What is a Complex Transitive Verb?
A complex transitive verb is a type of verb that requires both a direct object and an indirect object to complete its meaning.
In other words, it is a verb that has:
- Two objects
- A direct object
Both of them receive the action of the verb and an indirect object to show the recipient of the action.
For example, in the sentence:
“She gave him a book,” the verb “gave” is a complex transitive verb.
“Book” is the direct object that receives the action of the verb, while “him” is the indirect object that indicates the recipient of the action.
Other examples of complex transitive verbs include:
These verbs all need both a direct and an indirect object to complete their meaning.
Functions of Complex Transitive Verbs in English Grammar
Complex transitive verbs play a vital role in English grammar. They provide the necessary information to express complete thoughts and ideas. Because these verbs have both a direct object and an indirect object. So, they prove the relationship between the subject, the direct object, and the indirect object.
One of the primary functions of complex transitive verbs is to describe an action that is being performed on an object.
For example, in the sentence:
“She gave him a gift,” the verb “gave” is a complex transitive verb because it has both a direct object (“gift“) and an indirect object (“him“).
Without the use of a complex transitive verb, it would be challenging to convey this specific action and the recipient of the action.
Complex transitive verbs also convey important information about the subject and the object.
For example, in the sentence:
“He taught me how to swim,” the verb “taught” is a complex transitive verb because it has both a direct object (“how to swim”) and an indirect object (“me”).
This sentence tells us not only what the subject did but also what he did it to and for whom he did it.
Additionally, complex transitive verbs create more complex sentence structures, such as:
- Passive voice
These structures are necessary for both written and spoken English. Because the use of complex transitive verbs makes them possible.
Examples of complex transitive verbs and their use in Sentences
- Make: He made her cry.
- Let: She let him borrow her car.
- Force: The kidnappers forced him to write a ransom note.
- Teach: He taught her how to swim.
- Name: They named the baby Isabella.
- Consider: She considered him a friend.
- Find: I found her beautiful.
- Declare: The president declared the country in a state of emergency.
- Designate: The boss designated her as the project lead.
- Appoint: The company appointed her as the new CEO.
- Elect: The citizens elected him as their representative.
- Select: She selected the perfect dress for the occasion.
- Charge: The police charged him with robbery.
- Hire: They hired him as a consultant.
- Fire: The company fired him for incompetence.
- Remember: I remember her singing at the party.
- Believe: He believed her story.
- Know: She knows the answer to the question.
- Think: I think he’s lying.
- Doubt: I doubt his sincerity.
- Assume: She assumed the position of manager.
- Trust: He trusted her with his secret.
- Love: She loved him deeply.
- Like: I like my coffee with cream and sugar.
- Dislike: She disliked his attitude.
- Hate: He hated his job.
- Admire: She admired his courage.
- Respect: He respected her opinion.
- Order: The sergeant ordered the soldiers to march.
- Permit: The teacher permitted the students to leave early.
- Beg: He begged her to forgive him.
- Plead: She pleaded with him to stay.
- Promise: He promised her he would be back soon.
- Advise: She advised him to take a break.
- Warn: The doctor warned her about the dangers of smoking.
- Remind: I reminded him of the meeting.
- Allow: The principal allowed the students to have a dance.
- Persuade: She persuaded him to try the new restaurant.
- Encourage: He encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
- Invite: She invited him to her party.
- Suggest: He suggested they take a break.
- Implore: She implored him to reconsider.
- Urge: The coach urged the players to give it their all.
- Entice: The aroma of the food enticed him into the restaurant.
- Seduce: He was seduced by her charm.
- Enable: The new technology enabled him to work from home.
- Forbid: The parents forbade their children from watching TV.
- Acknowledge: She acknowledged her mistake.
- Admit: The student admitted to cheating us.
- Describe: She described the sunset as beautiful to her brother.
How to Identify Complex Transitive Verbs in Sentences
Here are some steps to help you identify complex transitive verbs in sentences:
- Look for a verb that has both a direct object and an indirect object. A direct object is a noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb. While the indirect object is the noun or pronoun that receives the direct object.
- Ask yourself if the verb requires both a direct and indirect object to make sense. For example, in the sentence: “She gave him a watch,” the verb “gave” requires both a direct object (” watch “) and an indirect object (“him“) to make sense.
- Pay attention to prepositions. Often, the indirect object will be preceded by a preposition, such as “to,” “for,” or “with.” For example, in the sentence: “He sang a song for her,”. The verb “sang” is a complex transitive verb because it has both a direct object (“song“) and an indirect object (“her,” preceded by the preposition “for“).
- Consider the meaning of the sentence as a whole. If the sentence makes sense only when both a direct and an indirect object are present, then the verb is likely a complex transitive verb.
Here are a few examples of sentences with complex transitive verbs:
- She wrote him a letter.
- The teacher assigned us a project.
- I sent her a gift for her birthday.
- The mechanic fixed my car for me.
- He told me a funny story.
In each of these examples, the verb has both a direct object and an indirect object, and the sentence would not make sense without both of these objects. By following these steps, you can identify complex transitive verbs and better understand their role in sentence structure.
Different types of Complex Transitive Verbs
There are several different types of complex transitive verbs, including:
These verbs describe a situation in which one person or thing causes another person or thing to do something. Examples include “make,” “let,” and “force.” For example, “He made her cry.”
These verbs describe a situation in which someone perceives something in a particular way. Examples include “see,” “hear,” and “feel.” For example, “She felt the wind blowing.”
Verbs of Emotion
These verbs describe a situation in which someone feels a particular emotion. Examples include “love,” “hate,” and “admire.” For example, “She loves him at heart ♥.”
Verbs of Cognition
These verbs describe a situation in which someone knows or believes something. Examples include “think,” “believe,” and “know.” For example, “He knows the answer.”
Verbs of Possession
These verbs describe a situation in which someone possesses something. Examples include “have,” “own,” and “possess.” For example, “She owns a car.”
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Complex Transitive Verbs
Complex transitive verbs can be challenging to use correctly. There are several common mistakes that people make when using them. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using complex transitive verbs:
- Confusing the direct object with the indirect object: One of the most common mistakes is to confuse the direct and indirect objects. For example, in the sentence “She gave him a book,” “book” is the direct object, and “him” is the indirect object.
- Leaving out the indirect object: It’s important to include both the direct and indirect objects in a sentence with a complex transitive verb. Leaving out the indirect object can result in a sentence that is incomplete or unclear. For example, in the sentence “She gave a book,” it’s unclear who received the book.
- Using the wrong preposition: Some complex transitive verbs require a specific preposition before the indirect object. For example, “give” often requires the preposition “to,” as in “She gave the book to him.” Using the wrong preposition can result in a sentence that is grammatically incorrect or unclear.
- Using a direct object that doesn’t make sense: The direct object should be a noun or pronoun that makes sense in the context of the sentence. For example, in the sentence “She told him a cat,” “cat” doesn’t make sense as a direct object in this context.
- Using a verb that isn’t transitive: Not all verbs can be used as complex transitive verbs. It’s important to use a verb that is transitive and requires both a direct and indirect object. For example, “run” is not a transitive verb and cannot be used as a complex transitive verb.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can use complex transitive verbs correctly in your writing and speaking.
In conclusion, complex transitive verbs are crucial in English grammar. As they enable us to convey complete thoughts and ideas. They also provide important information about the subject and the object and create more complex sentence structures. These verbs are necessary for English grammar to be much more effective in conveying meaning and complexity.