Friday, 13 March 2009

Transitive or intransitive?

There is a tendency for ‘dumbing down’. Don’t use the word adverb or even adjective because people switch off. Well I hope you are still with me and that you know that an adjective describes a noun and an adverb describes a verb. It seems fairly straightforward to me and we shouldn’t be hiding behind long expressions when one word will do.

If you have a transitive verb it needs a direct object to complete the sentence. I painted the fence, the fence is the object. Of course an intransitive verb doesn’t need a direct object to make sense. I stood up is an example unless you actually did stand up something. So verbs can be transitive or intransitive or both.

Last time I wrote about the verb passieren. Ich muss die Grenze passieren. In this example you are passing a border so it is transitive and in the past tense you would write Ich habe die Grenze passiert. The question last time was wann ist das passiert? No direct object and it is an intransitive verb that takes sein. I hope you managed to follow that and no dumbing down needed.

Bis bald

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