Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

Verbs that do or don't take direct and indirect objects

 

Directions: Read the information below. Click on the underlined words for definitions and/or examples. Be sure to click on the "Test Yourself" or "Quiz Me" activities to check your comprehension of each part.

 

1.      A transitive verb has a subject and at least one direct or indirect object

                        S            trans V           O

Examples: The doctor examined the baby (What/who did the doctor examine?)

              The doctor checked the baby's temperature (What did the doctor check?)

 

Can you identify the object of a verb? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The confused students asked many questions during the class.

In the sentence above, what is the object?

    a.confused
    b.students
    c.asked
    d.questions
    e.during the class

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. To find the object, ask yourself, "What did the students ask?" or "The students asked what?"
 
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 Open quiz question
The teacher patiently answered all of the students' questions.

In the sentence above, what is the object?

    a.teacher
    b.patiently
    c.answered
    d.all of the students'
    e.questions

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. To find the object, ask yourself "What did the teacher answer?" or "The teacher answered what?"

The phrase "all of the students' " functions as an adjective to modify the word "questions". The word "questions" is the actual object of the verb "answered".

 
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 Open quiz question
The students carefully completed the test in about an hour.

In the sentence above, what is the object?

    a.students
    b.carefully
    c.completed
    d.test
    e.hour

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. To find the object, ask yourself "What did the students complete?" or "The students completed what?"
 
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 2.      An object is a noun or pronoun It is not an adjective or adverb.

                               S        int V   Adj.            S      Int V  Adv.     

        Examples: The baby was unhappy.    The baby cried loudly. 

 

Do you understand the difference between an object noun or pronoun, an adjective, and an adverb? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The students carefully read the important information during the class.

In this sentence, "information" is an ______.

    a.object
    b.adjective
    c.adverb

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. "information" answers the question "What did the students read?"
 
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 Open quiz question
The students carefully read the important information during the class.

In this sentence, "carefully" is an ______.

    a.object
    b.adjective
    c.adverb

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. "Carefully" answers the question "How did the students read?"
 
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 Open quiz question
The students carefully read the important information during the class.

In this sentence, "important" is an ______.

    a.object
    b.adjective
    c.adverb

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. "important" describes the object noun "information".
 
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 3.     A transitive verb can have a direct object and an indirect object

                                        S      trans V        D.O.         Ind. O.

        Examples: The doctor handed the baby to his mother

 

                               S       trans V       Ind. O.        D.O.           

                      Thedoctor handed the mother her baby

 

Note: When the direct object comes before the indirect object, the preposition to is placed in front of the indirect object. However, when the indirect object comes before the direct object, no preposition is used.

 

Can you identify the direct object of a verb? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The tired students gave their twenty-page research essays to the teacher.

In the sentence above, what is the direct object?

    a.twenty-page
    b.research
    c.essays
    d.teacher

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. "twenty-page" and "research" are adjectives that describe "essays". If you ask yourself the question, "What did the students give?", the shortest answer is "essays"; that's the direct object. "teacher" is the person who received the essays. "teacher" is the indirect object.
 
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 Open quiz question
The teacher gave the students another long assignment to do that night.

In the sentence above, what is the direct object?

    a.gave
    b.students
    c.long
    d.assignment

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. If you ask yourself, "What did the teacher give?", the answer is "assignment". "long" is an adjective that describes the assignment. "gave" is the verb. "students" are the people who received the assignment; "students" is the indirect object.
 
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Can you identify the indirect object of a verb? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The students sent a short email to their instructor.

In the sentence above, what is the indirect object?

    a.students
    b.short
    c.email
    d.instructor

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. If you ask yourself the question, "Who received the email?" or "Who did the students send the email to?", the answer will be the indirect object "instructor".
 
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 Open quiz question
One of the students asked a tutor at the Learning Enhancement Center for some help.
    a.tutor
    b.Learning Enhancement Center
    c.help

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. If you ask yourself the question, "Who did the student ask?", the answer is the indirect object "a tutor". "Learning Enhancement Center" is where the tutor was, and "help" is what the student asked for.
 
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 4.      An intransitive verb does not have a direct or indirect object.

                                     S       int V    Adj.                        

        Examples:     The baby became calm.  

 

                                  S     int V Prep. O.

                            The baby smiled at his mother.  

Note: "mother" is the object of the preposition "at"; "mother" is not a direct or indirect object in this sentence)

 

                              S        int V   Adv.

                             The baby laughed loudly. 

 

Do you understand the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The students raised their hands to answer the question.

The verb "raised" is intransitive because it has no object.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb "raised" is transitive. If you ask the question, "The students raised what?", the answer is the direct object "hands".
 
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 Open quiz question
The teacher quietly walked around the room.

The verb "walked" is intransitive because it has no direct or indirect object.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb "walked" does not take a direct or indirect object in this sentence. "around the room" tells where the teacher walked. "room" is a prepositional object; it is the object of the preposition "at".
 
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 Open quiz question
The students handed their papers to the instructor.

The verb "handed" is transitive.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. An intransitive verb has no direct or indirect object. This sentence has both. If you asked yourself the question, "The students handed what?", the answer is the direct object "papers". If you asked yourself "Who received the papers?", the answer is the indirect object "instructor".
 
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 Open quiz question
The student quickly ran up the stairs to class.

The verb "ran" is transitive.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb is intransitive because it has no direct or indirect object in this sentence. "up the stairs" and "to class" are prepositional objects that tell where the student ran.
 
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5.  Some verbs have both intransitive and transitive forms.

                                 S          trans V        D.O.

        Examples: The mother smelled the baby's hair.

 

                                     S    int V    Adj.

                        The baby's hair smelled good. 

 

Do you understand how a verb can sometimes be transitive and sometimes intransitive? Take a moment to check your comprehension.

 Open quiz question

The instructor tasted the coffee.

In this sentence, the verb "tasted" is transitive.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb is intransitive in this example because you can ask yourself "What did the instructor taste?" and the answer is the direct object "coffee".
 
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 Open quiz question
The coffee tasted wonderful.

In this sentence, the verb "tasted" is transitive.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb is intransitive because it has no object. "wonderful" is an adjective. It describes how the coffee tasted.
 
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 Open quiz question
The student sniffed loudly and reached for a tissue.

The verb "sniffed" is transitive in this sentence.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. The verb is intransitive because it has no object. "loudly" is an adverb that explains how the student sniffed.
 
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 Open quiz question
The student sniffed the fragrant flower.

In this sentence, the verb "sniffed" is intransitive.

    True
    False

   

Partially correct.
Right! Good job!
Sorry, incorrect answer. Intransitive verbs don't take objects. In this sentence, you can ask yourself, "The student sniffed what?" and the answer is the direct object "flower".
 
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