What are Transitive Verbs? Definition, Meaning, Examples, List, vs Intransitive Verbs

Lets’ explore Transitive Verbs!

What are Transitive Verbs? Definition, Meaning, Examples, List, vs Intransitive Verbs

Let’s learn the transitive verbs along with the definition, meaning, different types of examples, list, etc. to have a clear concept.

Let’s explore the transitive verb!

What are Transitive Verbs? Definition & Meaning

Let’s try to understand the basics of transitive verbs! We have already learned that a sentence may have one or more objects.  This transitive verb comes into the picture when objects are required to express the meaning of the verb.

Let’s try to understand the definition of transitive verbs!

Transitive Verbs Definition

The type of verbs that always contain a direct object and a subject are called transitive verbs.

  • They can also carry a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase.
  • This verb basically transfers its own action to the objects.
what transitive verbs definition meaning examples list difference intransitive basics
What transitive verbs definition meaning examples list difference intransitive basics

Transitive Verbs Meaning

Let’s try to understand the meaning of transitive verbs with a simple example!

Example:

Nita plays the violin.

Meaning:

Here, play is the verb. Now, if you remove, ‘the violin’, would be able to understand the context? No, you can’t! This ‘the violin’ is the object of the sentence and the verb, ‘play’ transfers its meaning to the object. This verb is simply a transitive verb!

Let’s see few more examples of transitive verbs, as below

For example

  • Rehan plays football.
  • He is playing cricket.
  • Rohan loves to sing English songs.

As objects are the main factor here, let’s get a brief idea about the objects,

Transitive Verbs – Direct Object & Indirect Object Concept 

Direct object

We are saying that transitive verbs take a direct object. Look at the following examples below for deeper understanding-

  • The boy laughed.

(Here in the above sentence, “laughed” is an intransitive verb because it does not take any direct object. In other words, it means you can not laugh at something.)

  • Ram cracked a joke.

(Here “cracked” is a transitive verb that takes a direct object “joke”.)

Indirect object

By indirect object, we mean to say the object that precedes the direct object. The indirect object gives information about to whom or for whom action is done. For deeper understanding refer to the example below:

For example:

  • He gave John a notebook.

(In the above example, “notebook” is a direct object whereas “John” is an indirect object. )

  • The teacher gave her class a lecture.

(In the above example, “lecture” is a direct object whereas “class” is an indirect object.)

How to Determine the Direct and Indirect Objects?

Direct Object

When you are reading a  verb, ask it a question: “what?” Or “whom?”. Then if you find some answer, that means there is a direct object present in the sentence and it’s a transitive verb. If you don’t find the answer, then that’s an intransitive verb.

For example:

  • Ram coughed all day.

(Here “coughed” is an intransitive verb. It doesn’t contain any direct object).

  • Rohan read a comic book.

( Here “read” is a transitive verb because it takes “comic book” as a direct object).

Indirect object

First of all the thing to keep in mind is that an indirect object always comes between the verb and the direct object. When you are reading a  verb, ask it a question: “to whom?” Or “for whom?”. If you find an answer, then there is an indirect object present in the sentence.

For example:

  • Dad made John a pizza.

(Here in the above sentence, “pizza” is a direct object whereas “John” is an indirect object. )

  • Ram plays cricket.

(Here in the above sentence, “cricket” is a direct object. And this sentence doesn’t contain any indirect object.)

Examples of Transitive Verbs

  • I owe you ten dollars.
  • She makes her food.
  • I just can’t do my work on time.
  • She explained the phenomenon of photosynthesis to her students.
  • My watch cost a lot of money.
  • I have lent my car to my friend.
  • Give your mother the letter.
  • This room gets very little sunshine.
  • He bought me a new watch.
  • Dad made John a sandwich.
  • All the students passed the test.
  • She sent her letter by airmail.
  • Don’t forget to pay your electricity bill.
  • Minu loves playing the guitar.
  • They read Times of India daily.
  • I politely refused his invitation.
  • I hate leaving home.
  • My manager offered me a great new job.

List of Intransitive verbs

  • Turn on
  • Push
  • Soothe
  • Butter
  • Summon
  • Cuddle
  • Hold
  • Hug
  • Enthuse
  • Shine
  • Gratify
  • Love
  • Appraise
  • Relieve
  • Relax
  • Feed
  • Preach
  • Strengthen
  • Grab
  • Empower
  • Ignite
  • Praise
  • Impress
  • Prime
  • Inflate
  • Jiggle
  • Teach
  • Active
  • Elate
  • Mould
  • Bedazzle
  • Tempt
  • Chide
  • Cajole
  • Kindle
  • Assure

Transitive verbs can be used in passive form

Transitive verbs can be used in the passive form as they contain objects(direct and indirect). For passive voice, the main thing is always objects.

For example:

  • I shot the dog.

(Here “dog” is the object and “shot” is a transitive verb. The sentence is in an active voice. )

  • The dog was shot by me.

Or

The dog was shot.

(Here the given sentence is in a passive voice.)

Transitive Verbs vs Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs are the type of verbs that take a direct object. They can also take an indirect object such as a noun, pronoun a un phrase that is used before a direct object.

For example:

  • The boy plays the guitar.
  • He sings a song.
  • We played cricket on the ground.
  • He is cleaning the room.
  • The kids like candies.
  • Uncle Paul wrote a letter.
  • The children kicked the ball around.
  • He put on his raincoat because it was raining.
  • She writes letters to mom.
  • She reads books to make her fall asleep.
  • She wrote an essay about her trip to France.

Intransitive verbs are the type of verbs that don’t take a direct object. Also, they can never be used in passive form.

For example:

  • The boy plays.
  • He sings.
  • We played on the ground.
  • He is cleaning.
  • He cried loudly.
  • She wrote yesterday.
  • Paul visited yesterday.
  • Sally runs fast.
  • My dog barks a lot.
  • I never sleep in my class.
  • The bus stopped suddenly.

Concept of Ambitransitive Verbs

Ambitransitive verbs are those that can be used both as transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. They may or may not require a direct object. Some of the commonly used Ambitransitive verbs in the English language are as follows:

  • Break
  • Cook
  • Drink
  • Open
  • Pay
  • Paint
  • Read
  • Sink

For example:

# play

  • He plays.

( Here “plays” is an intransitive verb.)

  • He plays the guitar.

(Here “plays” is a transitive verb.)

# broke

  • He broke the case.

( Here “broke” is a transitive verb.)

  • The case broke.

( Here “broke” is an intransitive verb.)

# sank

  • The boat sank.

( Here “sank” is an intransitive verb.)

  • The pirates sank the boat.

( Here “sank” is a transitive verb.)

For example:

  • The workers painted the wall.

(This sentence contains the transitive verb- “painted”.)

  • The workers painted the day before yesterday.

(This sentence contains the intransitive verb- “painted”.)

  • The baby woke up.

(Intransitive verb)

  • I woke the baby up.

(Transitive verb)

  • He read it yesterday.

(Intransitive verb)

  • He read the book yesterday.

(Transitive verb)

  • My mother cooked delicious food.

(Transitive verb)

  • My mother cooked.

(Intransitive verb)

  • He drank a glass of water.

(Transitive verb)

  • He drank a lot yesterday.

(Intransitive verb)

  • He opened the door quietly.

(Transitive verb)

Practise Exercises for Transitive Verbs

Practise Exercise No.1

Identify whether given sentences are transitive or intransitive.

  • Ivy slept in the storeroom.
  • Grover swept the garage.
  • The pet died.
  • Jay surprised Elon with a gift.
  • John wrote his name on the paper.
  • Elly loves her new car.
  • Michael filled his bag with candles.
  • My dog barks a lot.
  • John studies in the morning.
  • I bought a bicycle yesterday.
  • When we arrived, nobody was there to greet us.

Practise Exercise No.2

Identify whether the following sentences contain transitive verbs or intransitive verbs.

  • I opened the door for my mom.
  • I never sleep in class.
  • I bought some books.
  • He put on his raincoat because it was raining.
  • I bought a bicycle yesterday.
  • The bus stopped suddenly.
  • John studies in the morning.
  • When we arrived, nobody was there to greet us.
  • She reads books to fall asleep.
  • My dog barks a lot.
  • Rohan runs fast.
  • She writes letters to her friends.
  • The children kicked the ball.
  • The museum has many famous paintings.

Conclusion

Hence, we have a basic idea about transitive verbs, along with the definition, meaning, examples, etc. Any doubt, please let us know.

Further Study

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