Superwava's Blog

Transitive Verb

Posted on: November 18, 2011

A transitive verb is an action or linking verb that has a complement.

In syntax, a transitive verb is a verb that requires both a direct subject and one or more objects. The term is used to contrast intransitive verbs, which do not have objects.

Dictionaries consider all linking verbs transitive. An action verb which is transitive has a direct object. The action is being done to something or someone.

In most dictionaries the abbreviation v.t. means “verb, transitive.”

Most verbs can be both intransitive and transitive depending on the sentence.

A transitive verb has two characteristics. First, it is an action verb, expressing a doable activity like kick, want, paint, write, eat, clean, etc. Second, it must have a direct object, something or someone who receives the action of the verb.

Here are some examples of transitive verbs:

1. Sylvia kicked Juan under the table.

Kicked = transitive verb; Juan = direct object.

2. Joshua wants a smile from Leodine, his beautiful but serious lab partner.

Wants = transitive verb; smile = direct object.

3. Cornelius painted the canvas in Jackson Pollock fashion, dribbling bright colors from a heavily soaked brush.

Painted = transitive verb; canvas = direct object.

4. Alicia wrote a love poem on a restaurant napkin.

Wrote = transitive verb; poem = direct object.

5. Antonio eats lima beans drenched in brown gravy.

Eats = transitive verb; lima beans = direct object.

6. Pinky the poodle cleans the dirty supper dishes with his tongue before Grandma loads the “prewashed” items into dishwasher.

Cleans, loads = transitive verbs; dishes, items = direct objects.

7. You pushed the bag. (“bag” is the direct object of “pushed”)

8. John traded his apple and Jane’s orange with her. (“his apple and Jane’s orange” is the object of “traded”, but “with her” is not)

9. He runs a large corporation.
(The verb runs has a direct object, corporation.)

10. I tried on the shoes. (“shoes” is an object of “tried on”)

Important note: When no direct object follows an action verb, the verb is intransitive.



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