A Guide To Parts Of Speech

Transitive Verbs

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Answers the Question

"What's being done to it?"


Late Latin transitivus, from Latin transitus (past participle of

transire to cross over, pass) + -ivus -ive

as a part of speech

Transitive verbs that carry over action onto an object in one of

two ways:  direct objects; indirect objects.  The latter is always

done in addition to a direct object.

Direct Objects

Direct object verbs are "directly" affected by the action of a transitive verb:

On the weekends, Michael works the projector at a local independent cinema.

The action "works," in this case meaning "operates," carries over from "Michael" onto the object


Indirect Objects

Some transitive verbs take indirect objects as well as direct ones, creating the dative case.  These

verbs convey one or more things to another.  Here are the most common verbs with indirect objects:

assign                    award                    bring                    fax                    feed                   give

grant                      hand                      lend                     loan                  mail                   offer

owe                        pass                      promise               pay                   read                  serve

show                      sell                        send                    show                 sing                   take

teach                      tell                        throw                   wire                   write

Spending hours in the projection booth gives me the time needed to complete my homework.

In this example, "the time" is the direct object of the verb "give," while "me" is the indirect object.

However, an indirect object is, in reality, simply the object of the preposition "to," which has been

dropped to create the effect of an indirect object.  If indirect objects confuse you, you can always

restore the preposition "to" if you desire:

Spending hours in the projection booth gives to me the time needed to complete my homework.

Regardless, in diagramming a clause with a transitive verb taking a direct object and an indirect object,

you still treat the indirect object as though it is the object of a preposition.  It does not belong on the

horizontal line with the direct object: