One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a verb or a sense or use of a verb) not taking a direct object, e.g. look in look at the sky.The opposite of transitive
- ‘For the true writer, he had once declared, to write is an intransitive verb: one does not write something, one simply writes.’
- ‘An ergative system is one in which the subject of an intransitive verb is treated grammatically like the direct object of a transitive verb, while the subject of a transitive verb is treated differently.’
- ‘The becoming is not a becoming something; it remains active and intransitive.’
- ‘In particular, similar patterns exist for other cases of verbs combining with intransitive prepositions (or ‘particles’, as some people call them).’
- ‘The object of knowledge is intransitive, the knowledge we have of it is transitive.’
- ‘In this respect, adjectives are exactly like intransitive verbs.’
- ‘And although I did a bit of a double-take, I soon got the idea of what was meant by that stunningly ungrammatical sleeps obedience - with its intransitive verb assigned a direct object in defiance of all syntactic decency.’
- ‘The combination of verbs with intransitive prepositions is one of the many pseudopods of morphological quasi-regularity that extend into the phrasal domain in English.’
- ‘Further, she suggests that ‘whereas poetic language is now more or less accepted as autonomous and intransitive, fiction and narrative still suggest a transitive and referential use of words’.’
- ‘Moral actions are unlike other actions in that they have both transitive and intransitive effects.’
- ‘Later she will learn about transitive and intransitive verbs, but in this exercise she could see that the verb cards weren't all alike.’
- ‘It is inconceivable that Will does not know the difference between a transitive and an intransitive verb.’
- ‘For me, the intransitive use of ‘bore easily’ is a minor cliché, that is, a phrase I recognize when I see it as a set phrase, even though I might not see it all that often.’
- ‘The real challenges always came with the sophisticated adjectives, the adverbs, and the intransitive verbs.’
- ‘Verbs can be either transitive or intransitive a transitive verb governs an object, whereas an intransitive verb does not.’
- ‘When did it become cooler to be an intransitive verb than a transitive verb?’
- ‘But if you read it closely, you'll see I'm using the intransitive plural subjunctive tense.’
- ‘We may be confused about this if we do not distinguish, as we clearly should, between transitive and intransitive senses of the verb ‘to move’.’
- ‘To give an account of these sentences, a proponent of the equational analysis would have to postulate that the verb is ambiguous between a transitive and an intransitive meaning.’
- ‘A problem confronting this assumption is the large number of intransitive, unergative verbs in German and English that occur in accomplishment expressions.’
Early 17th century: from late Latin intransitivus ‘not passing over’, from in- ‘not’ + transitivus (see transitive).
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