Daily Grammar

Lesson 125

Parts of the Sentence - Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs are verbs that have subjects or objects that receive the action.  They are either active voice or passive voice.

Transitive active verbs are the verbs in sentences with a direct object. The subjectThe subject tells who or what about the verb.  Source: Lesson 91 is the doer and the direct objectA direct object receives the action performed by the subject.  The verb used with a direct object is always an action verb.  Another way of saying it is that the subject does the verb to the direct object.
Source: Lesson 106
is the receiver of the action.

The boy kicked the ball.

Transitive passive verbs have the subject receiving the action with the doer in a prepositional phraseA prepositional phrase starts with a preposition, ends with an object, and may have modifiers between the proposition and object of the preposition.
Source: Lesson 71
or omitted in the sentence. The verb in the transitive passive voice always has is, am, are, was, were, be, being, or been as an auxiliary or helping verbHelping verbs are any verbs in a verb phrase that are not the main verb.
Source: Lesson 4

The ball was kicked by the boy.
The ball was kicked hard.


Intransitive verbs have no receiver of the action. They are classified as intransitive complete or intransitive linking.

Intransitive linking are sentences with a predicate nominativeA predicate nominative or predicate noun completes a linking verb and renames the subject. It is a complement or completer because it completes the verb. Predicate nominatives complete only linking verbs.
Source: Lesson 101
or predicate adjectiveAn adjective that comes after a linking verb and modifies the subject.
Source: Lesson 155

The girl is Mary. (predicate nominative)
The girl is cute. (predicate adjective)

Intransitive complete are all the verbs that don't fit one of the other kinds of transitive or intransitive verbs.

The bell rang suddenly. (no receiver of the action)
The girl knitted all evening. (no receiver of the action)
They were here. (no action or predicate nominative or predicate adjective)


Instructions: Tell whether the verbs in the following sentences are transitive active, transitive passive, intransitive linking, or intransitive complete.

1. Father was always losing his keys.

Father was always losing his keys.
 -- transitive active (keys is a direct object)

2. The dinner was hastily prepared.

The dinner was hastily prepared.
 -- transitive passive (passive voice, dinner receives the action, doer omitted)

3. The strange face was seen in the window.

The strange face was seen in the window.
 -- transitive passive (passive voice, face receives the action, doer omitted)

4. The cold man was going down the road.

The cold man was going down the road.
 -- intransitive complete (no receiver of the action)

5. My wife is a beautiful woman.

My wife is a beautiful woman.
 -- intransitive linking (woman is a predicate nominative)

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