Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Verbs are categorized as Transitive and Intransitive Verbs. Verbs used in sentences can be either. But sometimes some Verbs can be both Transitive in one sentence and Intransitive in other however. We can recognize them by understanding the way they have been used.

Transitive Verbs

Literally, Transitive means which can pass further and Verbs are words which show actions. Hence, verbs which require objects are called Transitive Verbs. These verbs need objects to give complete meaning.

Example Usage of Transitive Verbs

  1. Cat killed the rat.

    Killed- Transitive Verb
    Rat- Object

    Killed alone does not give complete meaning as we can get confused with questions like who killed whom? What was killed? Etc. the object in the sentence Rat removes our confusion.  
  2. I roasted turkey.

    Roasted- Transitive Verb
    Turkey- Object

    Roasted alone does not give complete meaning we can get confused with question like
    What was roasted? Turkey as an object fulfills our query.
  3. Willy played baseball.

    Played- Transitive Verb
    Baseball- Object

    Played alone does not give complete meaning we can get confused with question like which game was played? 

Thus, we can see that Transitive verbs gives additional information and provide clarity.

Transitive Verbs have Passive Forms

Generally, Transitive Verbs have passive forms. However, people do not use Stative Verbs in the Passive form. Stative Verbs are those which describe the state of being and are unchanging. The above sentences have been shown in Passive form below:

Active: I roasted Turkey.
Passive: Turkey was roasted by me.

Active: Willy played baseball.
Passive: Baseball was played by Willy.

Intransitive Verbs

Literally, Intransitive means which cannot pass further and verbs are words which show actions.

Therefore, those verbs which do not have a direct object and denote doable activities are called Intransitive Verbs. Intransitive verbs are also called Action Verbs. Intransitive Verbs give complete meaning by themselves.

Common Intransitive Verbs

Die, occur, stopped, stand, sleep, rest, sit, lie, arrive, sneeze, go, disappeared, smell,  likes, make, twinkled, shake, collide, fall, exist etc.

Examples of Intransitive Verbs

Intransitive Verb are used in a pattern Noun + Verb


  1. He slept.

    He - Noun
    Slept - Intransitive Verb

    There is no object as the meaning is complete and there can be no further sensible queries.
  2. The fight occurred at midnight.

    Fight - Noun
    Occurred - Intransitive Verb

    Object is not used because there is no confusion. Don't confuse "at midnight" to be an object here.
  3. The child sneezed.

     - Noun
    Sneezed - Intransitive Verb

    There is no object as the meaning is complete.

Therefore, we can see that when Intransitive Verbs do not need object. 

Intransitive Verbs don't have Passive Forms

Unlike Transitive Verbs Intransitive Verbs do not have Passive forms.

He slept. 
He was sleepen. X

The fight occurred at midnight. 
The fight was occurred at midnight. X

Both Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Many Verbs can be both Transitive and Intransitive depending on what follows the sentence.


I demonstrated. (Used as Intransitive)
I demonstrated my singing skills. (Used as Transitive)


We played whole day. (Used as Intransitive)
We played Basketball whole day. (Used as Transitive)