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I want any key or shortcut to distinguish between transitive and intransitive verbs.Wren and Martin says that when a verb is used transitively the action passes over.But what ai am inable to understand is how does it pass over ?

For example in a sentence "I looked down from my window." Is the action passing over ?

"Time changes all things." Is it transitive ?

Or if there's any other way or book recommended do inform me.

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    Can you tell us exactly what Wren and Martin said (and in which book or webpage)? By itself, "the action passes over" is a nebulous concept at best. Have you searched online for other resources that explain transitive/intransitive verbs and give examples?
    – Shoe
    Mar 3, 2018 at 8:28
  • What do you mean by: passing over. transitive verbs are often action verbs
    – Lambie
    May 12, 2020 at 20:09

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Transitivity is not a semantic concept, but a syntactic one: any book which tries to define it in semantic terms is unhelpful. (It is also language-dependent).

There is not much about the semantics which will tell you that, in English, eat is usually transitive, but dine is always intransitive.

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The trick is to find the "direct object" or the object that receives the action of the transitive verb. If you can find a direct object then the verb is transitive; if you can not find a direct object then the verb is intransitive (in- meaning there is no object to receive the action from the verb). http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/transitiveverb.htm http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/intransitiveverb.htm

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  • But Allerton, in The Handbook of English Linguistics_eds Aarts and McMahon, claims that post-verb noun groups such as those appearing in 'The piano resembled a pianola.' / ... / 'The piano had a stool.' / 'The piano seemed an antique.' should not be considered objects but are 'best regarded as belonging to a slightly different category'. Though 'Many people like chocolate' uses a transitive non-action verb. Assuming Allerton's model is tenable, how does one identify a true direct object? Mar 3, 2018 at 9:25

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