Intransitive Verb: A Short List of 100 Useful Intransitive Verbs in English

In this article, we will explore the topic of intransitive verbs. As English learners, it is important to understand the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, and how to use them correctly in sentences. Intransitive verbs are a type of verb that do not require an object to complete their meaning.

Intransitive Verbs

An intransitive verb is a type of verb that does not take an object. Intransitive verbs describe actions or states that do not involve transferring an action from the subject to an object. For example, in the sentence “The bird flew.”, the verb “flew” is intransitive because the bird is performing the action of flying, but nothing is being transferred to an object.

Intransitive Verbs

Another example is “He slept.“, In this sentence “slept” is the intransitive verb which indicate the state of the subject (he) which is sleeping and nothing is being transferred.

Some other examples of intransitive verbs are: “to laugh,” “to run,” “to stand,” “to arrive,” “to exist,” and “to happen.”

It is important to note that some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive depending on how they are used in a sentence. For example, the verb “to eat” is transitive when it is used with an object, as in “He ate the sandwich.,” but it can be intransitive when it is used without an object, as in “He ate.”

List of Intransitive Verbs

There are many intransitive verbs in the English language, and the verb list can be quite extensive. Some intransitive verbs include:

  • Act
  • Adapt
  • Crawl
  • Dance
  • Erupt
  • Escape
  • Expand
  • Explode
  • Fade
  • Fall
  • Fast
  • Float
  • Fly
  • Gallop
  • Grow
  • Jump
  • Kneel
  • Lead
  • Lean
  • Leap
  • Learn
  • Left
  • Limp
  • Listen
  • March
  • Mourn
  • Move
  • Panic
  • Party
  • Pause
  • Peep
  • Pose
  • Pounce
  • Pout
  • Pray
  • Preen
  • Read
  • Recline
  • Relax
  • Relent
  • Rise
  • Roll
  • Run
  • Rush
  • Sail
  • Scream
  • Shake
  • Shout
  • Sigh
  • Sit
  • Skip
  • Slide
  • Smell
  • Snarl
  • Soak
  • Spin
  • Spit
  • Sprint
  • Squeak
  • Stagger
  • Stand (can also be transitive)
  • Swim
  • Swing
  • Twist
  • Wade
  • Walk
  • Wander
  • Wave
  • Whirl
  • Wiggle
  • Work
  • Yell
  • Agree
  • Play
  • Eat
  • Appear
  • Arrive
  • Belong
  • Collapse
  • Collide
  • Die
  • Demonstrate (can also be transitive)
  • Disappear
  • Emerge
  • Exist
  • Go
  • Happen
  • Laugh
  • Nest
  • Occur
  • Remain
  • Respond
  • Roost
  • FellĀ (can also be transitive)
  • Sleep
  • Vanish
  • Lie
  • Sing
  • Caught
  • Tell
Related  Reporting Verbs: Important List of 85 Reporting Verbs for ESL Learners

This is not a comprehensive list, but it should give you a sense of the wide range of intransitive verbs that exist in the English language. It is worth noting that there are more and many more and some of the verbs listed above can also be used in a transitive sense, it would change the meaning of the sentence.

Characteristics of Intransitive Verbs

No Direct Object

One of the main characteristics of intransitive verbs is that they do not require a direct object. This means that the verb can stand alone and still make sense. For example, in the sentence “The cat sleeps,” the verb “sleeps” is intransitive because it does not require a direct object to complete its meaning.

Prepositional Phrases

Intransitive verbs can also be followed by prepositional phrases. A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun. For example, in the sentence “She ran to the store,” the verb “ran” is intransitive and is followed by the prepositional phrase “to the store.”

Reflexive Verbs

Finally, some intransitive verbs are reflexive verbs. A reflexive verb is a verb that refers back to the subject of the sentence. For example, in the sentence “He hurt himself,” the verb “hurt” is intransitive and is also reflexive because it refers back to the subject “he.”

Examples of Intransitive Verbs

Common Intransitive Verbs

Here are some common intransitive verbs that you might come across in your everyday life:

  • Laugh
  • Cry
  • Yawn
  • Sleep
  • Run
  • Walk
  • Swim
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Jump

These verbs do not require a direct object to complete their meaning. For example, “I laughed” is a complete sentence and does not require any object to complete its meaning.

Related  Auxiliary Verb: Elevating Your Language Proficiency

Sentences with Intransitive Verbs

Here are some examples of sentences that use intransitive verbs:

  • She laughed at the joke.
  • He cried when he heard the news.
  • I yawned because I was tired.
  • She slept for eight hours last night.
  • He ran to catch the bus.
  • She walked to the store.
  • He swam in the lake.
  • She sang a song in the shower.
  • He danced at the party.
  • She jumped over the fence.

In all of these sentences, the intransitive verb describes an action that does not affect any other object or person. The verb is complete on its own and does not require a direct object.

Usage of Intransitive Verbs in English Grammar

In Simple Sentences

Intransitive verbs are commonly used in simple sentences to describe an action that is performed by the subject. For example, “She laughed” is a simple sentence that uses the intransitive verb “laughed” to describe the action that the subject, “she,” performed. Other examples of intransitive verbs used in simple sentences include “run,” “sleep,” and “cry.”

In Complex Sentences

Intransitive verbs can also be used in complex sentences to provide more information about the subject or the action being performed. In these cases, the intransitive verb is often accompanied by an adverb or an adverbial phrase. For example, “She ran quickly to catch the bus” is a complex sentence that uses the intransitive verb “ran” along with the adverb “quickly” and the prepositional phrase “to catch the bus” to provide more information about the action being performed.

Another way intransitive verbs can be used in complex sentences is by being part of a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are verbs that consist of a main verb and one or more particles, such as prepositions or adverbs. For example, “He looked up the word in the dictionary” is a complex sentence that uses the phrasal verb “looked up” to describe the action of searching for a word in the dictionary.

Related  List of Verbs: 100 Most Important English Verbs in Writing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an intransitive verb?

An intransitive verb is a verb that does not require a direct object to indicate the person or thing acted upon. In other words, it is a verb that does not take an object. For example, the verb “yawn” is intransitive because you cannot “yawn” something.

What is the difference between intransitive and transitive verbs?

The main difference between intransitive and transitive verbs is that transitive verbs require a direct object to complete their meaning, while intransitive verbs do not. A transitive verb is one that makes sense only if it exerts its action on an object, while an intransitive verb does not require an object to make sense.

Can a verb be both transitive and intransitive?

Yes, some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive, depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the verb “run” can be used transitively, as in “I run a business,” or intransitively, as in “I run every morning.”

What are some examples of intransitive verbs?

There are many examples of intransitive verbs, including “smile,” “laugh,” “cry,” “yawn,” “sneeze,” “shiver,” “sigh,” “sleep,” “dance,” and “swim.” These verbs do not require an object to make sense.

How do you identify an intransitive verb in a sentence?

To identify an intransitive verb in a sentence, you need to look for a verb that does not have a direct object. For example, in the sentence “She smiled,” the verb “smiled” is intransitive because it does not have a direct object. However, in the sentence “She smiled at me,” the verb “smiled” is transitive because it has a direct object (“me”).

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

5 thoughts on “Intransitive Verb: A Short List of 100 Useful Intransitive Verbs in English”

  1. How can tell be intransitive, if we can say “she told me a secret”.
    Me is an indirect object, a secret is the direct object.

    I don’t think this is correct.

    Reply
  2. “we danced salsa”
    “I escaped prison”
    “I jumped the fence”
    “I walked the path”
    “Lets eat cake”…..

    All these verbs can be Intransitive, and often are.
    Many of these can be Transitive too

    Reply
  3. I love English, too, and I love your site! I have a writing game online called Race-2-Write! It’s accessible free (just like your site) at writingames.com. Notice how I used only one “g”? I think the same could be done with your site name: lovenglish. But perhaps you thought of that option before, or that URL name was not available…

    If you check out my game, the easiest way to do it is via the PRACTICE mode.

    Jacinto Gardea

    Reply

Leave a Comment

3.2k