Difference Between Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Main Difference – Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs and intransitive verbs are the two main types of verbs, and this classification helps us to use grammar properly. The main difference between Transitive and Intransitive Verbs is that a transitive verb requires an object while an intransitive object does not require an object. In this article, we are going to discuss this difference in depth.

What is a Transitive Verb

As we all know, subject, verb, and object are the basic elements in a sentence. However, some verbs do not require an object while some verbs require an object in order to give a complete idea. Observe the sentences below carefully.

“I ate rice.”

“She killed her husband.”

“I told the truth.”

“She moved the sofa.”

In the first sentence, ‘I’ is the subject, ‘ate’ is the verb, and ‘rice’ is the object. Similarly, the next two examples also contain subjects, verbs, and objects. So all three sentences can be identified as transitive verbs.

So we can come to the conclusion that,  a  transitive verb is an action verb that has an object to receive the action.

Note that some sentences can have two objects: direct object and indirect object. Direct object is the recipient of the verb while indirect object is the noun or pronoun that is affected by the action. Keep in mind that an indirect object cannot exist without a direct object.

“He gave it to me”   (it is the direct object and me is the indirect object.)

“I told my teacher a lie” (teacher is the indirect object, lie is the direct object.)

difference between Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

The little girl is eating water melon.

What is an Intransitive Verb

An intransitive verb is an action verb that does not require an object. Look at the examples below to make this point clear.

“It rained.”

“Dogs barked.”

“She cried loudly.”

“He arrived at the office late.”

As the action in these sentences concerns only one person or thing that performs the action (subject) and the action (verb), only subject and verb are used in these sentences. Many intransitive verbs describe physical behavior or movement.

It is important to remember that many verbs in English are used both transitively and intransitively. The object is sometimes not mentioned when it is obvious what you are talking about.

  1. “She is singing.”
  2. “She is singing a song.”
  1. “He ran fast.”
  2. “He ran his first marathon at the age of 10.”
    Transitive vs Intransitive Verbs

    The dog barked.

What is the difference Between Transitive and Intransitive  Verbs


Transitive Verb: It is  an action verb that has an object to receive the action.

Intransitive Verb: It is an action verb that does not require an object.

Passive Voice:

Transitive Verb: A sentence with a transitive verb can be turned in to passive voice.

Intransitive Verb: A sentence with an intransitive verb can not be turned in to passive voice.

Followed by:

Transitive Verb: They can be followed by both direct and/or indirect objects.

Intransitive VerbThey can be followed by  a compliment.

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