Dienstag, 15. März 2011

German verbs : transitive and intransitive

German verbs : transitive and intransitive

1. ALL finite verbs must have a SUBJECT, which is the doer of the action, the person or thing the verb is limited to or "about ", but NOT ALL verbs need have an object, which is a person or thing on the receiving end of the action.

Thus the verb brauchen ( to need) requires an object; one cannot just say ich brauche without saying what it is you need,

whereas the verb gehen ( to go ) does not require an object, ie. one does not go a person or thing

Wir gehen jetzt.

2. Verbs which have an object are called transitive, and those which do not are called intransitive.

Most verbs are invariably on or the other, transitive or intransitive:


Das Baby weinte.

Er sagte nichts.

3. some verbs, however, can be both transitive and intransitive ).

eg., fahren

Ich fahre heute nach Hause. ( intransitive)

Ich fahre einen Opel. (transitive)

eg., rudern ( to row)

Er rudert sehr gut. ( intransitive)

Wir Rudern ein sehr kleines Boot. ( transitive )

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