What are Transitive verbs
Although the term transitive sounds complex, transitive and intransitive verbs are not that difficult to identify. There are two major characteristics of a transitive verb. A transitive verb is an action verb, and it takes an object. These are the main features of transitive verbs. By taking these features into consideration, we can define transitive verbs as action verbs that require an object in order to convey a complete meaning. Most of the verbs in the language are transitive.
As we all know, subject, verb, and object are three main components of a sentence. However, not all sentences need an object to convey a meaning. For example,
She laughed loudly.
she = subject, laughed = verb, loudly = adverb
The above sentence doesn’t need an object to convey a complete meaning. Most of the verbs in the language require an object to express a complete idea. Such verbs fall into the category of transitive verbs. The verbs that do not take an object fall into the category of intransitive verbs.
If you have trouble finding the direct object of a transitive verb, all you have to do is to ask “what?” or “whom.” For example,
I love my mother. (Whom do you love? → My mother)
I love chocolate cake. (What do you love?→ Chocolate cake)
Examples of Transitive verbs
Here are some more examples of transitive verbs. The verb is underlined, and its object is italicized.
He wrote a letter to the minister.
Please remove your hat and shoes before entering the temple.
The little boy kicked me under the table.
They canceled the concert due to unavoidable circumstances.
She is eating cheese and ham sandwiches.
Your mother left some money on the table.
The old lady moved the heavy cupboard without anyone’s help.
Nothing can erase the memory of my miserable childhood.
You’ll also notice that some sentences can have two objects. They are the direct object and the indirect object.
He sent me a letter.
She gave me a car for my birthday.
Since transitive verbs take objects, they can easily be turned into passive voice as well. This is not possible with intransitive verbs.
My mother baked a chocolate cake.
A chocolate cake was baked by my mother.
It is also important to note that some verbs can act as transitive and intransitive verbs depending on the context.
Liana walked her dog.
Walk is a transitive verb in the above sentence because it takes the object dog.
Jamie walked to school.
Walk is an intransitive verb in the above sentence because it doesn’t need an object to convey a complete meaning.
Transitive verbs – Summary
- Transitive verbs are action verbs that take objects.
- Intransitive verbs are opposite of transitive verbs.
- Some verbs can be used as both transitive and intransitive verbs.
- You can find the object of the transitive verbs by asking the question ‘what’.
- Transitive verbs can be turned into passive voice easily.