views updated

TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE. A transitive VERB (enjoy, make, want) is followed by an OBJECT (We enjoyed the trip; They make toys; He's making progress), or is preceded by its object, in such questions as What do you want? Such verbs are not normally found in the forms *We enjoyed, *They make/He's making, *Do you want? In this, they contrast with intransitive verbs, which do not have objects: They shouted; He's fallen down; She hurried home. Many verbs can, however, be both transitive and intransitive: He is playing (football); She hurried (the children) home; He ran (a good race). Some grammarians divide transitive verbs into: monotransitive verbs, which take one object (She ate the apple); ditransitive verbs, which take two objects (Give a dog a bad name); complex transitive verbs, which take an object and a complement (Paint the town red).