TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words: Part 4 Transitive Verbs

First, read TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words: Part 1

Today, I’m presenting the Transitive Verbs from the above list.

♦ Transitive verbs must be followed directly by an object (a noun or pronoun).

We need to allocate funds for advertising.

We need to allocate … Q. what? … A. funds for advertising.

If you ask a question after the verb, you can often work out if the verb is Transitive (Vn) or Intransitive (V). Some verbs can be Transitive sometimes and Intransitive other times (Vn/V). It all depends on the information in the sentence and the questions you ask about the verb.

  • The answer to ‘what?’ (& ‘who?’) is a noun (noun phrase/noun clause), as in the above sentence. When we ask ‘what’ or ‘who’ after the verb we are asking for information about the object of the verb. In the above sentence, funds is the object of the verb.

♦ Intransitive verbs are not followed by a direct object:

The CEO spoke quickly.

Quickly‘ is an adverb because it tells us ‘how’ the CEO spoke. It is not a noun or pronoun. If we want to say ‘who’ or ‘what’ the CEO spoke to, we must use a preposition in the middle of the verb and object, as ‘to speak’ is an intransitive verb.

The CEO spoke quickly to the staff.  The CEO spoke to the staff.

  • The answer to ‘how?’, ‘why?’, ‘where?’, and ‘when?’ is an adverb, not a noun. An adverb can be one word. For example – quickly. It can be preposition + noun (preposition + noun = adverb. For more information, click here). For example – in the boardroom.  An adverb adds information to the verb.

The verb assemble can be Transitive:

The CEO assembled the staff.

The CEO assembledwho? … the staff.

It can also be Intransitive:

The staff quickly assembled in the boardroom after lunch for a short meeting.

The staff assembled … where?… in the boardroom. (preposition + noun)

The staff assembled … when? … after lunch. (preposition + noun)

The staff assembled … how? … quickly. (one word)

The staff assembled … why? … for a short meeting. (preposition + noun)

Try putting the following Transitive verbs in sentences and asking ‘what?’ or ‘who?’ after the verb. You will see that the verbs lend themselves naturally to this question  because they’re transitive! They need an object to complete their meaning. For example: He needs to acquire more financial backing. He needs to acquire what? … more financial backing. You can’t just write: He needs to acquire. The sentence is obviously not finished. It needs an object.                                                                an object.

N.B.  The Transitive verbs in the table below are often used in a passive sense. For example:

Active: The C.E.O. allocated plenty of funds for the party.
Passive: Plenty of funds were allocated for the party.

Active: The Insurance Company will withhold payment until they acquire medical certificates.
Passive: Payment will be withheld until medical certificates are acquired.

 You can find definitions, sentence examples, and pronunciation for each word by clicking on the  Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Online Dictionary. I have already linked some for you.


accommodate acquire admire allocate
ascertain assess assume attract
authorize avoid bear broaden
combine compile complete confirm
consider constitute convince delete
designate detect determine diagnose
disappoint display distinguish disturb
emphasize engage enhance entitle
establish evaluate exact examine
excite expect explore expose
express extend facilitate forget
fulfill generate hire ignore
illuminate imply impose impress
incorporate incur irritate maintain
manage notify obligate obtain
occupy owe preclude predict
prevent prohibit promote protect
reconcile rectify refer regulate
reinforce release relinquish remind
repel replace require restore
revise secure select solve
submit subtract tempt urge

Click here for TOEIC #5

This entry was posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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