Transitive And Intransitive Verbs
Read the following sentences.
- Ann heard a loud noise.
- Ann ran.
In the first sentence, the verb heard has an object (a loud noise), whereas in the second sentence the verb ran has no object.
A verb which has an object is called a transitive verb. A verb which has no object is called an intransitive verb.
More examples are given below.
She sat in a corner. (Intransitive: sat has no object.)
She wrote a letter. (Transitive: verb – wrote; object – a letter)
The baby cried. (Intransitive: cried has no object.)
He won a prize. (Transitive: verb – won; object – a prize)
Most verbs can be used both as transitive and intransitive verbs.
Heat expands metals. (Transitive; object: metals)
Metals expand on heating. (Intransitive; no object)
The guard stopped the train. (Transitive; object: the train)
The train stopped. (Intransitive; no object)
Verbs with two forms
Some verbs have different forms for the transitive and the intransitive. Examples are: fall, fell; lie, lay; rise, raise; sit, set.
He fell off the stairs. (Fell – intransitive)
The woodcutter felled a huge tree. (Felled – transitive; object – huge tree)
Books lay on the table. (Lay – intransitive)
He laid the books on the table. (Laid – transitive; object – the books)
He rose to address the gathering. (Rose – intransitive)
He raised his voice. (Raised – transitive; object – his voice)
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