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Transitive, Intransitive, and Linking Verbs :: An Introduction

What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs?

Part 2

This exercise was written by Erin Billy.

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Transitive Verbs

My sister broke the window.

In the first sentence, the word that comes after the verb, window, is the object of the verb broke. We say that window is the object because it receives the action of the verb. All objects of verbs receive the action of the verb.

It might help to understand this concept a little better if you understand that the root of the word transitive is trans, which means across or through -- some sort of action passes through the verb to the object.

Here are some more examples of transitive verbs with their objects:

  • I sold some books.
  • I took the bus.
  • I bought a radio.
  • I understood her question.
  • I wrote a letter.

When a verb has an object that receives the action of the verb, we say that the verb is transitive. When I lived in Rio de Janeiro, my friends there told me that their teachers had taught them in Portuguese that "He who sells, sells something." I thought that was a pretty good way to explain transitive verbs.

Let's look at another kind of verb now, verbs that do not have an object.

Learn about intransitive verbs ...

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