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Transitive, Intransitive, and Linking Verbs :: An Introduction

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

Part 3: Intransitive Verbs

This exercise was written by Erin Billy.

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Intransitive Verbs

My father cried.

We can see in this sentence that there is no word after cried. In other words, there is no object for the word, so there is no noun to receive the action of the word. Think about it -- what could we say? My father cried something. Is there a noun that we could use after cried? We could probably think of one or two nouns, like tears, or even, good-bye, but normally, we do not use the verb cry with an object.

In this case we say that this verb is intransitive because it does not have an object after it.

(On a side note, you might be thinking at this point that some words can be transitive or intransitive, depending on the meaning, but we'll talk about this in a minute.)

Here are some more examples of intransitive verbs:

    • I slept.
    • I coughed.
    • The glass fell.
    • My cat ran.
    • The sun rose.

We should notice that in each case, the subject is doing the action of the verb and nothing receives the action, so there are no nouns following the verbs.

Okay, let's look at the last type of verb.

Learn about Linking Verbs...

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