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By the Oxford dictionary, 'know' is a intransitive or transitive verb in "have information" meaning. Example:

I do not know how many years of life are before me.

Is the verb 'know' transitive here? I think that 'how'-based subordinate is a prepositional object. How to correctly distinguish transitive and intransitive verbs without vocabulary?

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  • It does not have a direct object so it is intransitive. "How many years of life are before me" is not a direct object but a subordinate interrogative clause (embedded question) functioning as complement of "know". – BillJ Mar 16 '20 at 14:20
  • How do you verify that it doesn't contain direct object? – Владимир Смирнов Mar 16 '20 at 15:40
  • And how did you detect complement here? – Владимир Смирнов Mar 16 '20 at 16:11
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    Because objects are almost always noun phrases, not clauses. The interrogative clause in your example is specifically permitted by "know", and thus is a complement. Note that complements must be licensed by an appropriate head. – BillJ Mar 16 '20 at 16:12
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"To know" is not a Dynamic verb. It is a stative verb. In stative verbs, it is a linking or a copulative verb. So, it does not need an object. Although, there is incomplete-predication, so it will take complement not an object to complete the predication.

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