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As in Longman Dictionary, it is said "last" in an intransitive verb , but there is one example :

Each lesson lasts an hour.

(http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/last_4)

If "last" is an intransitive as stated, then "an hour" is not the object. Then What is the function of "an hour"? Is it adverbial?

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  • lasts an hour, thirty minutes, etc; last is transitive in this case.
    – Schwale
    Mar 27, 2016 at 3:08

1 Answer 1

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Yes, it is an adverbial of time. As the British Council says, "We often use a noun phrase as a time adverbial." This means that it may appear to be a transitive verb, because there is a noun phrase after the verb, but in fact it is intransitive and is followed by an adverbial, as you figured out.

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  • I agree with fjack. Here we have not an agent and a receiver of an action, and we don't ask whom/what, we ask how long. Answer: An hour. As fjack said "an hour" looks like a direct object, but it isn't one.
    – rogermue
    Mar 27, 2016 at 13:02
  • One test to check if it's transitive or intransitive is to see if you can make the sentence passive. An active sentence with a transitive verb and an object should be able to become passive. However, in this case, "an hour has lasted by a lesson" makes no sense at all. Ergo, the verb is not transitive, which means the noun phrase "an hour" is NOT acting as a direct object, but as an adverbial phrase.
    – fjack
    Mar 27, 2016 at 19:43

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