What are examples of intransitive verbs, transitive verbs, direct objects, and indirect objects?

1 Answer
May 25, 2018


Every sentence must have a verb. The verb can be an action verb, auxiliary verb, or a linking verb. If it is an action verb, it is either acting as an intransitive or a transitive verb.



I eat cheese.

She falls down the stairs.

In the first sentence, the verb (eat) is transitive because a direct object (cheese) follows it. Direct objects only occur after transitive verbs. They are the result of the action (in this case, eating).

In the second sentence, the verb (falls) is intransitive. Though there are words following the verb, there is no direct object. (A direct object cannot be in a prepositional phrase, and "down the stairs" is a prepositional phrase.)

Some verbs can be both intransitive or transitive depending on the circumstances:

She nods.

She nods her head. (In this case, head would be the direct object.)

A sentence can only have an indirect object if it has a direct object. Indirect objects also result from the action verb but not as directly.

Gabriella gave James the book. (In this case, James is the indirect object because he is receiving the book, the direct object. Gabriella is giving the book, not James.)