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Transitive Verbs

Transitive verbs are verbs which are typically action verbs, such as kick, shake, eat, wash. In addition to being action verbs, they are verbs which have a recipient (a person or a thing) for the action.

For example, in the sentence John kicked the ball, the recipient of the kick is the ball, so kick is a transitive verb.

In the sentence Mary washed her teeth and ate her vegetables, the teeth are the objects which are washed, and the vegetables are the objects which are eaten. Thus, washed and ate are both transitive verbs.

If there is no recipient of the action, the verb is intransitive. Some verbs are transitive or intransitive, depending on the context:

I ate.
I ate my broccoli.

In the first sentence, ate is not transitive, but in the second it is.

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