Explained: Linking, Intransitive and Transitive Verbs

Written by Dan

Last updated

Like most people, you probably learned about linking, intransitive and transitive verbs in school. But what do these terms mean? In this blog post, we’ll go over the definitions of each type of verb and provide examples to help you better understand how they’re used.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Use Exclamation Marks Correctly  here.

Verb TypeDefinitionKey CharacteristicsExample Sentences
Linking VerbsConnect the subject of a sentence to a subject complement (usually an adjective or noun that describes or renames the subject)Do not show action; link the subject with more information about it– She is a teacher.
– The flowers smell fragrant.
Intransitive VerbsExpress an action that does not transfer to an object; there is no direct object following the verbShow action or state of being; do not require a direct object– He laughs loudly.
– The sun sets in the west.
Transitive VerbsExpress an action that is directed toward a noun or pronoun (a direct object)Show action; must have a direct object that receives the action– She reads the book.
– They built a house.

This table provides definitions, characteristics, and examples of linking, intransitive, and transitive verbs, which can be effectively used to explain these concepts in your article.

Linking, Intransitive and Transitive Verbs

What Are Linking Verbs?

Linking verbs are verbs that don’t describe the action but instead connect the subject of a sentence to more information about it. The most common linking verb is ‘to be’, which can take many forms. Other linking verbs include appear, become, feel, look, seem, sound, remain, and taste.

5 Examples of Linking Verbs In A Sentence:

  • I am tired.
  • She remains hopeful.
  • The sky looks cloudy today.
  • The pie tastes delicious.
  • They seem content with their decision.

Why not check out our article about The 4 different types of sentences!

Intransitive and Transitive Verbs

What Are Intransitive Verbs?

Intransitive verbs are action verbs that do not take an object. This means they cannot be followed by a direct or indirect object (i.e., a noun or pronoun). Examples of intransitive verbs include laugh, sleep, run, talk, and sit.

5 Examples of Intransitive Verbs In A Sentence:

  • He laughed out loud.
  • The cat slept for hours.
  • She ran to the store.
  • They talked about their plans.
  • We sat in silence.

What Are Transitive Verbs?

Transitive verbs are action verbs that take an object. This means they must be followed by a direct or indirect object (i.e., a noun or pronoun). Examples of transitive verbs include giving, throw, buy, catch, eat, and read.

5 Examples of Transitive Verbs In A Sentence:

  • He gave her a bouquet of flowers.
  • I threw the ball across the room.
  • They bought tickets for the concert.
  • She caught a fish in the lake.
  • We ate dinner at seven o’clock.

How Can Teachers Teach The 3 Different Verb Types?

Teachers can teach the three different verb types by using examples and providing students opportunities to practice identifying them in sentences.

Using visuals and interactive activities can also be helpful in helping students understand the differences between linking, intransitive, and transitive verbs.

Additionally, teachers can have students create examples of each verb type or complete worksheets to practice identifying them in sentences.

By providing ample opportunities for students to practice, they’ll master distinguishing between linking, intransitive and transitive verbs.

By clearly explaining each type of verb, providing examples and giving students plenty of opportunity to practice, teachers can ensure that their students have a firm understanding of linking, intransitive and transitive verbs. With this knowledge, students can better understand how to use verbs correctly in their writing and speaking.

6 Models Of Writing To Show The3 Verb Types:

  1. With genuine enthusiasm, Paul worked to complete his story. He worked diligently, connecting ideas with linking verbs. He strived to use the correct type of verb for each situation as he wrote, mixing intransitive and transitive verbs as he saw fit. In his attempt to craft a masterpiece of literature along the lines of his literary idols, Paul crafted his story carefully, taking great care to ensure that both the flow of the story and the grammar adhered to a high standard. As he reached his goal, he felt confident and optimistic, which was only heightened as he put the finishing touches on it.
  2. Jacob was apprehensive as he stepped through the doors of the auditorium. He was here to deliver a presentation he had carefully researched and prepared over the past few weeks. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves, then slowly walked onto the stage. As soon as he got behind the podium, Jacob felt a wave of confidence wash over him, and although his hands were trembling slightly, he could feel himself smiling warmly at his audience. The presentation began, and Jacob delivered it quickly, expounding knowledgeably while linking ideas with coherence and clarity; transitive verbs propelled him forward, while intransitive verbs lent punctuation here and there. His speech progressed flawlessly until its completion. After that, waves of applause filled the room, confirming what Jacob already knew: that he had done an exemplary job.
  3. Mary was determined to create a masterpiece. She first outlined her vision, linking the ideas into a cohesive story. She later began writing her drafts with great purpose, using transitive and intransitive verbs to shape her narrative. As she penned each line, she applauded herself for the progress made and revelled in how carefully crafted each sentence was. Eventually, her hard work paid off as she completed her story, feeling proud that it had become a reality.
  4. Years ago, an older man once lived in a small village and enjoyed long walks through the nearby woods. Every day, he would make his way up the winding dirt path to the forest and take in nature’s beauty. He often lingered for hours by the babbling brook, watching as its normally placid waters spilt over stones and flowed downstream. As time passed, he grew accustomed to frequently linking with his natural surroundings and found comfort in their familiarity. Intransitively wandering through these wooded areas became his source of solace, and he derived great pleasure from it. Yet one day, a strange creature crossed his path and abruptly disrupted his tranquil routine. After staring at each other for a few moments, the man quickly transited away from the beast. He returned to his village with haste – an action he vowed never to repeat.
  5. An enchanted evening had been promised, and the setting was indeed magical. Visitors linked arms and walked along the tree-lined path to an open meadow blanketed in a deep blue night sky. An older man radiated serenity and joy in the centre of this idyllic landscape. He gestured for everyone to gather around him, and then he began a captivating tale about a grand adventure into another realm. His story included a transitive verb or two every few lines to paint a vivid picture; ‘tumbling” ‘coilin”,” bouncing”- each fanciful verb drew them further into his world, allowing them to experience all which he described. Even when the story ended, everybody felt a strange calm washing over them and realized that the enchanting evening had left an indelible mark on their hearts.
  6. Once upon a time, there lived a brave warrior in an ancient kingdom who traversed every expanse of the land to bring justice. He encountered many tumultuous trials throughout his journey but steadfastly carried on with courage and resilience. People linked him to other valiant warriors everywhere he went with like stories since his own was so inspiring. His heroic deeds transcended boundaries and ruled the hearts of many people across generations. Using either transitive or intransitive verbs, he constantly reminded himself and others that any task could be accomplished when one puts in the necessary effort. As a reward for his accomplishment, he was granted inexhaustible riches by the grateful citizens of the kingdom – proving that success is achievable with passion and hard work.

Now that you have a more in-depth understanding of linking, intransitive and transitive verbs, you should quickly identify them in any sentence! Feel free to ask your teacher if you have questions or need further clarification. Good luck!

Below is our quiz on linking, intransitive and transitive Verbs! For more quizzes, plans and units of work, visit our TES store.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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