Transitive and intransitive verbs

Look at the following sentences.

Now answer the following questions.

John likes ... what? Tennis
I know ... whom? John

Here the nouns tennis, John and a book are objects of the verbs likes, know and gave respectively.

A verb which has an object is called a transitive verb. Sometimes a transitive verb may have two objects.

Consider the sentence 'They gave me a book.'

They gave ... what? A book; to whom? Me

Here a book is the direct object of gave and me is the indirect object. Note that the answer to what or whom is the direct object and the answer to to whom or for whom is the indirect object. Usually the indirect object, if it is short, comes before the direct object.

Now consider the sentence 'The old man sat in a corner.'

The old man sat ... whom? What?

The questions are absurd and meaningless. The verb sat has no object.

A verb which has no object is called an intransitive verb.

Many verbs can be used both transitively and intransitively, i.e., with an object or without an object.

Sections in this article

Transformation of sentences - I
Transformation of sentences - II
Transformation of a Simple sentence into a compound sentence
Transformation of a compound sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of a simple sentence into a complex sentence
Transformation of a complex sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of sentences containing too
Interchange of degrees of comparison
Combining two sentences using and so...that
How to combine two sentences using

See also

Adverb clauses
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
Transformation of sentences

See also

Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3

More CBSE English Grammar worksheets

Passive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense


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