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

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

Discuss What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? within the TOEFL forums, part of the International MBA category; What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? Introduction First of all, if you're scared of the terms transitive, ...

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Smile What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? - September 29th, 2008

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

Introduction

First of all, if you're scared of the terms transitive, intransitive, and linking, don't worry. They're really not as bad as they sound. I remember hearing these words in junior high school and high school and not really understanding what they mean.

But some of these concepts are important for GMAT sentence correction and for the TOEFL.

First, look at some examples, and see if you can tell the difference already:

My sister broke the glass. (broke is a transitive verb)

My father cried. (cried is an intransitive verb)

My sister is a doctor. (is is a linking verb)

Can you figure out the difference between the verbs (broke, cried, is) in the above sentences? I'm not talking about the meaning, I'm talking about the grammar. In other words, how are these three verbs grammatically different?

We should notice that the first verb, broke, has another word after it (glass). The second verb, cried, does not have another word after it. So in one sense, we can say that all verbs in English can be divided into two groups -- those that must have a word (or words) after them and words that do not have to have any word after them.

The third verb, is, has a noun (doctor) after it, but in its grammatical function, it's different from the noun (glass) that comes after broke. Think about it -- in the first sentence, we are saying that my sister broke something, and that thing was the glass. So, glass is receiving the action of broke. In the third sentence, we are saying that my sister is a doctor -- doctor is not receving any action. In fact, doctor and sister are the same thing -- we are actually identifying sister with the word doctor. And the verb is that is between sister and doctor serves to connect the two nouns (sister and doctor). Verbs that function in this way are called linking verbs.

These rules are a bit simplified right now, but we will learn more later. For now, let's just focus on the simple ideas. And if all this stuff already makes sense to you, you're in good shape.

Let's look at the three different kinds of verbs in a bit more detail.


source:Transitive, Intransitive, and Linking Verbs :: An Introduction


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Smile Re: What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? - September 29th, 2008

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.


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Smile Re: What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? - September 29th, 2008

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:

o I slept.
o I coughed.
o The glass fell.
o My cat ran.
o 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.


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Re: What are Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Linking Verbs? - February 16th, 2009

i studied them during my school days... sorry i dont remember them now.
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