¿Qué es un verbo intransitivo? (con ejemplos)

¿Qué es un verbo intransitivo? (con ejemplos)

Un verbo intransitivo es aquel que no lleva objeto directo. En otras palabras, no se hace a alguien oa algo. Solo involucra al sujeto.

Lo contrario de un verbo intransitivo es un verbo transitivo. Un verbo transitivo puede tener un objeto directo.

What Does “Taking a Direct Object” Mean?

Un verbo intransitivo no lleva objeto directo. Aquí hay un poco más sobre lo que eso significa:

  • He laughed.
    (Laughed is an intransitive verb. It has no direct object. You cannot laugh something.)
  • He told a joke.
    (Told is a transitive verb. The direct object is a joke. You can tell something. For example, you can tell a story, a lie, a joke, etc.)

Recuerda que puedes encontrar el objeto directo de un verbo leyendo el verbo y luego preguntando “¿qué?” (o “¿quién?”). Si esta pregunta no es apropiada, entonces probablemente estés tratando con un verbo intransitivo. Por ejemplo (verbos sombreados):

  • He caught the bus after the party.
    (Q: Caught what? A: the bus. This is a transitive verb. It has a direct object.)
  • He disappeared after the party.
    (Q: Disappeared what? That doesn’t make sense. You can’t disappear something. This is an intransitive verb. It can’t take a direct object.)

Examples of Intransitive Verbs

Aquí hay algunos ejemplos más de verbos intransitivos. Con cada ejemplo, si lee el verbo (sombreado) en voz alta y pregunta “¿qué?”, ​​no habrá respuesta. No hay respuesta porque no hay objeto directo. Estos verbos son todos intransitivos.

  • Every single person voted.
  • The jackdaws roost in these trees.
  • The crowd demonstrated outside the theatre.
    (In this example, demonstrated is an intransitive verb. However, to demonstrate can be used transitively too, e.g., He demonstrated a karate chop to the class.)

Examples of Verbs That Are Transitive and Intransitive

Algunos verbos pueden ser transitivos e intransitivos. Por ejemplo:

  • Mel walks for miles.
    (As walks is not being done to anything, this verb is intransitive.)

Sin embargo, compáralo con esto:

  • Mel walks the dog for miles
    (This time, walks does have a direct object (the dog). Therefore, it is transitive. Some verbs can be both intransitive and transitive, depending on the precise meaning.)

Aquí hay otro ejemplo:

  • The apes played in the woods.
    (intransitive)
  • The apes played hide and seek in the woods.
    (transitive)
    (Q: played what? A: hide and seek.)

Common Intransitive Verbs

Intransitive Verb Comment
to agree can also be transitive (e.g., to agree a point)
to play can also be transitive (e.g., to play a tune)
to run can also be transitive (e.g., to run a mile)
to walk can also be transitive (e.g., to walk the dog)
to eat can also be transitive (e.g., to eat a cake)
to appear
to arrive
to belong
to collapse
to collide
to die
to demonstrate can also be transitive (e.g., to demonstrate a skill)
to disappear
to emerge
to exist
to fall
to go
to happen
to laugh
to nest
to occur
to remain
to respond
to rise
to roost
to sit can also be transitive (e.g., to sit a child)
to sleep
to stand can also be transitive (e.g., to stand a lamp)
to vanish

Intransitive Verbs Do Not Have a Passive Form

Como un verbo intransitivo no puede tomar un objeto directo, no hay forma pasiva. Por ejemplo:

  • She fell. ✔️
    (The verb fell (from to fall) is intransitive.)
  • She was fallen. ❌
    (There is no passive version of to fall.)

Aquí hay otro ejemplo:

  • The event happened at 6 o’clock. ✔️
    (The verb happened (from to happen) is intransitive.)
  • The event was happened at 6 o’clock. ❌
    (There is no passive version of to happen.)

Compare esos dos ejemplos con uno con un verbo transitivo:

  • The man baked a cake. ✔️
    (The verb baked (from to bake) is transitive.)
  • A cake was baked by the man. ✔️
    (You can have a passive version with a transitive verb.)

What Does “Intransitive” Mean?

La palabra “intransitivo” significa “no transitivo”. Entonces, para entender qué significa “intransitivo”, necesitamos saber qué significa “transitivo”. Un verbo transitivo recibe su nombre de la idea de que la acción debe pasar del verbo a un objeto para completar el significado.

  • James bought. (incomplete) ❌
    (When the action does not transition through the verb to an object, the meaning is incomplete.)
  • James bought a carpet. ✔️
    (In this example, the action of the verb bought has transitioned to a direct object (the carpet), and the meaning is now complete.)

Con un verbo intransitivo, el significado del verbo está completo sin necesidad de pasar a un objeto.

  • James snores. ✔️
    (Snores is intransitive. An intransitive verb only involves the subject.)

Why Should I Care about Intransitive Verbs?

Incluso si nunca han oído hablar de los verbos “transitivos” o “intransitivos”, los hablantes nativos son excelentes para usarlos correctamente. Sin embargo, comprender los términos “transitivo” e “intransitivo” es útil cuando se analizan verbos, complementos directos e indirectos, lo cual es más probable al aprender o enseñar un idioma extranjero.

Key Point

La acción de un verbo transitivo debe pasar del verbo a un objeto para completar el significado. Eso no es cierto para un verbo intransitivo, que solo involucra al sujeto.

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