Forgive my ignorance, but, are transitive and intransitive verbs equivalent to the active and passive voice?

1 Answer
Mar 9, 2016



Transitive verbs means that subject performs the action(s) and transfers it to the direct object.

  • I [subject] passed [verb] the exam [direct object].
  • He kicked my bottle of water.
  • Her brother painted the canvas red.

Intransitive verbs have no direct object.

  • I [subject] usually eat [verb] at 10 AM.
  • We [subject] will arrive [verb] tomorrow.
    NOTE: tomorrow is an adverb in that sentence.

Voices are how the subject performs or receives the action. It is in active voice when the subject performs the action. Passive voice then has a subject that receives the action.

  • He kicked my bottle of water.
    The subject performs the action. It is in an active voice.
  • I usually eat at 10 AM.
    The subject is still the doer of the action. There it is still in the active voice.
  • The letter was sent by the teacher.
    The subject [letter] receives the action.
    You can convert that to active voice: The teacher sent the letter.

Now, notice that active voice can be either transitive or intransitive (See examples 1 and 2). Example 1 above is transitive while example 2 is intransitive.

Please note that converting active voices to passive voices results to intransitive verbs. So passive voices tend to be intransitive.

Hope this helps! :-)