Transitive verb
Overview
 
In syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

, a transitive verb is a verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 that requires both a direct subject
Subject (grammar)
The subject is one of the two main constituents of a clause, according to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle and that is associated with phrase structure grammars; the other constituent is the predicate. According to another tradition, i.e...

 and one or more object
Object (grammar)
An object in grammar is part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It denotes somebody or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. Basically, it is what or whom the verb is acting upon...

s. The term is used to contrast intransitive verb
Intransitive verb
In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This differs from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. Both classes of verb are related to the concept of the transitivity of a verb....

s, which do not have objects.
Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs:
  • You pushed the bag. ("bag" is the direct object of "pushed")
  • I hate you. ("you" is the direct object of "hate")
  • I gave you the doll.
Encyclopedia
In syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

, a transitive verb is a verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 that requires both a direct subject
Subject (grammar)
The subject is one of the two main constituents of a clause, according to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle and that is associated with phrase structure grammars; the other constituent is the predicate. According to another tradition, i.e...

 and one or more object
Object (grammar)
An object in grammar is part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It denotes somebody or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. Basically, it is what or whom the verb is acting upon...

s. The term is used to contrast intransitive verb
Intransitive verb
In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This differs from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. Both classes of verb are related to the concept of the transitivity of a verb....

s, which do not have objects.

Examples

Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs:
  • You pushed the bag. ("bag" is the direct object of "pushed")
  • I hate you. ("you" is the direct object of "hate")
  • I gave you the doll. ("doll" is the direct object, and "you" is the non-prepositional indirect object of "give")
  • John traded his apple and Jane's orange with her. ("his apple and Jane's orange" is the object of "traded", but "with her" is not)
  • I ate the pie. ("pie" is an object of "ate")
  • I tried on the shoes. ("shoes" is an object of "tried on")

Types

While all verbs that take at least one object are considered transitive, verbs can be further classified by the number of objects they take. Verbs that require exactly one object are called monotransitive
Monotransitive verb
A monotransitive verb is a verb that takes two arguments: a subject and a single direct object. For example, the verbs buy, bite, break, and eat are monotransitive in English.Verbs are categorized in terms of transitivity A monotransitive verb is a verb that takes two arguments: a subject and a...

. Verbs that are able to take two objects, a direct object and an indirect object, are called ditransitive
Ditransitive verb
In grammar, a ditransitive verb is a verb which takes a subject and two objects which refer to a recipient and a theme. According to certain linguistics considerations, these objects may be called direct and indirect, or primary and secondary...

. An example in English is the verb to give. There are also a few verbs, like "to trade" in the English language, that may be called "tritransitive" because they take three objects.

In contrast to transitive verbs, some verbs take zero objects. Verbs that do not require an object are called intransitive
Intransitive verb
In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This differs from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. Both classes of verb are related to the concept of the transitivity of a verb....

; for example, consider the verb to die.

Verbs that can be used in a intransitive or transitive way are called ambitransitive
Ambitransitive verb
An ambitransitive verb is a verb that can be used both as intransitive or as transitive without requiring a morphological change. That is, the same verb form may or may not require a direct object. English has a large number of ambitransitive verbs; examples include read, break, and understand An...

. In English, an example is the verb to eat, since the sentences You eat (with an intransitive form) and You eat beets (a transitive form that has beets as the object) are both grammatically correct.

The valency
Valency (linguistics)
In linguistics, verb valency or valence refers to the number of arguments controlled by a verbal predicate. It is related, though not identical, to verb transitivity, which counts only object arguments of the verbal predicate...

 of a verb is a related concept. The valency of a verb considers all the arguments
Verb argument
In linguistics, a verb argument is a phrase that appears in a syntactic relationship with the verb in a clause. In English, for example, the two most important arguments are the subject and the direct object....

 the verb takes, including both the subject of the verb and all of the objects. In contrast to valency, the transitivity of a verb only considers the objects.

Other languages

Some languages distinguish verbs based on their transitivity
Transitivity (grammatical category)
In linguistics, transitivity is a property of verbs that relates to whether a verb can take direct objects and how many such objects a verb can take...

, which suggests this is a salient linguistic
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 feature. For example, in Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

:
授業が始まる
Jugyō ga hajimaru.
The class starts.

先生が授業を始める
Sensei ga jugyō o hajimeru.
The teacher starts the class.


However, the definition of transitive verbs as those with one object is not universal, and is not used in grammars of many languages. For example, it is generally accepted in Polish grammar
Polish grammar
The grammar of the Polish language is characterized by a high degree of inflection, and has relatively free word order, although the dominant arrangement is subject–verb–object . There are no articles, and there is frequent dropping of subject pronouns...

 that transitive verbs are those that:
  • Accept a direct object (in accusative in the positive form, and in genitive in the negative form)
    OR
  • Undergo passive transformation


Both conditions are fulfilled in many instances of transitive verbs:

Maria widzi Jana (Mary sees John; Jana is the accusative form of Jan)

Jan jest widziany przez Marię (John is seen by Mary)

However, there are exceptions, and verbs with one or even two objects may also be intransitive.

Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 has a misunderstood feature as if having transitive and intransitive
conjugation for all verbs. The concept of transitive, intransitive is misplaced here.
  • There is only one general conjugation.

In present and future, there is a lesser used variant - a Definite, or say emphatic conjugation form.
It is used only when referring to a previous sentence, or topic, where the object was already mentioned.
Logically the definite article A(z) as reference is to be used here and due to Verb emphasis (definite) word order is changed to VO.
  • If you don't want to be definite you can simply

házat látok ------ I see (a) house -- (general)

látom A házat --- I see The house - (The house we were looking for)

almát eszek ------- I eat (an) apple -- (general)

eszem Az almát --- I eat The apple - (The one mom told me to)

bort iszok ------ I drink wine -- (general)

iszom A bort --- I drink The wine - (That you offered me before)

In English one would say 'I do see the house', etc., stressing the Verb - in Hungarian the Object is emphasized - but both mean exactly the same.

(to aid correct reading Hungarian 'sz' is written as 's', 'á' means it is long, the definite article in capital may help understanding)

See also

  • Verb
    Verb
    A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

    • Intransitive verb
      Intransitive verb
      In grammar, an intransitive verb is a verb that has no object. This differs from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. Both classes of verb are related to the concept of the transitivity of a verb....

  • Transitivity (grammar)
  • Valency (linguistics)
    Valency (linguistics)
    In linguistics, verb valency or valence refers to the number of arguments controlled by a verbal predicate. It is related, though not identical, to verb transitivity, which counts only object arguments of the verbal predicate...

  • Verb argument
    Verb argument
    In linguistics, a verb argument is a phrase that appears in a syntactic relationship with the verb in a clause. In English, for example, the two most important arguments are the subject and the direct object....

  • Morphosyntactic alignment
    Morphosyntactic alignment
    In linguistics, morphosyntactic alignment is the system used to distinguish between the arguments of transitive verbs and those of intransitive verbs...

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