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Never Passive

Intransitive Verbs With No Passive Form

Building damaged by earthquake
 

 

Intransitive vs. Transitive Verbs 

INTRANSITIVE VERB

An intransitive verb expresses an action that happens by itself.  The verb is not used with an object (does not take an object); therefore, no passive form can be used.

The earthquake happened on March 11, 2011 in Japan.

The earthquake was happened on March 11, 2011 in Japan.
 

TRANSITIVE VERB

A transitive verb expresses an action that someone or something does to something or someone. The verb is used with an object.  A passive form can be used. 

The tsunami wave killed hundreds of people.

Hundreds of people were killed by the tsunami wave (that followed the earthquake).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intransitive Verbs

List

 

 

 

Some Intransitive Verbs 

These verbs do not occur with objects, so they cannot be used in the passive voice.

agree

appear

arrive

become

belong

collapse

consist of

cost

depend

die

disappear

emerge

exist

fall

go

happen³

have¹

inquire

knock (sound)

laugh

lie (recline or tell untruth)

live

look

last (endure)

occur

remain

respond

rise

sit

sleep

stand

stay

swim

vanish

wake²

wait 

¹Except: I was had. (slang) – someone took advantage of me.

²awake (trans. and intrans.) – I awoke / I awoke her.

³happen (intrans.) – *An idea happened. But:  We happened upon an idea. We came across an idea. ("unexpectedly discovered/occured") It happens that we saw him this morning. ("by chance").

Also see Transitive vs. Intransitive Verb Lists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Intransitive Verbs

Copula & Static Verbs

baby
 

 

 

Static Verbs  with Intransitive and Transitive Forms

INTRANSITIVE VERB

The meaning of a static verb may be expressed as 'equals' or 'is'. No action is expressed.   States of being, sensory states, and measurement states are followed by descriptors rather than "recipients" of actions. 

COPULA   VERBS

The baby is tired. (static – describes the baby)

The baby is hers. (static – specifies the baby)

SENSORY STATES

The baby feels wet.

MENTAL STATES

The baby is tired. I know.

POSSESSION STATES

The baby belongs here (adv)  / to her (PP).  

MEASUREMENT
baby on a scale

The baby weighs ten pounds(5 kg). (describes – baby = 10 lbs.)

 

 

TRANSITIVE VERB

In some cases a verb is be used as a static verb with one meaning and as a dynamic verb with another meaning. Only a dynamic verb can be a transitive verb, which has a subject ('doer'), a verb (action) and an object ('recipient').

DYNAMIC VERB

— none —

DYNAMIC VERB

The mother felt the diaper to see if it was wet.
(The diaper was felt by the baby's mother.)

DYNAMIC VERB

You know our doctor.
(Our doctor is known by you.)

DYNAMIC VERB

The baby has a bottle.       *A bottle is had by the baby.

—  move over   *The baby belongs me.

 

DYNAMIC VERB– different meaning

The doctor weighed the baby.

(The baby was weighed by the doctor.)

The doctor weighed the baby who is ten pounds.

 

 

*Words marked with an asterisk and yellow highlighting are examples of incorrect usage.
Also see Describing vs. Specifying "be" and Transitive Verbs.
In linguistic terms, a transitive verb has at least two 'arguments' – a subject and an object (monotransitive).

 

 

 

 

Static Verbs

STATES OF BEING SENSORY STATES MENTAL STATES POSSESSION STATES MEASUREMENT STATES

See  States of Being

See Sensory States

See Cognitive States

See Possession States

See Measurement States

be (am, is, are were, was)  (intrans)

feel (intrans/ trans)

know, think, suppose, imagine,  understand (intrans/ trans)

have  (trans)

weigh   (intrans/ trans)

seem, appear, look  (intrans)

sound  (intrans/ trans)

forget, remember  (intrans/ trans)

own, hold title to (trans)

equal. add up to (intrans)

resemble, looks like  (trans)

taste (intrans/ trans)

desire, *want / *need / (trans)

belong (intrans)

reach, measure (intrans/ trans)

becomes  (intrans/ trans)

see   (intrans/ trans)

believe, feel (intrans/ trans)

 

cost, owe  (intrans/ trans)

get  (intrans/ trans)

hear (intrans/ trans)

recognize (trans)

 

include, contain, (trans)
 

These are also called stative verbs.  See States of Being.    These contrast with dynamic verbs,  or action verbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*The accident was happened a week ago.
    (A transitive verb has no object and, therefore, cannot be passive)

An idea was happened to us.

 *My mother bore me in 1981.
   (The active form is hardly ever used.)

*The prices is included a breakfast with the room.

*The College of San Mateo locates on a hilltop.
   (The verb has a different meaning in active and passive forms.)

*The car was cost me just three thousand dollars.

SOLUTION

The accident happened a week ago.

We happened upon an idea. "discovered by chance"

We happened to come across an idea. "thought of it unexpectedly"

I was born in 1981.   

The price includes a breakfast with the room.
Breakfast is included in the price of the room

The College of San Mateo is located on a hilltop. (exists)
The Board of Regents will locate the new college on a hilltop. (to situate / to build)

The car cost me three thousand dollars.  (not used in the passive form)
I was charged three thousand dollars for the car.

 

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Earthquake

earthquake in italy
 

 

 

Decide whether the verb requires an active or passive verb.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "check" button to the left as you go.

 

1.
 I'll never forget the earthquake

2.
 

3.
.


4.

5.


resemble (v.) – look like

6.
   

7.
I heard people walking around and shouting.

8.
  I was so relieved. 

9.


emerge (v.) – come out of

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Nature's Wrath

tornado
 

 

 

Read for Errors

As far as we could see, there was nothing left.  The tornado had smashed everything to tiny bits and then the wind had scattered the bits everywhere. The place where our house was stood was just the ground.  There was nothing to mark its place. The neighborhood was disappeared.  Only bits of the street was remained. The trees were fallen down and lying in strange positions. So little was left that we couldn't orient ourselves.

Other people were arrived and they also shocked to see their land with no house on it. We walked around and scratched the ground with a stick.  We kept looking for something that was belonged to us, something that could tie us to this empty place.

Our day to day lives was consisted of taking care of our things, our stuff that we moved from place to place.  And now that stuff was everywhere, but, in fact, nowhere. From that moment, we began our "journey" to understand what so many people was felt after disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and storms.

For awhile, we were housed at a hotel in a nearby city. Then, we were stayed at some apartments until we could rebuild our home. Some people were surprised to hear that we might rebuild in the same place.  However, our neighborhood met and discussed it, and we were all agreed that we should rebuild.

apartments (n.) – multiple-unit housing  Br-En – flats

consist of (verbal expression) –  be formed of, have as its parts, be made up of

journey (n.) – a long trip; in this case, an emotional trip

orient (v.) – find direction; to determine the position of in relation to the points of the compass: north, west, east or south

scatter (v.) – toss, throw about 

stuff (n.) – an informal word for possessions; indefinite, unspecific, noncount

tie (v.) – connect, relate

tornado (n.) – a localized, violently destructive windstorm occurring over land, especially in the Middle West, and characterized by a long, funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground and made visible by condensation and debris.

wrath (n.) – anger

 

 

 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select a response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.
  3. Words that should be deleted are marked with brackets [delete this].

 

11.
As far as we could see, there was nothing left.  The storm had smashed everything to tiny bits and then the wind had scattered the bits everywhere.

     

12.
The place where our house was stood was just the ground. There was nothing to mark its place.

       

13.
The neighborhood was disappeared. Only bits of the street was remained.

     

14.
The trees were fallen down and lying in strange positions. So little was left that we couldn't orient ourselves.

     

15.
Other people were arrived and they also shocked to see their land with no house on it.

     

16.
We walked around and scratched the ground with a stick. We kept looking for something that was belonged to us, something that could tie us to this empty place.

     

17.
Our day to day lives was consisted of taking care of our things, our stuff that we moved from place to place.  And now that stuff was everywhere, but, in fact, nowhere.

     

18.
From that moment, we began our "journey" to understand what so many people was felt after disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and storms.

     

19.
For awhile, we were housed at a hotel in a nearby city. Then, we were stayed at some apartments until we could rebuild our home.

     

20.
Some people were surprised to hear that we might rebuild in the same place. However, our neighborhood met and discussed it, and we were all agreed that we should rebuild.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Living on a Volcano

Stromboli
 

 

 

Read for Errors

Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, and contains one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.   The volcano is erupted many times, and is constantly active with minor eruptions every 15 to 20 minutes. Because one can see the volcano from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, it called "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean".

A Strombolian eruption typically results in a few mild energetic bursts of ash and bits of lava that go a few hundred meters up in the air and then fall back down. Stromboli's activity is almost always small explosions, but occasionally is consisted of explosions and lava flows as it did in 2002, 2006 and 2007.

The island is included three villages: San Bartolo and San Vincenzo in the northeast, and the smaller village Ginostra in the southwest. The island has as many as 2,000 visitors in the summer.  However, only approximately 600 people are remained there in the winter.

Though the lava flows were not occurred near the villages, the volcano bursts can send large rocks into the sea causing small tsunamis, which in the past have destroyed fishing boats and parts of the harbor. In case of emergency, regular evacuation drills are held in which the residents gather in the piazza. 

"But there's no reason to think that anything extraordinary will happen in the short term. The population is not at risk."  Fortunately, nothing was happened during the last big eruption to these brave souls living on the side of a live volcano. 

Reuters   28 Feb 2007 

 

ash (n.) – the soft gray powder that remains after something has been burned:

burst (n.) – event in which the volcano has a sudden, violent release of gas or lava

evacuation (n.) – a temporary emptying or departure; in this case, of people and animals

eruption (n.) – when something explodes and sends smoke, fire, and rock into the sky

lava (n.) – hot liquid rock that flows from a volcano

piazza (n.) – central square of the village

 

 

 

Edit the sentence(s).

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "check" button as you go.

 

21.
Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, and contains one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.   The volcano is erupted many times, and is constantly active with minor eruptions every 15 to 20 minutes. 


22.
Because one can see the volcano from many points on the island and from the surrounding sea, it called "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean".


23.
A Strombolian eruption typically results in a few mild energetic bursts of ash and bits of lava that go a few hundred meters up in the air and then fall back down. Stromboli's activity is almost always small explosions, but occasionally is consisted of explosions and lava flows as it did in 2002, 2006 and 2007.


24.
The island is included three villages: San Bartolo and San Vincenzo in the northeast, and the smaller village Ginostra in the southwest.


25.
The island has as many as 2,000 visitors in the summer.  However, only approximately 600 people are remained there in the winter.


26.
Though the lava flows were not occurred near the villages, the volcano bursts can send large rocks into the sea causing small tsunamis, which in the past have destroyed fishing boats and parts of the harbor.


27.
In case of emergency, regular evacuation drills are held in which the residents gather in the piazza.


28.
"But there's no reason to think that anything extraordinary will happen in the short term. The population is not at risk."  Fortunately, nothing was happened during the last big eruption to these brave souls living on the side of a live volcano.