An intransitive verb is a verb that denotes an action which does not pass over to an object or which expresses a state or being

He ran a long distance.

According to me here run is a transitive verb because it has its object a long distance. But in my grammar book it is said to be intransitive. I am confused over this.

  • Some people do take it as intransitive with "a long distance" as a spatial adjunct. But I think the transitive analysis is better, where "a long distance" is Od of "ran".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


Notice that run can be both transitive and intransitive with the same meaning.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary

run [ I or T ]

(of people and some animals) to move along, faster than walking, by taking quick steps in which each foot is lifted before the next foot touches the ground

[I or T] meaning [Intransitive or Transitive]

When can check another source to gather additional information.

According to the Oxford Learners Dictionary

run [transitive]

run something to travel a particular distance by running
Who was the first person to run a mile in under four minutes?

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