitive and intransitive, depending on how they are used in a sentence. Here is a list of some common verbs that can be both transitive and intransitive:

  • eat

  • leave

  • play

  • run

  • sit

  • stand

  • walk

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