What is it called when I poop the dog?

I’m wondering what it is called when a non-transitive verb is used as a transitive verb. An example would be if someone took the dog outside so it could defecate, and said, I pooped the dog. I know the term anthimeria refers to using one part of a speech as another. Wikipedia says that anthimeria… … Read more

Dropping “it” in America

Before I embraced descriptive grammar it would really grind my gears when I heard, usually from someone with a US American accent, phrases like “I hate when that happens”. “Hate is a transitive verb!” I would yell. (To my knowledge it’s not normal to drop it in “UK English”.) However, these days I’m more mellow. … Read more

Being drawn to something?

I know that I can say "I was drawn to someone," but can I also say "I was drawn to something by X"? I want to imply how I came across a topic that later became a serious project for me. Or should I simply use "come across"? Answer "Come across" connotes a particular happenstance, … Read more

Is there an English transitive verb meaning “to make someone/something valuable”?

I’m thinking something along the lines of "imbue" or "instill", but neither of those words work perfectly unless you append "with value". Ideally this would be a word that’s used in a subject/object context, i.e. [subject] ____ [object to be made valuable], so something like "appreciate" doesn’t quite work. "Enrich" is the best I’ve come … Read more

What does “program to” mean in “Program to an interface, not an implementation”?

This is a design principle in object-oriented programming: Program to an interface, not an implementation. At last now I know for sure what the principle means (thanks to @DanBron in the comments) but as a non-native speaker I fail to understand what the phrase “program to” means in that sentence. It has been suggested that … Read more

Is it correct that only transitive verbs can have passive form?

I was taught that only transitive verbs can have passive form. But today, I met a person saying that intransitive verbs can also have passive form. He gave 2 examples as follows. A1: I speak to John. P1: John is spoken to by me. A2: I look after this baby. P2: This baby is looked … Read more

Passive Voice with intransitive verbs?

With a sentence like, "He sat on the couch," is sat still being used as an intransitive verb since, in general, prepositional phrases cannot act as direct objects? To me, the prepositional phase "on the couch" seems to be behaving like a direct object. If it is not behaving like a direct object, then I … Read more