Difference between transitive and intransitive verbs
Transitive verbs vs intransitive verbs:
The English language is made up of different components such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and such components which makes the language learning process a rather complex procedure of learning. Each and every one of these categories are once again divided in to subsections, which renders the subject more confusing to all. Verbs in the English language fall under this complex category made up of different subsections consequently. While there are other categories according to which verbs are categorized, transitive and intransitive verbs are two of such categories which are commonly emphasized in the English language.
What are transitive verbs?
A transitive verb is the sort of verb which usually has a direct subject and an object both. This indicates that the verb transmits action to an object. Observe the following sentences.
He ate the mango.
I made the cake.
In the above first sentence, ‘the mango’ is the direct object of ‘ate’ while ‘he’ and ‘I ‘are the subjects. In the second sentence, ‘cake’ is the direct object of ‘made’. The words ‘mango’ and ‘cake’ receive the action of the verb, thus making it the direct object.
Transitive verbs are also known to have an indirect object as well at times which is known to precede the direct object. The indirect object is an indication of to or for whom the action described in the verb is intended. The words ‘to’ and ‘for’ are not seen to be used in such sentences. Observe the following examples.
Peter gave Robert the cake.
She sent him the letter.
In the above examples, the direct object (cake, letter) receives the action while the indirect object (Robert, him) is the one to whom the direct object is linked with. There are many types of transitive verbs. Verbs that require only one object is called monotransitive, verbs that require two objects is called ditratransitive and verbs that take three objects are called tritransitive.
What are intransitive verbs?
Intransitive verbs do not carry an object. Therefore, there is no object to receive the action indicated by the verb. Observe the following examples.
The baby cried.
I slept soundly.
He complained often.
In the above examples, there are no objects which are subjected to the actions indicated by the verbs. For example, the baby cried but the verb ‘cry’ is not received by anybody. I slept soundly but there is no object which receives the verb ‘sleep’. He complained often but there is no object which receives the action implied by the verb ‘complain’.
What is the difference between intransitive verbs and transitive verbs?
The main difference between an intransitive verb and a transitive verb is the fact that while a transitive verb carries an object, an intransitive verb does not carry an object. This is indicative of the fact that while transitive verbs offer empowerment to an object, an intransitive verb offers no such empowerment to anything basically due to the fact that there is no object at which the action is aimed. Take the following sentences for example.
Mary mailed a letter.
The above is an example of a transitive verb. Mary is the subject while ‘mail’ is the verb. The verb ‘mail’ empowers the noun ‘letter’ which is the object of the sentence. Now let us look at the following sentence.
My brother cried.
The above sentence is an example for an intransitive verb. The subject is ‘my brother’ and the verb is ‘cry’. However, there is no object which is empowered by the verb ‘cry’. Therefore, while in transitive verbs, the object is empowered by the verb, in intransitive verbs, there is no object to be empowered by the verb, thereby indicating that intransitive verbs do not offer any sort of empowerment to a sentence. Some examples for intransitive verbs can be listed as ‘to die’, ‘to sleep’, ‘to complain’ and etc.
However, there is another category of verbs that are called ambitransitive. It is thus called because they are capable of being used as both transitive and intransitive verbs. We can take the verb ‘to eat’ as an example.
She eats a mango.
Observe the examples given above. In the first sentence, the verb ‘eat’ is used as an intransitive verb. There are no nouns given after the verb and therefore, there is no sense of empowerment offered by the verb. In the second sentence however, the verb ‘eat’ lends empowerment to its object ‘mango’. The action implied by the verb is directed towards the object of the sentence, thus making it a transitive verb.
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