Verbs can be tricky things, and the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs often confounds even the best grammar students and writers. An intransitive verb is simple defined as a verb that does not take a direct object. There’s no word in the sentence that tells who or what received the action. While there may be a word or phrase following an intransitive verb, such words and phrases typically answer the question “how”. Most intransitive verbs are complete without a direct object. Intransitive Verb at Work
Here’s an example of an intransitive verb in a sentence:
She grew up.
In the sentence above, “she” is the subject, and “grew up” is the intransitive verb. It rained.
The sentence above is complete. The subject “it” is followed by the intransitive verb “rained.” Intransitive Verbs and Prepositions
Intransitive verbs can be followed by a prepositional phrase or an adverb to add to the thought being expressed, but they can never be followed by a noun, which would act as the object of the sentence. Examples of intransitive verbs followed by prepositions include: She grew up on a ranch.
She grew up to be a farmer.
“On a ranch” is a prepositional phrase, not a direct object. The word “on” is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase. The same can be said of “to be a farmer”, which is yet another phrase. It rained across the state.
“Across the state” is a prepositional phrase adding to the sentence’s meaning by answering the question “where did it rain?”. Kinds of Intransitive Verbs
There are two kinds of intransitive verbs: linking verbs and action verbs. The sentences above use action verbs. Linking Verbs
Linking verbs do not express action. Like their name suggests, they simply link the sentence subject to the predicate. The most common linking verbs are all versions of the verb to be: am, is, are, was, were, has been, will be, etc.) Here are several examples of linking verbs that are intransitive verbs,...
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