Are transitive verb phrases intransitive verbs?

I think I’m asking that probably because some transitive verb phrases goes before prepositions.

  • I don't understand your question. Can you give us an example or two?
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 8:17
  • I’m thinking a transitive verb phrase might be “make fun” and “make fun” goes before the preposition “of”. Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


Verb phrases can be both transitive and intransitive, in just the same way as single-word verbs.

For example:

He digs up the road.

"digs up" is a transitive verb phrase, needing an object.

He cheers up.

"cheers up" is an intransitive verb phrase.

Note that both "dig" and "cheer" are verbs that can be either intransitive or transitive depending on meaning.

So a transitive or intransitive verb phrase may contain a transitive verb or an intransitive verb. There is not a fixed relationship between them.

  • I think 'dig up' and 'cheer up' are phrasal verbs. When I said 'transitive verb phrases', I was thinking 'transitive verb phrases' were phrases like 'make fun' or 'take care'. What might you call those phrases? Commented May 30, 2022 at 22:08
  • Everything I say about verb phrases applies to phrasal verbs. I would also call "make fun" a phrasal verb. Commented May 31, 2022 at 12:46

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