Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication

Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication :

Intransitive Verbs

The verbs which do not need objects to carry out their action are called by this name.

1. He laughs.
2. They walk.
3. She sees.

Laugh, wake, sit, go, see, walk and cry are few of the Intransitive Verbs.

Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication

This is the name given to any Intransitive Verb which makes complete sense by itself and does not require any word or words to be added to it for this purpose.

1. Rivers flow.
2. Winds blow.
3. Horses run.
4. Birds fly.
5. All animals die.

Intransitive Verbs of Incomplete Predication

This is the name given to those Intransitive Verbs which do not make complete sense by themselves, but require a Complement to supply what the verb has left unsaid.

The Complement to Intransitive Verbs may be in the same kinds of form as the Complement to Transitive Verbs.

Subject… Verb…Complement

1. A horse is a four-legged animal. (Noun)
2. That beggar turned out a thief. (Noun)
3. The man has fallen sick. (Adjective)
4. The dog went mad. (Adjective)
5. The man appears pleased. (Participle)
6. The stag continued running and jumping. (Participle)
7. Your coat is of many colours. (Preposition with Object)
8. That book proved of no use. (Preposition with Object)
9. The flower seems to be fading. (Infinitive)
10. YOU appear to have forgotten me. (Infinitive)
11. The man has fallen asleep. (Adverb Clause)
12. The results are what we expected. (Adverb Clause)

When the Complement comes after an Intransitive Verb, it is called a Subjective Complement, because it relates to the Subject.

But when it comes after a Transitive Verb in the Active Voice, it is called an Objective Complement, because it relates to the Object.

The Cognate Object

An Intransitive Verb, though it is never followed by a Noun denoting an outside or foreign Object, may sometimes be followed by a Noun already implied more or less in the Verb itself.

Thus we can say 'He has lived a sad life', where the Noun life is implied already in the Verb 'lived', and is in fact part of its meaning.

Such Objects are called Cognate or kindred, because the Noun denoting them is of kindred meaning to that of the Verb itself.

There are four different forms of Cognate Object.

(a) Cognate Noun formed directly from the Verb.

1. He laughed a hearty laugh.
2. He died a sad death.
3. He lived a long life.
4. He fought a good fight.
5. He slept a sound sleep.
6. He prayed an earnest prayer.
7. He sighed a deep sigh.
8. He sang a fine song.

(b) Cognate Noun of similar meaning.

1. He went a long way.
2. He fought a good battle.
3. He struck a deadly blow.
4. He ran his own course.
5. It blows a brisk gale.
6. The bells ring a merry peal.

(c) A Noun descriptive of the Cognate Noun understood.

1. They shouted applause. (They shouted a shout of applause.)

2. He served his apprenticeship. (He served his service as an apprentice.)

3. He ran a great risk. (He ran a course of great risk.)

4. He played the fool. (He played the part of a fool.)

(d) An Adjective qualifying the Cognate Noun understood.

1. He shouted his loudest (shout).
2. He ran his fastest (run or pace).
3. He fought his best (fight).
4. She sang her sweetest (song).
5. He breathed his last (breath).
6. He tried his hardest (trial or attempt).

Intransitive Verbs in A Causal Sense :

If an Intransitive Verb is used in the sense of causing a thing to be done, it becomes Transitive. Of these there are only a few examples in English.

Intransitive…. Causal

1. The kite flew in the air…..He flew the kite.(=caused it to fly).

2. The soldiers marched out…. He marched out the soldiers.

3. Wheat grows in the field…. He grows wheat in the field.

4. The boat floated….He floated the boat.

There are a few Intransitive Verbs in which the causal sense is indicated by some change of vowel.

There are a few Intransitive Verbs in which the causal sense is indicated by some change of vowel.

Intransitive…. Transitive or Causal

1. The tree falls…. He fells the tree with an axe.
2. The sun will rise at six…. I cannot rouse this boy.
3. The cow lies on the grass…. The man lays down his coat.
4. We must not sit here….He set the books in order.

Prepositional Verbs

An Intransitive Verb can be made Transitive by having a Preposition added to it.

Such Verbs may be considered to be real Transitives provided they can be used in the Passive Voice.

1. No one ever thought of such a thing. (Active)
2. Such a thing was never thought of. (Passive)

When the Verb is in the Passive Voice, the OF cannot be parsed as a Preposition, since there is no Object to it. It must therefore be parsed as part of the Verb itself.

In Prepositional Verbs, the Preposition is almost always placed after the Verb. But WITH and OVER are often placed before it.

1. He withstood (stood against, endured) the attack.
2. He was overcome (defeated) by the enemy.
3. The field is overgrown (covered) with weeds.

All these Verbs, when they are used apart from the Preposition, are Intransitive. It is the Preposition which makes them Transitive.


There are thus two ways in which an Intransitive Verb can become Transitive.

(1) when it is used in a causal sense…

(2) when it is connected with a Preposition so closely that the Verb, compounded with the Preposition, can be made Passive.


  1. The Verb
  2. The Auxiliary Verbs
  3. Subject-Verb Agreement - 1
  4. Subject-Verb Agreement - 2
  5. The English Verb
  6. Basic Form of The Verb
  7. Principal Parts of A Verb
  8. Non-finite Form of The Verb
  9. The Intensive Forms of English Verbs
  10. Verbal Idioms
  11. Confusing Verbs
  12. Agreement of The Verb with The Subject
  13. Sentences with Agreement of The Verb with The Subject
  14. Two Auxiliaries with One Principal Verb
  15. One Auxiliary with Two Principal Verbs
  16. Words Used as Verbs
  17. Intransitive Verb of Complete Predication
  18. Intransitive Verb of Incomplete Predication
  19. Defective Verbs
  20. Strong Verbs
  21. Tests of A Strong Verb
  22. Wholly Strong Strong Verbs
  23. Partly Strong Strong Verbs
  24. List of Strong Verbs
  25. Weak Verbs
  26. Tests of A Weak Verb
  27. List of Weak Verbs
  28. Mixed Verbs
  29. Strong Verbs Becoming Partly Weak Verbs

Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication :

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Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication - Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication - Intransitive Verbs of Complete Predication
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