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Spanish transitive verbs

Spanish transitive verbs

What are Spanish transitive verbs? Spanish transitive and intransitive verbs. Learn the differences between them with this Enforex’s article.

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When you look up the meaning of a Spanish verb in dictionaries, these basic Spanish words appear next to the letters tr. or intr., but do you know what they mean? In this Enforex article we give you the answer: tr. means transitive and intr. are intransitive.

Spanish verbs can be transitive, intransitive, or copulative and in this article, you will learn the differences between them. One of the most complicated factors when learning Spanish is grammar and verbs conjugation. Stay and enjoy learning with Enforex about transitive and intransitive verbs in Spanish.

What are Spanish transitive verbs?

Spanish transitive verbs are those that need a direct object to have a complete meaning in the sentence. Therefore, this complement or direct object is the receiver of the action of the verb. For example: comprar (to buy), leer (to read) or comer (to eat).

In addition, it is important to emphasize that Spanish transitive verbs are always followed by a direct object. Verbs that are followed by a circumstantial complement or an indirect object are not transitive verbs.

What are Spanish intransitive verbs?

On the other hand, Spanish intransitive verbs do not need a direct object to make sense in a sentence. These verbs express an action that does not require a direct object. Some examples are brillar (to shine), corer (to run), bailar (to dance) or sonreír (to smile).

What about Spanish copulative verbs?

Spanish copulative verbs are those that do not express an action but serve to join the subject with the predicate. These verbs do not require a complement because the actions take place in themselves. In addition, these verbs are accompanied by an attribute that can be an adjective, noun, or pronoun. There are only three verbs: ser, estar and parecer.

Difference between Spanish transitive and intransitive verbs

Difference between Spanish transitive and intransitive verbs

Spanish transitive and intransitive verbs do not form a complete and definite list like copulative verbs. The reason? These verbs vary depending on the context, so a verb that is intransitive in principle can change to transitive because it needs a direct complement.

Some verbs like caminar (to walk) can be transitive or intransitive depending on the meaning of the sentence. For example:

Although there are some verbs in Spanish that are easy to recognize as transitive, for example, mirar (to look) or comprar (to buy); and others that will be intransitive, such as sonreír (to smile). Therefore, the key to identifying these verbs is the complement or direct object. This complement can be identified in three ways:

Spanish transitive verbs examples

Differentiate these verbs can be a difficult task, so here are some examples of sentences with Spanish transitive verbs:

Spanish transitive verbs examples

Spanish intransitive verbs examples

And here you will find several examples of sentences with Spanish intransitive verbs:

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