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Settle a Bet

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Sunday, February 24, 2002, 20:25

I need to know if "eat" as in "She's eating." is transitive or intransitive.

According to the SIL glossary, an intransitive verb is one that cannot take
a direct object, like "come" "faint," etc.

But according to The American Heritage Book of English Usage, an
intransitive verb is simply one that doesn't happen to take an object, which
would make "eat" intransitive in the sentence "She's eating."

I know that languages vary when it comes to marking verbs as intransitive
and transitive;   that all verbs in some languages have both transitive and
intransitive meanings, and that in other languages, semantically related
verbs are morphologically marked to differentiate transitive & intransitive
verbs.   So maybe the answer to my question varies cross-linguistically.

But what's the situation for English?    Is "eat" as in "She's eating."
transitive or intransitive?

Jim G.


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