Intransitive Verbs

What is an Intransitive Verb?

An intransitive verb does not transfer action to a noun or pronoun, and it can end a sentence.

Examples of Intransitive Verbs

Some examples of intransitive verbs would be the following:

The water boiled.

Everything changed.

The silverware rattled in the drawer.

Ms. McNeal’s class average rose.

Zoe’s kitten purred softly.

Intransitive Verbs in Context

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Watch this video to better understand intransitive verbs!

When You Should Use Intransitive Verbs in Your Writing

If you’re looking for simplicity in your writing with minimal detail, intransitive verbs (as opposed to transitive verbs) are the way to go. Maybe it’s your preference of writing style or maybe it’s your audience that requires it, but intransitive verbs can be a simple and straightforward way of communicating.

This, of course, may be a dramatic example to prove the point, but consider the drill sergeant asking a private if he or she ate dinner. How would he or she respond?

Yes, I ate.
Yes, I ate the turkey sandwich on rye with melted provolone, lettuce, tomato, a hint of spicy mayo, and some honey mustard.

Get the idea? Intransitive verbs allow you to be simple, exact, and to the point.

Download a Free Worksheet on Intransitive Verbs!

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Transitive and Intransitive Verbs Worksheet

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