Intransitive Verbs – Examples

Verbs are a basic part of speech that is core to English grammar. They are very commonly used and are the most basic units that help one express their thoughts completely.

Verbs are basically words that indicate one’s actions. They are the set of words that express an activity taken or done by someone or something. Verbs can further be divided into various types. One such common type is called an intransitive verb. These are action verbs that are similar to transitive verbs. However, they are slightly different.

Let us get into a detailed discussion to understand transitive verbs better with proper examples.

What are intransitive verbs?

An intransitive verb is a verb that expresses an action taken by a subject, but it does not take any direct object. In other words we can say that it indicates an action without the presence of any object being directly acted upon or receiving the action in the sentence.

In simple words, intransitive verbs are verbs that express actions without confirming who or what received that particular action. There is no direct object present. However, intransitive verbs can sometimes have a direct object. But that is not necessary for an intransitive verb to make sense. So, intransitive verbs do not precede direct objects.

Let us understand with some basic examples.

I saw a girl writing in the office today.

Here, we can see that the subject girl is performing an action, which is “writing”. Now, what she is writing or what she is working on is not mentioned. Therefore, it is an intransitive verb.

I heard Mani shifted last weekend.

Here, Mani has shifted. “Shifted” being a verb does not take on a direct object. So, “Shifted” – “what or where” is unknown. Therefore, it is an intransitive verb.

Some more examples are;

  • I jumped continuously.
  • The tiger disappeared.
  • His mother ran.

Difference between Intransitive verb and Transitive verb

Transitive verbs are another common type of action verbs similar to intransitive verbs. However, they are not the same. They have a minor difference.

Transitive verbs are those verbs that express action followed by a direct object. On the other hand, intransitive verbs are action verbs that are not followed by a direct object.

Let us understand with some examples.

  • I borrowed a book from Sita in the class.
  • She jumped on the table, and it broke.
  • My mother bought cakes for my birthday.

Here, in the above examples, we see the verbs like “borrowed, jumped and bought” that take on direct objects like “a book, table, and cakes” . “Who is doing? and what he/she is doing?” are clearly evident. So, the verbs “borrowed, jumped and bought” in the above sentences are transitive verbs.

Now look at the following examples:

  • She ran.
  • I saw her running.
  • The teacher lied.
  • I saw her write today morning.

These are intransitive verbs. The object is not present. However, if sometimes phrases like “quickly” or “out of nowhere” are added in the sentence, the verb would still be intransitive. That is because such phrases are not nouns. So they cannot be the direct objects.

For example;

  • She wrote quickly.
  • The car arrived out of nowhere.

These are still intransitive verbs.

So we see intransitive verbs are only slightly different from transitive verbs. It is important to know its basic concept to make the correct use of transitive and intransitive verbs.

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