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#115712 - 11/12/03 01:51 PM Transitive Verbs
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
There is something that bothers me about the following sentence:

Alongside the ship careened by the tropical shore, a group of pirates buried beneath a coconut tree.

Ok. Not a great sentence, but one from which I want to ask a question. In this sentence, we expect the pirates to be burying something, but there is no direct object in the sentence. Transitive verbs can take direct objects, but what do you call a verb that must take a direct object? In other words, if the verb is not followed by a direct object, the sentence sounds awkward or not quite finished because the verb lacks an object. I don't think 'buried' a very good example, but I can't think of a verb that is precisely what I want right now. If I think of a better example, I will return.

Question again: Transitive verbs can take direct objects; what do we call verbs that must take a direct object in order to be correctly and grammatically used in sentences?


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#115713 - 11/12/03 02:05 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I know very little grammar, but to me that is not a complete sentence, no matter what meaning you assign to
"buried".


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#115714 - 11/12/03 02:13 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
I smell poetic license. If this is an attempt at poetry, here's some alternative imagery which flashed through my mind. A tropical storm caused a shipwreck and the falling coconut tree felled some pirates in its crashing descent. How many pirates can one coconut tree kill? Somewhat bizarre for more than one pirate to be standing in the path of the falling tree, but what do I know...these things have been known to happen. [sage nod]


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#115715 - 11/12/03 02:28 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
According to a quick search I performed, transitive verbs must have a direct object. It is not optional.


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#115716 - 11/12/03 02:34 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear maahey: where does one apply for a poetic license to use in prose? I am a devotee of ellipsis. But ellipsis without some context can be confusing. So I'm still unsure what WW was trying to tell us.


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#115717 - 11/12/03 02:34 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
Which is why I offered up the other picture. Buried is not transitive here. If the author had written 'lay buried', it might have helped understanding, but then h/she would have missed out on being mysteriously enigmatic.


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#115718 - 11/12/03 02:35 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
So who careened the ship?


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#115719 - 11/12/03 02:37 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
..merely an expression to make a point, wwh. I don't know that this is prose or poetry; if prose shall we say, artistic license?


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#115720 - 11/12/03 02:38 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Signals over.
Alongside the ship careened by the tropical shore, a group of pirates picnicked beneath a coconut tree.





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#115721 - 11/12/03 02:38 PM Re: Transitive Verbs
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
..who careened the ship...tropical storm. Imagine... imagine, dear wwh!!


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