sentence: Behind the invective lurked a vision of Europe as a consortium of sovereign nations, free from politically correct elites and pesky foreigners.

But the dictionary doesn't say about the transitive form of the word.


Is it just a participle form of the verb ??

2 Answers 2


"To lurk" is intransitive. One cannot 'lurk' something.

In your example lurk is intransitive, but you have confused "a vision of Europe" to be the object of the sentence, when it is actually the subject. "Behind the invective" is a prepositional phrase.

Thus, your example could be rewritten as, "A vision of Europe as a consortium of sovereign nations (nounal phrase, and subject), free from politically correct elites and pesky foreigners, lurked behind the invective (verbal phrase)."

As a simple alternative, take the sentence, "Behind the bushes slept John." John has not slept anything, he merely slept behind the bushes. This reversal of word order is a literary construction rarely seen in everyday contexts, or spoken language.

Note: this reversal cannot be applied to transitive verbs, and only works with intransitive as the subject is clear by the fact that there is no object. However, with the example of recorded speech as in; "I love this beach," said Mary. where the speech is an 'object' the reversal can occur, but this is also literary, and rarely encountered.


Good question! This is in fact used as an intransitive verb, as "lurked" doesn't take on a direct object. As for your second question, an example of "lurk" being used as a participle would be something like:

"The fear had lurked in the hearts of union supporters for years."

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