My teacher told me that some verbs are transitive and they requires an object after them.

She gave me a long list of transitive and intransitive verbs to learn. Can anyone give me the logic why a particular verb is classified as transitive or intransitive so that without remembering these words i can tell by a particular sentence that a verb is transitive or intransitive.

For example, here is a sentence which my teacher told me is wrong as emphasize is a transitive verb:

The programme emphasizes with mentoring people to take risks and act in a more entrepreneurial way.

This correct sentence is :

The programme emphasizes mentoring people to take risks and act in a more entrepreneurial way.

  • Have you tried asking your teacher? That would seem the best approach.
    – BillJ
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 10:51
  • I think she is not as much intelligent as experts on the stack exchange Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 17:11
  • Your teacher is right. mentor and emphasize are both transitive.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


A dictionary should say 'transitive' (or 'used with an object') or 'intransitive' (or 'used without an object') and give examples.

Dictionary.com's definition of 'emphasize' is:

'verb (used with object), em·pha·sized, em·pha·siz·ing.
to give emphasis to; lay stress upon; stress:
to emphasize a point; to emphasize the eyes with mascara.'

Without a dictionary, it might help to make the sentence as simple as you can, for example 'This program emphasizes this idea'.


A transitive verb has an object. (phone, buy, follow, help, eat, tell, give etc.)

The object is the person or thing affected by the verb. I phoned him. Who did I phone? - 'HIM', Him is the object. I bought a pen. What did I buy? - A PEN, A pen is the object.

They followed me. He helps his father. He is eating rice. I cannot change her. She closed her eyes. Open the door. I washed my hands. Me, his father, rice, her, her eyes, the door, and my hands are objects. Follow, help, eat, change, closed, open, and washed are transitive verbs.

Some transitive verbs can be used with two objects. She told us a story. us-object, a story-object

I bought her some flowers. her-object, some flowers-object,

I will give the man some food. the man-object, some food-object

An intransitive verb does not have an object. They talked for two hours. The woman was crying. We jumped. He ran. I work for a company. She left early. She has not changed. The shop closes at 8 pm. The shop opens at 9 am. I washed.

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