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Fun With Verbs


A presentation I gave in the same class I gave this one.

Today I have the pleasure of discussing the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs.

A verb is said to be transitive when an object is necessary to complete the verb’s meaning. For example, George Bush suspects Mars of harboring weapons of mass destruction. The verb ‘suspect’ is accompanied by an object (Mars), and is therefore considered transitive.

Intransitive verbs do not require objects. The sentence “I ramble” is not only an appropriate description of this presentation but is also an excellent example containing an intransitive verb. The verb ‘ramble’ doesn’t need an object to complete its meaning.

Some verbs possess both transitive and intransitive meanings, depending on the context. It is, of course, important not to mix these up. For instance, Mary would never inhale John, except perhaps in poorly written harlequin romance novels. She may, however, inhale the bouquet of a fine glass of Chardonnay.

Another verb that has both a transitive and an intransitive meaning is the word ‘listening.’ Example: Only three students are listening to my presentation. That’s the transitive meaning. But if I were to use its intransitive meaning I might say, Only three students are listening.

That about wraps it up for transitive and intransitive verbs. I invite you to ask any questions you may have, though I sincerely hope you don’t, because I probably won’t be able to answer them.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Candice Pinsent permalink
    02/17/2011 12:57 AM

    I laughed at the end! haha

  2. Kimberley Walsh permalink
    02/17/2011 1:47 PM

    I watch a lot of tv lately and it rots my brain, so your post reminded me of this commercial:

  3. The GeWf permalink
    02/27/2011 6:29 PM

    transitive verbs fuck everything up
    intransitive verbs do the fucking.

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