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.
|where||[is]||the||Christ||to be born|
Where is the Christ to be born?
The passive verb γεννᾶται is intransitive.
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.
|[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.
|1 Corinthians 13:4 & 7|
|the||love||…||all (things)||it believes|
Love … believes all things.
The following is an example of a passive verb (πείθομαι) that is transitive.
|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”