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The Transitive Verb

Recognize a transitive verb when you see one.

A transitive verb has two characteristics. First, it is an action verb, expressing a doable activity like kick, want, paint, write, eat, clean, etc. Second, it must have a direct object, something or someone who receives the action of the verb.

Here are some examples of transitive verbs:

Sylvia kicked Juan under the table.

Kicked = transitive verb; Juan = direct object.

Joshua wants a smile from Leodine, his beautiful but serious lab partner.

Wants = transitive verb; smile = direct object.

Cornelius painted the canvas in Jackson Pollock fashion, dribbling bright colors from a heavily soaked brush.

Painted = transitive verb; canvas = direct object.

Alicia wrote a love poem on a restaurant napkin.

Wrote = transitive verb; poem = direct object.

Antonio eats lima beans drenched in brown gravy.

Eats = transitive verb; lima beans = direct object.

Pinky the poodle cleans the dirty supper dishes with his tongue before Grandma loads the "prewashed" items into dishwasher.

Cleans, loads = transitive verbs; dishes, items = direct objects.

Important note: When no direct object follows an action verb, the verb is intransitive.

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