Using intransitive verbs as transitive verbs
Some intransitive verbs become transitive when a preposition is added to them.
Study the examples given below.
- He stared at me.
The verb ‘stared’ is intransitive, but when the preposition ‘at’ is added to it, it becomes transitive and takes the object ‘me’.
- The boys laughed at the beggar.
Although ‘laugh’ is an intransitive verb, we can make it transitive by adding the preposition ‘at’.
- Please look into the matter carefully. (Look is intransitive but ‘look into’ is transitive.)
- We have talked about this problem many times. (The verb ‘talked’ is intransitive but ‘talked about’ is transitive.)
Sometimes a preposition is prefixed to the verb to make it transitive.
- The boxer overcame his opponent. (The verb ‘came’ is intransitive but ‘overcame’ is transitive.)
- The fort withstood the attack.
- The river overflows its banks.
Some intransitive verbs are followed by a phrase similar in meaning to the verb. This phrase is called the cognate object.
- He laughed a hearty laugh. (Intransitive verb – laughed; cognate object – a hearty laugh)
- I dreamt a strange dream. (Intransitive verb – dreamt; cognate object – a strange dream)
- Aurangzeb lived the life of an ascetic. (Intransitive verb – live; cognate object – the life)
- She sang a sweet song. (Intransitive verb – sang; cognate verb – a sweet song)
- She sighed a deep sigh. (Intransitive verb – sighed; cognate verb – a deep sigh)