Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verb

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verb

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Being bilingual is now essential as more and more people look for career prospects outside of their own country. Being fluent in English might be a plus because it is the language that is used the most in businesses and corporations throughout the world. But learning a language demand focus and attention to detail. The distinction between verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs can be confusing for new English speakers. Particularly, verbs are so difficult that even proficient speakers frequently mix up transitive and intransitive verbs.

Depending on its grammar, a verb is a word (part of speech) that typically implies an action (such as bring, read, walk, run, or learn), an event (such as happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). The fundamental form used to describe English is the infinitive, with or without the word to. Many languages inflect verbs to indicate tense, aspect, mood, and voice. A verb may agree with the identity, gender, or quantity of some of its arguments in addition to its subject or object. The present, past and future tenses of a verb are the three available tenses. The past tense indicates that the activity has already been finished, while the present tense indicates that it is being carried out. Verbs come in several types, and each kind is decided by the words that go with it and how they relate to the verb. Three fundamental types of verbs are typically distinguished based on the number of valency arguments they take: intransitive, transitional, ditransitive, and double transitive verbs. Some verbs have unique grammatical functions and consequently complements. These verbs include copular verbs (i.e., be), the word does, which is used as do-support in questioning and denial, and tense or aspect auxiliaries, such as be, have, or can. Additionally, verbs can take on non-finite forms, including gerunds, infinitives, and participles in addition to being inflected for person, number, tense, and other factors.

English grammar has both transitive and intransitive verbs, and this aspect of verbs is known as their transitivity. Many people struggle to distinguish between transitive and intransitive verbs, which causes them to grammatically incorrectly in their writing. Grammar includes transitive and intransitive verbs, and because students frequently struggle with this notion, they frequently perform worse on tests like the TOEFL. Verbs are words that take action or that describe an activity. Thus, they can be transitive, intransitive, or even linking verbs depending on the type of object they act upon.

Even if you can recognize transitive and intransitive verbs when they are used in a sentence, it could be difficult to describe how the two differ. Being able to identify them and use them effectively is essential to being able to adequately represent yourself in speech and writing. Remember that because a verb offers action, it suggests that the action gives the other parts of the sentencing authority. How the intransitive and the transitive are defined is significantly influenced by whether or not an object is receiving that empowerment. If there is an object, the verb is transitive. If there is no object, the verb is thought to be intransitive. Apply transit, the verb's root, to the sentence. The type of verb you use depends on whether the verb is giving action to an object or if there is no object for the verb to provide the action too. The action must be given expressly and directly to the object using a transitive verb. For instance, the transitive verb (mailed) in the short statement "She mailed the item" provides the object (package) with obvious direct empowerment. An indirect object can also be used by a transitive verb to denote action. The intention is shown via the indirect object. For instance, saying "She mailed Jennifer the box" empowers the object to act while simultaneously providing clarification for the reader for whom the package was intended.

Intransitive verbs don't always give their objects more power. You eat too much. The verb in this sentence describes a direct action and its surroundings even though it doesn't require moving an object. The word "eat" in this context denotes a qualitative feature of the circumstance that is "too much." It is not the word itself that decides whether a verb is transitive or intransitive; rather, it is the direct implication of an object or condition. Often, you can use verbs that work in both circumstances. Since there is nothing to make it stronger, I frequently sing, making it an intransitive verb. I sing pop songs is a transitive statement since it has an empowered object.

Transitive Verb vs. Intransitive Verb

A transitive verb is an action verb with an object (direct or indirect), whereas an intransitive verb is an action verb without an object. This is the primary distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs. A transitive verb requires an object for the statement to make sense. Without an object, an intransitive verb makes perfect sense.

Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verb in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Transitive Verb Intransitive Verb
Meaning It is a verb that describes an ongoing action that has an accompanying object. It is a verb that describes a happening but unaccompanied by an object.
Object An indirect or direct object is then presented after it. No object follows is no object that follows it.
The question that the Object Responds to Where is clarified by the object that follows the verb? and What? In place of an object, the sentence just contains a word or phrase that responds to the question. How?
Verb's Function The object is given motion by the verb in the sentence. The "state of" is described in a phrase with an intransitive verb.
Passive voice Passive voice can be added to a statement that contains a transitive verb. Passive voice cannot be used in sentences with intransitive verbs.

What is Transitive Verb?

The word transitive derives from the Latin trans, which means to pass across. It must, in other words, exert its effect over an entity known as an object, such as a thing or a person. An active or passive verb is a transitive verb. Mono-transitive verbs, di-transitive verbs, and tri-transitive verbs are the terms used to describe transitive verbs with one, two, or three objects, respectively.

Although the term "transitive" seems somewhat complicated, it is quite simple to recognize a transitive verb. A direct object, or the thing or person who receives the action of the verb, is always used after a transitive verb to express action. A verb that indicates an action that occurs and is followed by an object, without which the phrase would be meaningless, is referred to as a transitive verb. Passive phrases are typically constructed using transitive verbs. "Sonya fried the chicken," as an example. The word "fries" acts as the verb in this sentence, and the word "chicken" acts as the object. Without the object, the statement would have been lacking in meaning.

Because the verb that represents an action initiates the motion of the object that follows it, a verb is said to be transitive. In this case, the sentence form is subject + verb + object (direct or indirect). "Vicky broke the plates," for instance. Vickey is the subject, broke is the transitive verb, and plates are the object in this sentence. The sentence's object could be a pronoun, a noun, or a noun phrase. Both direct and indirect objects are possible. Since a direct object does not describe the subject, it is not a subject complement. As an illustration, "Ramya sells flowers." The word "flowers" does not describe the subject "Ramya" in this phrase. When a phrase contains a transitive verb, the subject delivers the action to the object. The verb's accompanying object responds to the query Whom? and What? Using the example, "Malika left the keys." This "key" object provides the answer to the query, "What did Malika leave?" "Dino took his pal along," for instance. The "friend" object provides an answer to the query, "Who did Dino take?"

Unlike an intransitive verb, a transitive verb admits one or more objects. It is characterized by the influence it has on the items. A transitive verb has two qualities. An action verb such as "kick," "paint," "write," or "eat" is an example of a transitive verb. Second, a transitive verb needs a direct object that can specify what or who is being affected by the action of the verb. A transitive verb utilizes an object that will be affected by the action and is challenging to identify because it also exerts action on the object. The transition can also occur to an indirect object; it does not necessarily happen to a direct object. as in: She gave her money. This verb has an indirect object and is transitive. Despite the action moving from the verb to an indirect object, the statement still makes sense.

What is Intransitive Verb?

An intransitive verb can act without needing to be given an object. This implies that it represents conduct that has no bearing on anything or anyone. It's not required to use direct objects. Only the subject is involved with intransitive verbs. It is an action verb with an ambiguous objective. The sentence can be finished with intransitive verbs if it lacks an object. The precise opposite of a transitive noun is an intransitive verb. It is possible to identify verbs that are followed by neither who nor what. An intransitive verb isn’t transitive. In 1612, the word "intransitive" first appeared in print.

A verb that represents an action that occurs but is not accompanied by an object is said to be intransitive. Even without it, the sentence makes perfect sense on its own. Intransitive verbs do not necessarily make for complex sentences. "Ronita cried," for instance. The word "cried" is used as the verb in this sentence without any object. Without needing an object, the sentence is clear and conveys the intended meaning. A verb that expresses activity without the need of an object is known as an intransitive verb. As a result, there is no object in a sentence that is the recipient of the action. The intransitive verb's sentence structure is subject + verb + word or phrase (optional).

In phrases containing intransitive words, the word "how" or a statement answering it may sometimes come after the verb. For example, "Asher slept soundly." The phrase "peacefully" comes after the verb "slept," which is used in this sentence. How did Asher sleep? is answered in this sentence by the word "peacefully." A noun cannot appear after an intransitive verb since the noun would then become the sentence's object. However, an adverb or a prepositional phrase can. On the other hand, the prepositional phrase or adverb will simply support the concept that the verb is expressing. Linking verbs and action verbs are the two types of intransitive verbs. The former does not express an action, whereas the latter does. It is common to use linking verbs like "is," "was," "am," "are," "were," etc. The kitties are cute. The verb "is" is a connecting verb in this sentence since it does not show action and just connects the noun "cats" with the adjective "adorable." Shilpa chuckled. 'Laughed' is an action verb that expresses activity.

Verbs with an intransitive tense do not require a direct object. For instance, the verb "to stand" does not imply that the speaker is standing alongside another person. When describing actions that do not include other people or things, intransitive verbs are frequently utilized. For instance, the word "to swim" describes a self-performed action. Because they lack a direct object, intransitive verbs do not need a subject. They can convey their meaning without an object. Intransitive verbs can be summed up as verbs that can be finished without any further action being taken.

Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verb In Points

  • An intransitive verb need not be followed by an object, whereas a transitive verb must have an object (direct or indirect).
  • The following object is set in motion by the transitive verb. An intransitive term, on the other hand, indicates activity without the use of an object.
  • The phrase is formatted as follows: "Siri" is the subject, "mailed" is the verb, and "the certificate" is the object (direct or indirect). When an intransitive word is used, the sentence is formatted as (Siri) subject + (cried) (verb).
  • Whereas, the verb's companion object provides an answer to the query Where? What else? The "state of" is described in a sentence using an intransitive verb.
  • The object is moved by the transitive verb. An intransitive word, on the other hand, uses no object at all.


Although there are two sorts of verbs—transitive and intransitive—they are not used in the same ways. In the former, a verb must be followed by an object for the sentence to convey its meaning; in the latter, merely a word or phrase that supports the activity conveyed by the verb is used as an object. It is important to understand the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs take direct objects as their subject. Let me give you an example: a book. A book is a direct object. Intransitive verbs don't have a direct object. As an illustration, I've read a book. The book is not the direct object. Transitive verbs must have a direct object to function. If a direct object is absent, the verb has no meaning. For instance, I sing a song by myself doesn't function since the direct object vocalist cannot be connected to the verb sing.

The two primary categories of English verbs can be separated based on their usage in a sentence. These two verbs are both transitive. Transitive verbs in a sentence take one or more objects. They must convey their behaviour to the subject of the sentence, which may be a person or thing. In contrast, no objects can be used with intransitive verbs in a phrase. It is completely at odds with transitive verbs as a result.



Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verb." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 10 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-transitive-and-intransitive-verb-922>.

Edited by

Share this article