What is the Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Understanding what is the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs will help you recognise the function of verbs.


Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

1. Transitive Verbs

A transitive verb has a direct object.

To put it another way, a transitive verb has a doer (subject) and a receiver (direct object) of the action.

For example: Rachel threw the ball.

Notice that the action denoted by the transitive verb is carried across from the doer to its receiver.


2. Intransitive Verbs

An intransitive verb does not have a direct object.

To put it another way, an intransitive verb has no receiver of the action. Therefore, the action stays with the subject.

For example: The bird flew over the fence.

Notice that the action of the verb stays with the subject of the sentence.


What is the Diference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Put simply, transitive verbs have a direct object and intransitive verbs do not have a direct object. Furthermore, transitive verbs carry the action from subject to direct object; whereas, the action of intransitive verbs stays with the subject.

Remember, linking verbs are always intransitive.




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