Intransitive Verb: Definition and Examples

Language is complex, and when it comes to grammar, there are many rules to learn. Verbs are one of the most important parts of a sentence, and there are two types: transitive and intransitive verbs. In this article, we will focus on intransitive verbs, their definition, and examples.

What is an Intransitive Verb?

An intransitive verb is a verb that does not take an object. In other words, the action of the verb does not pass from the subject to the object. Instead, the verb indicates an action that happens to the subject alone. Intransitive verbs are essential in English grammar and are used frequently in everyday language.

Intransitive Verb Definition and Examples

Examples of Intransitive Verbs:

To help understand intransitive verbs, it’s essential to look at examples. Below are some common intransitive verbs:

  1. Sleep: I sleep.
  2. Laugh: He laughs.
  3. Run: She runs.
  4. Jump: They jump.
  5. Arrive: We arrived.

As you can see, each of the above verbs does not have an object. The action of the verb is directed solely towards the subject.

Identifying Intransitive Verbs:

Identifying intransitive verbs can be challenging. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Intransitive verbs do not take objects. Therefore, if there is no object after a verb, it is most likely an intransitive verb.

Example: She runs every morning. (Intransitive verb)

  1. Intransitive verbs cannot be turned into passive voice.

Example: The cake was eaten by me. (Passive voice)

  1. Intransitive verbs can have adverbs, but not direct objects.

Example: He ran quickly. (Adverb)

  1. Intransitive verbs can be modified by adjectives, but not direct objects.

Example: She sings beautifully. (Adjective)

Common Intransitive Verbs:

  1. Appear: The sun appeared in the sky.
  2. Fall: The leaves fall from the tree.
  3. Die: My grandfather died last year.
  4. Happen: What happened to your phone?
  5. Remain: The food remained untouched.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • Q: Can intransitive verbs be used in the passive voice? A: No, intransitive verbs cannot be used in the passive voice.
  • Q: Can intransitive verbs have adverbs? A: Yes, intransitive verbs can have adverbs.
  • Q: Can intransitive verbs be modified by adjectives? A: Yes, intransitive verbs can be modified by adjectives.


Intransitive verbs are a crucial part of the English language. They indicate an action that happens to the subject alone, without a direct object. They are essential in constructing grammatically correct sentences. Understanding the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs can improve your writing and communication skills. Use the above examples and tips to identify and use intransitive verbs correctly.

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