Intransitive verbs are verbs that describe actions or states that do not involve transferring an action from the subject to an object. They are used to indicate what the subject of a sentence is doing, or what state the subject is in, without the need for an object to receive the action.
What Is an Intransitive Verb?
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.
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.”
Common Intransitive Verbs
He slept soundly through the night.
The baby breathed softly in her crib.
They walked down the street.
They live in the city.
The plant died in the drought.
The train arrived late.
She laughed at the joke.
He ran down the hill.
She stood up from her chair.
What happened to the vase?
It will come in handy.
He went to the store.
The book lies on the table.
He sat down on the couch.
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:
- Stand (can also be transitive)
- Demonstrate (can also be transitive)
- Fell (can also be transitive)
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.
Intransitive Verb Examples
- She grew up to be a farmer.
- Malik slept all day.
- Samantha arrived ten minutes late.
- When the magician reached into his hat, a rabbit appeared.
- Kevin fell and scraped his knee.
- The crowd demonstrated outside the theatre.
- The jackdaws roost in these trees.
- To escape the midday sun, the cats lie in the shade under our cars.
- James went to the campus cafe for a steaming bowl of squid eyeball stew.
- In the evenings, Glenda sits on the front porch to admire her immaculate lawn.
- I don’t want such a thing to occur again.
- I like people who make me laugh in spite of myself.
- He would disappear for weeks on end.
- What time will we arrive in Tokyo?
- There’s a time to work and a time to play.
- She asked where he’d been, but he didn’t respond.
- You have to remain in till the weather improves.
- He was fool enough to agree.
- It’s easy to swim if another holds up your head.
Intransitive Verbs | Infographic
Useful List of Intransitive Verbs
Last Updated on January 10, 2023