Verb intransitive


Intransitive verbs are verbs that do not take a direct object. [ example: I stand. “Stand” is an intransitive verb in the sentence: “I stand.”]

Most verbs in the passive tense will be intransitive, but there are a few exceptions.

Table - Intran 1
Matthew 2:4        
ποῦ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται
pou ho Christos gennatai
where [is] the Christ to be born

Where is the Christ to be born?

The passive verb γεννᾶται is intransitive.


Verbs may be classified as Transitive , Intransitive, or Linking . Linking verbs may also be referred to as equative verbs.

Transitive verbs require an object for the action of the verb. The object may be stated or implied. The action of the verb is carried over into (or onto) an object of the verb. Therefore, transitive verbs will always have an object for the verb.

Intransitive verbs do not take an object. The verbal idea of the verb determines if a verb is transitive or intransitive. Intransitive verbs may appear in the active, middle, or passive voice. Although most verbs in the passive voice are intransitive, there are a few instances where a verb in the passive voice is transitive.

Table - Intran 2
Mk 5:36        
μὴ φοβοῦ μόνον πίστευε.
phobou monon pisteue.
[Do] not you fear only you believe

Do not fear, only believe!

[Note: in this sentence both φοβοῦ and πίστευε are intransitive verbs.]

Some verbs can be transitive in one sentence and intransitive in another sentence. πίστευω is a verb which was intransitive in the preceding example, but is transitive in the following example. Generally passive verbs are intransitive, but this is not always the case.

The following is an example where πίστευω is transitive. The sentence starts in verse 4 and ends with verse 7. The table below omits most of the sentence in order to place the subject and verb together.

Table - Intran 3
1 Corinthians 13:4 & 7        
ἀγάπη πάντα πιστεύει
agapē panta pisteuei
the love all (things) it believes

Lovebelieves all things.

The following is an example of a passive verb (πείθομαι) that is transitive.

Table - Intran 4
Acts 26:26      
τι τούτων οὐ πείθομαι
ti toutōn ou peithomai
that any of these things not I persuaded/convinced

I cannot believe that any of these things … have escaped him

or stated positively “for I am persuaded/convinced that none of these things have escaped him