Exercise 5

Exercise 5 – Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Grammar Exercise 5 helps you determine whether verbs are transitive or intransitive.

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Transitive verbs must take a grammatical object. In other words, transitive verbs convey an action from one person or thing to another.




Transitive verb: He loved his wife and children so much.

The action of loving is conveyed to the man’s wife and children, so the verb is transitive.

Intransitive verbs do not take an object. The grammatical subject of the sentence performs an action which is not conveyed to another person or thing.

I stayed inside yesterday because the weather was so inclement.

The grammatical subject of the sentence is “I.” The verb is “stayed,” which is intransitive because the action is not conveyed to another person or thing.

Please notice that the word “yesterday” functions as an adverbial in the previous sentence.

Look at the following examples. Which one is transitive and which one is intransitive?

Sentence 1: He hit the other car because he wasn’t paying attention to the traffic.

Sentence 2: I slept all day long because I was exhausted from so working hard the previous day.

The verb in sentence 1 (“hit”) is transitive. The other car receives the action of being hit.

The verb in sentence 2 (“slept”) is intransitive. The phrase “all day long” is an adverbial phrase, not a grammatical object.



Exercise 5

Now study the sentences below and determine whether they contain transitive or intransitive verbs.

(1) Our team went to the league championship last year.

(2) She shut down the computer on her way out of the office.

(3) They sent letters to all of their customers about the new product.

(4) Some students complain about the amount of homework on the course.

(5) I ate my breakfast in such a hurry this morning.

(6) I watched the DVD from the library last night.

(7) The referee blew the whistle for the penalty.

(8) She picked her favourite flowers from the garden.

(9) My family took a trip to Disneyland two years ago.

(10) I eat far too much sometimes.

Answers

(1) The verb is went. It is intransitive.

(2) The verb is shut down. It is a transitive phrasal verb.

(3) The verb is sent. It is transitive. The grammatical object is letters.

(4) The verb is complain. It is intransitive and is usually used with the preposition “about.”

(5) The verb is ate. It is transitive. The grammatical object is my breakfast.

(6) The verb is watched. It is transitive. The grammatical object is the DVD.

(7) The verb is blew. It is transitive. The grammatical object is the whistle.

(8) The verb is picked. It is transitive. The grammatical object is her favourite flowers.

(9) The verb is took. It is transitive. The grammatical object is a trip.

(10) The verb is eat. It is intransitive in this case since it is describing a habit.

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