In this post, we will talk about transitive and intransitive verb and how those two differ. Let’s cut to the chase!
A transitive verb requires an object.
“I carry a stick.”
In the sentence above, carry is the transitive verb and a stick is the noun that acts as the object in that sentence. The object following the transitive verb can be a noun, phrase, or pronoun that is affected by the action of the verb. It always answers the question “What?” – What do I carry? I carry a stick. Using a transitive verb without an object will make an incomplete sentence – simply saying “I carry” without an object would not make sense.
Quickanddirtytips.com has a tip for remembering the name of the verb: think of a transitive verb as transferring their action to the object.
An intransitive verb don’t have a direct object receiving the action. It can be followed by an adverb or a prepositional phrase, but it can never be followed by a noun.
The sentence is complete without an object. Therefore, sit is an intransitive verb.
“He sits” can be followed by a prepositional phrase such as “on a wooden chair”. But using a noun immediately after the verb, e.g., “He sits a wooden chair” would make an incorrect sentence because the verb can’t take an object.
However, many verbs can be both transitive or intransitive, depending on what follows them in the sentence. In one sentence, a verb may require an object, while in others it does not require an object. A few examples of verb that can be transitive and intransitive: run, play, return.
“She runs across the street.”
In the sentence above, run acts as an intransitive verb because across the street is a prepositional phrase.
“Dad runs a stationery shop.”
Run is a transitive verb in this sentence because a stationery shop is a noun that acts as the object.
If we confuse transitive and intransitive verb, our sentence may be incomplete or incorrect. Therefore, it helps to know the difference between those two kinds of verb and how to use them in a sentence.
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