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Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

What is a transitive verb? A transitive verb requires an object in

the form of a noun or pronoun to complete its meaning. This object
answers the questions who(m) or what.
Examples: -The students write compositions.
What do the students write? Compositions.
-Peter loves Mary.
Who (m) does Peter love? Mary.
What is an intransitive verb? An intransitive verb is one that does
not require an object to complete its meaning. The sentence may end
with the verb, an adjective, or an adverb. The questions one may ask
with these forms are when, where, how, or why.
Examples: - The children sat.
- The children sat at 7:30 pm. (when or what time?)
- The children sat at the table. (where?)
- The children sat quietly. (how?)
- The children sat because their mother told them to.
Exercise directions: Underline the verb and in the blank space, write
transitive or intransitive. If it is transitive, circle the object.

The math professor explains the lesson.


I drive my car to work every day.


Many students sleep late on the weekends.


Louise finally got her license.


Does your family live in Minnesota?


Mark and Mindy seem unhappy.


When did your friends come to the United States?


For e-mail, you need a computer.


My dad and I always disagree.


Did you find the address?




Worksheet: Azar: Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd ed. Chart 10-3

Myra M. Medina, 2006, Miami Dade College

Finding the Direct Object

A direct object can be a person or thing that receives the action of the verb directly.
When trying to determine the direct object, you should ask two questions: whom or
Lets see an example
Mount St. Helens released a lot smoke last week.
Verb Direct Object
In this example, if you ask yourself, What did Mount St. Helens release? the answer is
a lot of smoke.
A lot of smoke is the direct object.
Another example
Parents cant take their child to school.
D. Object
In this example, if you ask yourself, Whom cant the parents take to school? the
answer is their child.
Their child is the direct object.
IMPORTANT: As you can see, the questions ask whom or what the subject is or
isnt doing to something or someone else. The answer to the question will provide you
with the direct object. Lets look at another example:
Crude oil has gone up since the beginning of the year.
In the preceding example, the information following the verb does not answer to the
questions whom or what. As a result, the sentence does not have an object. The
information after the verb answers to the question when.
Look at another example
The man marched down the street at dawn.
Where When
Again, the example shows you that the information provided after the verb answers to
other types of questions. As a result, this sentence does not have an object.
Worksheet: Azar: Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd ed. Chart 10-3

Look at the sentences below. Underline the direct object if there is one.
1. An earthquake caused terrible damage in Haiti in January 2010.
2. Red Cross volunteers have flown to Haiti to help.

Myra M. Medina, Miami Dade College

1. We laughed. -->
2. He opened the door. -->
3. She crossed the street. -->
4. We drove to San Francisco. -->
5. They talked. -->
6. He rang the doorbell. -->
7. I called my mother. -->
8. You learned Spanish. -->
9. She made spaghetti. -->
10. You slept for three hours. -->

1. She was crying all day long. Intransitive

2. We showed her the photo album. Transitive
3. The doctor advised me to exercise regularly. Transitive
4. It was raining at that time. Intransitive
5. She laughed at the joke. Intransitive
6. She gave a cookie to the child. Transitive
7. They slept in the street. Intransitive
8. I ate the cherries. Transitive
9. My father doesn't drink coffee. Transitive

10. He always keeps his money in a wallet. Transitive

Worksheet: Azar: Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd ed. Chart 10-3

Worksheet: Azar: Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd ed. Chart 10-3