Does a transitive verb always require a direct object?

If a verb is only listed in the dictionary as a transitive verb, can it be correctly used without a direct object, i.e. as an intransitive verb? We can use the verb “force” as an example, which is only listed as a transitive verb. He always forces. Can it be correct? Although the meaning is … Read more

How to use “allow to do something” without mentioning a person?

Instead of the probably correct structure: Our software XYZ allows the user to resize and modify PNG images. I’m looking for a way to do it without specifying a person (or people): Our software XYZ allows to resize and modify PNG images. Does the latter sound strange for a native English speaker? Which one is … Read more

How is transitivity defined in CGEL?

This ques­tion is specif­i­cally for those who are fa­mil­iar with the 2002 edi­tion of The Cam­bridge Gram­mar of the English Lan­guage by Hud­dle­ston and Pul­lum. The book has this pas­sage at page 272: Strictly speak­ing, an in­tran­si­tive prepo­si­tion may have a com­ple­ment other than an ob­ject NP – e.g. ow­ing in ow­ing to the rain … Read more

In the sentence “The wallet has fallen.” Is the verb “fallen” being used in the passive form and is it grammatically correct?

I feel like it is grammatically correct, but as a native speaker I am aware that I will say and write things that are not “by the book” when it comes to grammar. I also know that you can have a sentence that is in a prepositional-passive tense such as “This roof has been fallen … Read more

recent use of “to debrief” in AE as an intransitive verb but no dictionary says it can?

The online OED defines to debrief as follows transitive to obtain information from Examples Leonov and Belyaev..will stay at the space station for several days to be debriefed (1965) The online Merriam-Webster defines it as transitive a. to interrogate b. to review carefully However, it cites the following as “recent examples from the web” for … Read more

Can “procrastinate” be a transitive verb?

I recently read in a book about someone who “procrastinated her tax return”, which seemed very strange to me. Is this usage common, and if so is it considered correct? Answer Transitive In the 19th century and before, the transitive use of procrastinate in the sense ‘delay, postpone’ is quite frequent: This motion was opposed … Read more

The intransitive usage of “satisfy”

I lighted upon a sentence in the New York Times: Actually almost any tidbit — notably pigs in blankets — that the bar sends my way will satisfy. This usage of satisfy strikes me as uncommon, if not jarring, as the verb satisfy almost always occurs as a transitive verb. I have just checked all … 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