English Grammar Lesson – Transitive and Intransitive Verbs by Prof. Ranjna Vedhera for SuccessCDs Videos
TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS
Look at these sentences …
The boy killed the snake.
All the boys played together.
In the first sentence, the action denoted by verb killed passes from the doer the boy to the object, the snake. The verb killed here is transitive. In the second sentence, the action is limited to boys only. There is no object so the verb played is intransitive.
An object has to be present with verbs used transitively. Underlined words are objects.
I wrote a story.
Mother cooked food.
The chief guest gave away prizes.
In case of an intransitive verb there is no object, the action remains limited to the subject or the doer.
The soldier fought bravely.
The baby is sleeping.
Mother is cooking.
An intransitive verb also expresses the state of a person or thing.
Gold is a precious metal.
Silk is soft.
This plate is dirty.
Some transitive verbs take two objects …
Most transitive verbs take one object but some like, give, ask, offer, buy promise etc. can take two objects after them.
The object that denotes a person to whom something is given is called an indirect object.
The direct object denotes the thing which is given or done.
He gave me a pen. (Pen direct object, me indirect object)
Sid told me a secret. (A secret direct object, me indirect object)
Most of the verbs can be used both transitively and intransitively.
He spoke the truth. (Transitive use)
He spoke loudly. (Intransitive use)
The dog bit the boy. (Transitive use)
This dog doesn’t bite. (Intransitive use)
Some verbs cannot be used transitively …
Verb e.g. come, go, fall, die, lie, sleep etc. denote actions which cannot be done to others. So these verbs cannot be used transitively.
In case of sleep one can say “mother put the baby to sleep.” but “mother is sleeping the baby” is incorrect.
Reflexive use of verbs
Look at these sentences.
The man killed himself.
The girl admired herself.
I am enjoying myself.
In these sentences, action does not pass over to an object it remains limited to the doer. The verbs in this case are said to behave reflexively not transitively.
Exercise for practice — 1
Underline the verbs and mark them as transitive or intransitive. In case of transitive verbs, name the object.
1. Time changes everything.
2. I know the minister very well.
3. You speak very clearly.
4. I never tell a lie.
5. The moon rose early today.
6. The guard blew his whistle.
1. Time changes everything. (Trans v, obj)
2. I know the minister very well. (Trans v, obj)
3. You speak very clearly. (Intrans v, no obj)
4. I never tell a lie. (Trans v, obj)
5. The moon rose early today. (Intrans v, no obj)
6. The guard blew his whistle. (Trans v, obj)
Exercise 2 …
Indicate the verb, the direct and the indirect object. In the following sentences.
1. My uncle gifted me a watch on my birthday.
2. The judge awarded punishment to the guilty.
3. My sister showed me her painting.
4. Please get her a glass of water.
5. The thief gave the policemen a slip.
Answers …. 1. My uncle gifted me a watch on my birthday. (trans v, indirect obj, direct) 2. The judge awarded punishment to the guilty (trans v, direct obj, indirect) 3. My sister showed me her painting. (trans v, indirect obj, direct) 4. Please get her a glass of water. (trans v, indirect obj, direct) 5. The thief gave the policemen a slip. (trans v, indirect obj, direct)