Those tricky transitive verbs

A lot of people have problems with using transitive verbs correctly. I often hear things like the following errors:

I didn’t enjoy.

Yes, I like.

He needs.

The reason these are wrong is that they are transitive verbs. This just means that they need an object to make sense. Some of the biggest sources of mistakes are:

ask, bring, buy, close, cut, do, enjoy, get, hate, like, love, need, push, pull, say, tell, and want.

These are all transitive in active use (they have a subject and take an object) and in passive they become intransitive.


I asked Marc. (ask is transitive)

Marc was asked. (ask is intransitive)

One way to find out how to use these verbs is to read, and check the sentence the verbs appear in. Does the verb have a subject? Does it have an object? Would the sentence be clear without the object? Take notes and remember.