Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs

Verbs are words that express the action or the state of being, of a subject. Do you have any idea about Action Verbs? Action verbs are words that express action or possession. For example: Give, Love, Walk, Eat, Have, Own, etc. An action verb can be of two types one is Transitive and the other is intransitive. A transitive verb expresses action on a direct object. A transitive verb always demands an object to affect. Whereas intransitive verbs do not need an object to complete the action. As the word, transitive and intransitive sound a little complex, but in fact, identifying a difference between these two types of action verbs is not that difficult. This article will help you in understanding clear concepts about transitive and intransitive verbs and their identification in sentences.

What are Transitive Verbs?

Transitive verbs are the verbs that simply express the action of a direct object. Here, a direct object is a word or group of words referring to a person or thing toward which the action of a verb is directed or by which the action is performed. A direct object can also be a noun, phrase, or pronoun.

For Example: 
Kamal raises his hand. Satyam Kicked a ball.

Here, the verb is ‘raises’ and ‘kicked’ and Kamal and Satyam are the subjects and the ‘hand’ or ‘ball’ is an object on which the action is expressed. You can clearly understand the necessity of a direct object in the above examples. So, a transitive verb needs an object to make complete sense of the action being performed by the subject. To identify a direct object in a sentence or clause, a useful way is to ask “What?” or “Who”/ Whom?

Sometimes, a transitive verb can be used in the passive voice. When we write sentences or clauses in the passive voice, Transitive verbs also express the action of an indirect object, that is which name the object to whom or for whom the action was done. 

For Example: 
Aman gave his wife a ring. 

Can you identify the indirect object? Let’s make it easier for you to understand. You just need to answer some questions. Aman gave what? A ring. Who received it? His wife. This means gave is a transitive verb for the indirect object his wife. 

Transitive Verb Examples 

Transitive Verb Examples
FollowCarryGuess
ArrangeDrinkEat
BreakHateImagine
KickLiftLeft
PraiseFollowImagine
RemoveMissOpen
QuiteNoticePull
PraisePromiseTease
UnlockBringBuy
DiscussWatchClean
VisitHugStop
WishLoadWash

What are Intransitive Verbs?

Intransitive verbs are defined as verbs that do not characterize by an object to complete an action. Simply, intransitive verbs do not require an object to express an action. An intransitive verb is the opposite of a transitive verb.

For example,

He died. 

The baby is crawling.

He was swimming.

The dog barked.

Can you spot the difference that verbs like died, crawling, swimming, and barked, do not require any direct or indirect object on which the action is being completed? These all are intransitive verbs.

Intransitive Verb Examples 

Intransitive Verb Examples 
RestSmilerun
DieSleepCrawl
DisagreeArriveRest
RiseDanceNap
PauseGrowWork
ReadPrayFall
LaughFastListen
JumpMoveUnderstand
MarchPanicRelax
SkipSwimSmell

Transitive and Intransitive verbs

Some verbs can be considered both transitive and intransitive. To identify whether the verb in the sentence is used transitively or intransitively, the first and foremost thing is to look for an object towards which the verbs express the action. The presence of direct and indirect objects indicates that the verb in the sentence is used transitively. Verbs like walk, drive, read, understand, sing, return, etc can be used as Transitive as well as Intransitive verbs. 

For Example,

  1. Radhika sang the national anthem.

In a huge response, She sang.

  1. I returned the book to Rohan.

The students returned to school.

  1. I read

She reads books.

Rules to identify Transitive verbs:

There are only two rules for transitive verbs. These are not hard and fast rules but to make easier identification of transitive verbs we must keep in mind these basic rules.

  1. Transitive verbs are used with a direct object.
  2. Transitive verbs can be used in the passive voice or for the indirect object.
  3. Transitive verbs are followed by a direct object or an indirect object.

Difference between Transitive and Intransitive verbs

A transitive verb requires an objectAn intransitive object does not require an object.
A transitive verb can be used in passive voice.An intransitive verb can not be used in passive voice.
A transitive verb followed by both direct and/or indirect objects.As Intransitive verbs do not require any object they only be followed by some phrases or compliments.

For Example: 

Eat, Love, Break, drink

For Example:

Read, Sleep, Fast, Swim

Explore some examples of Transitive Verbs in sentences

  1. Asha left the book on the table.
  2. My father wrote me a letter on my birthday.
  3. Can you buy me a phone?
  4. I baked a cake.
  5. Paras hugged his mother.
  6. We need to maintain the cleanliness of our surroundings.
  7. My mother praised me for my behavior.
  8. I was paid twenty dollars today.
  9. The princess kissed a frog.
  10. I wished him all the best for his exam.

Explore some examples of Transitive Verbs in sentences

  1. Do not panic.
  2. She cried.
  3. I have been waiting since morning.
  4. Take a short nap then start.
  5. Did Rohan arrive on time?
  6. Kamal is doing good at his job.
  7. The shops open at 9 am.
  8. The baby is sleeping.
  9. The kites fly high.
  10. His company is growing big day by day.
Parts of Speech in English Grammar
NounAdjective
PrepositionAdverb
VerbConjunction 
Table of Contents

Ans: Transitive verbs are the verbs that simply express the action of a direct object.

Ans: Intransitive verbs are defined as verbs that do not require an object to express an action.

Ans: A direct object is a word or group of words referring to a person or thing toward which the action of a verb is directed or by which the action is performed.

Ans: A transitive verb requires an object in contrast to that an intransitive object does not require an object. A transitive verb can be used in passive voice, whereas an intransitive verb can not be used in passive voice.

Ans: To identify a transitive verb we must follow these basic points: Transitive verbs are used with a direct object. Transitive verbs can be used in the passive voice or for the indirect object. Transitive verbs are followed by a direct object or an indirect object.

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