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Lesson 10
Simple Direct Objects

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Verbs generally fall into one of two categories. Some of them are intransitive. This means that the action the verb describes applies to just one person — the actor. That is, the action is incapable of transferring to another person or thing. This may sound a little complicated, but it should make intuitive sense after a few examples of sentences with intransitive verbs.


The plant grows.

.regilo tUlen

The ancient Ages live.

.reDovatE oglan xavEt

The guildsman works.

.retelrov tEgen

In each of these sentences, the verb is intransitive because the action applies only to the actor of the verb. When we read  regilo tUlen, we recognize that the action of growing applies to the plant alone; the plant isn't growing leaves or flowers, it itself grows. Similarly,  retelrov tEgen tells us that the guildsman himself is working, and not that he is working a machine or a crowd; the action of the verb works refers solely to him.

Alternatively, verbs can be transitive; this means that the action of the verb extends or transfers to another person or object in addition to the actor. The person or object that receives the action of the verb is called its direct object (because it is a direct recipient of that action). Since the actors of transitive verbs act on a person or a thing, direct objects will always be nouns. Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs, and direct objects, include:


.renava SokUen erTcUrtantE
The master instructs some students.

.miStaet erTpax nE
We construct a new city.

.retelrovtE tUlEt gilotE
The guildsmen grow plants.

Here, we see that the action of the verb is not only performed by its actor, but also extends to another person or thing that is affected by that action. In renava SokUen erTcUrtantE, the action instructs is performed by the master but extends also to his students, who receive the benefit of that action. Some students, then, is the direct object of the verb instructs. In the same way, the verb miStaet is enacted by an implied we while extending its action to erTpax nE. In the third example, we see that the same verb can be both transitive and intransitive, depending on the way it's used. Where before, the verb tUl, grow, was intransitive and didn't take an object, here in a new context, it becomes transitive and does take an object, plants.

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