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VERBS > Active Voice > Passive Voice > Conjugation > Defective Strong Verbs > Mood > Imperative Mood > Indicative Mood > Subjunctive Mood > BE (usage) > CHOOSE (usage) > Person/Number (usage) > SHALL/WILL (usage) > Strong Verbs > Tense > Transitive > Troublesome Verbs > Weak Verbs

VERBS CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO MEANING AND USE.

TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS.

The nature of the transitive verb.

202. By examining a few verbs, it may be seen that not all verbs are used alike. All do not express action: some denote state or condition. Of those expressing action, all do not express it in the same way; for example, in this sentence from Bulwer,—"The proud lone took care to conceal the anguish she endured; and the pride of woman has an hypocrisy which can deceive the most penetrating, and shame the most astute,"—every one of the verbs in Italics has one or more words before or after it, representing something which it influences or controls. In the first, lone took what? answer, care; endured what? anguish; etc. Each influences some object, which may be a person, or a material thing, or an idea. Has takes the object hypocrisy; can deceive has an object, the most penetrating; (can) shame also has an object, the most astute.

In each case, the word following, or the object, is necessary to the completion of the action expressed in the verb.

All these are called transitive verbs, from the Latin transire, which means to go over. Hence

Definition.

203. A transitive verb is one which must have an object to complete its meaning, and to receive the action expressed.

The nature of intransitive verbs.

204. Examine the verbs in the following paragraph:—

She sprang up at that thought, and, taking the staff which always guided her steps, she hastened to the neighboring shrine of Isis. Till she had been under the guardianship of the kindly Greek, that staff had sufficed to conduct the poor blind girl from corner to corner of Pompeii.—Bulwer

In this there are some verbs unlike those that have been examined. Sprang, or sprang up, expresses action, but it is complete in itself, does not affect an object; hastened is similar in use; had been expresses condition, or state of being, and can have no object; had sufficed means had been sufficient, and from its meaning cannot have an object.

Such verbs are called intransitive (not crossing over). Hence

Definition.

205. An intransitive verb is one which is complete in itself, or which is completed by other words without requiring an object.

Study use, not form, of verbs here.

206. Many verbs can be either transitive or intransitive, according to their use in the sentence, It can be said, "The boy walked for two hours," or "The boy walked the horse;" "The rains swelled the river," or "The river swelled because of the rain;" etc.

The important thing to observe is, many words must be distinguished as transitive or intransitive by use, not by form.

207. Also verbs are sometimes made transitive by prepositions. These may be (1) compounded with the verb; or (2) may follow the verb, and be used as an integral part of it: for example,—

Asking her pardon for having withstood her.—Scott.

I can wish myself no worse than to have it all to undergo a second time.—Kingsley.

A weary gloom in the deep caverns of his eyes, as of a child that has outgrown its playthings.—Hawthorne.

It is amusing to walk up and down the pier and look at the countenances passing by.—B. Taylor.

He was at once so out of the way, and yet so sensible, that I loved, laughed at, and pitied him.—Goldsmith.

My little nurse told me the whole matter, which she had cunningly picked out from her mother.—Swift.

Exercises.

(a) Pick out the transitive and the intransitive verbs in the following:—

1. The women and children collected together at a distance.

2. The path to the fountain led through a grassy savanna.

3. As soon as I recovered my senses and strength from so sudden a surprise, I started back out of his reach where I stood to view him; he lay quiet whilst I surveyed him.

4. At first they lay a floor of this kind of tempered mortar on the ground, upon which they deposit a layer of eggs.

5. I ran my bark on shore at one of their landing places, which was a sort of neck or little dock, from which ascended a sloping path or road up to the edge of the meadow, where their nests were; most of them were deserted, and the great thick whitish eggshells lay broken and scattered upon the ground.

6. Accordingly I got everything on board, charged my gun, set sail cautiously, along shore. As I passed by Battle Lagoon, I began to tremble.

7. I seized my gun, and went cautiously from my camp: when I had advanced about thirty yards, I halted behind a coppice of orange trees, and soon perceived two very large bears, which had made their way through the water and had landed in the grove, and were advancing toward me.

(b) Bring up sentences with five transitive and five intransitive verbs.


VERBS > Active Voice > Passive Voice > Conjugation > Defective Strong Verbs > Mood > Imperative Mood > Indicative Mood > Subjunctive Mood > BE (usage) > CHOOSE (usage) > Person/Number (usage) > SHALL/WILL (usage) > Strong Verbs > Tense > Transitive > Troublesome Verbs > Weak Verbs