Verbs are words that tell us what a person (or thing or animal) does, what is done to a person (or thing or animal), or what a person (or thing or animal) is.
She laughs. (What she does)
John is scolded. (What is done to John)
The cat is dead. (What the cat is)
Transitive and intransitive verbs
A transitive verb denotes an action that is performed on an object by a subject.
I kicked a ball.
Jack ate a sandwich.
Both kick and ate in these sentences are used as transitive verbs.
An intransitive verb denotes an action that is not done on any object, or expresses a state of being.
The baby sleeps.
There is a book on the table.
Both sleeps and is in these sentences are used as intransitive verbs.
Note that the verbs come, go, fall, die, sleep, and lie denote actions that cannot be done to anything. Thus, they are always used as intransitive verbs.Download Printable Worksheet