Transitive and intransitive verbs

Transitive and intransitive verbs

There are categories of transitive and intransitive verbs in English. You can identify them in the text using questions to the addition that accompanies the verb. 


Transitive verbs in English are those verbs that express an action directly directed to an object or person. 

  • Write (what?) a book 
  • Ask (who?) friend 
  • Hear (what?) birdsong 

- She held the meeting yesterday morning  


These verbs mean position in space or movement, moral or physical state. They are not used with a direct object because they cannot carry it with them. These are verbs like 

  • swim 
  • live 
  • work 
  • ill 

- Christopher have been working for the whole day  

Both can be used  

Some verbs in English can be assigned to both categories at once, that is, they can be used in both meanings. 

  • stop 
  • grow 
  • leave 

- Don’t leave your belongings in the classroom  

- I want to stay with you, but I have to leave