Intransitive verbs and transitive verbs
Last Modified: 01/12/2016
What is the difference between intransitive verbs (vi. 不及物動詞) and transitive verbs (vt. 及物動詞)?
Many sentences have a 'subject-verb-object' structure.
I like Japanese food.
'I' = subject
'like' = verb
'Japanese food' = object
'Like' is a transitive verb here. This means that there is an object after the verb. We usually don't say, 'I like'.
Some verbs are intransitive. That means that they do not have an object.
Something bad happened.
'Happen' is an intransitive verb. There is no object in this sentence.
Some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive.
I broke the cup.
The cup broke.
Luckily, when you look up a word in a dictionary, it tells you if a verb is transitive (vt / T) or intransitive (vi / I)!