Transitive Verbs

What Are Transitive Verbs? (with Examples)

A transitive verb is a verb that can take a direct object. In other words, it is done to someone or something. Most verbs are transitive.

A transitive verb contrasts with an intransitive verb. An intransitive verb cannot have a direct object.

Here is an example of a transitive verb: Here is an example of an intransitive verb:

  • He snores.
  • (Snores (from to snore) is an intransitive verb. It has no direct object. You cannot snore something.)

    Finding the Direct Object

    Remember, to find a direct object of a transitive verb, first find the verb and then ask "what?" (or "whom?").
    (Note: If this question seems nonsensical, then you're probably dealing with an intransitive verb.)

    In each example below, the transitive verb is shaded and direct object is in bold. Direct objects aren't usually single words. They are usually noun phrases. For example: Compare the examples above to this intransitive verb:

    Examples of Transitive Verbs

    Here are some more examples of transitive verbs. Remember, to prove they are transitive, find the verb (shaded) and then ask "what?" or "whom?" to find the direct object (in bold). Transitive verbs are very common. They even appear inside the direct objects of other transitive verbs. Look at these examples:

    Examples of Verbs Which Are Transitive and Intransitive

    Some verbs can be transitive and intransitive. For example: However, compare it to this: Here is another example:

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    See Also

    What are direct objects? What are intransitive verbs? Glossary of grammatical terms