Transitive And Intransitive Verbs

This page was first created on the 29th of March, 2014 and last updated on the 11th of March, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

Categories: Parts of Speech, Verbs, English Grammar

Sometimes, when you’re looking up a word in the English dictionary, you may see the following abbreviation next to it: v-t OR v-i (or something similar).

V stands for verb. T stands for transitive. I stands for intransitive. The v signifies that the word is a verb, and that’s easy to understand. But what does transitive and intransitive mean? Look at the sentence below.

The boy threw the ball over the fence.

What is the verb in the sentence? Threw. What did the boy throw? The ball. The action that the boy performed was received directly by something. What received the action? The ball. When something or someone receives the action of a verb, we say that the verb is transitive. Note: In Latin: trans=across.

So what then is an intransitive verb? An intransitive verb is when an action is performed but nothing receives the action directly. Here are some examples:

The baby cried all night.

The dog barks.

The sun is shining.

The wind blows hard.

More on the verb:


Article Location: >> English >> English Language >> Grammar >> Parts of Speech >> The Verb

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