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Thread: Verb types

  1. #1
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Verb types

    When "house" and "slick" are used as a verb, what types of verbs are they?
    Does it matter what sentence they are being used in?

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    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Verb types

    They are both normally used transitively:
    The museum houses the finest collection of twentieth century art in the world.
    He slicked back his hair.

    What exactly do you mean by the type of sentence?

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    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Verb types

    Ok, so in this sentence:

    The old play house.

    "house" can not be a verb because it is a transitive verb?
    Therefore the verb in that sentence is "play".

    Now in this sentence:

    The old play house a collection of songs.

    "house" is the verb.

    Does that mean a transitive verb can not be at the end of a sentence?

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    Default Re: Verb types

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Ok, so in this sentence:

    The old play house.

    "house" can not be a verb because it is a transitive verb?
    Therefore the verb in that sentence is "play".
    "house" isn't a verb in that context because the subject 'old play' is singular, so it requires a singular verb, like this,

    [1] The old play houses . . . .

    Second, "houses" is transitive, so it requires an object, like this,

    [2] The old play houses some wonderful lines.


    'houses' functions as the main verb. Below, the verb must agree in number with the subject 'old play', so it needs an -s, like this,

    [3] The old play houses a collection of songs.

    Does that mean a transitive verb can not be at the end of a sentence?
    Yes, that's correct. Transitive verbs (note the first part 'trans' means, transfer) transfer their meaning onto another word or set of words, called an object. So, if a transitive verb requires an object, it will never stand alone, or by itself at the end of a sentence. Unless, that is, you change it into a question, like this,

    The old play houses a collection of songs.
    What does the old play house?

    Note, the -s on "does" was borrowed from the -s on "houses".

    Nouns and adjectives can function as verbs; e.g. house and slick. To determine its function look for its position in the sentence. If it comes directly after the subject and there isn't another verb, then it's probably functioning as a verb. Consider,

    S/he boxes the files on Fridays. (main verb)
    S/he puts the files in boxes on Fridays. (main verb)

    All the best,

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    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Verb types

    Thanks for the help.

    In the sentence:

    The old play house.

    Can it be interpreted as "the old" -> noun , "play" -> verb, "house" ->noun?

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    Default Re: Verb types

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    Thanks for the help.

    In the sentence:

    The old play house.

    Can it be interpreted as "the old" -> noun , "play" -> verb, "house" ->noun?
    Yes. You've caught on! play functions as a verb.

    The old (people) play house.
    The old man plays house.

    "The old", specifically the word "old", is an adjective in form, but in that context it functions as a substantive noun. That's when a word functions as the subject or object of a sentence. For example,

    The wise know when to listen and when to speak.
    The young don't care about responsibility.

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    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Verb types

    I decided to look up the word "house" in the dictionary. Now I am confused. The dictionary says that "house" can be a transitive verb OR a intransitive verb. IF that is true how do I know, in the sentence given below, that "house" is not a intransitive verb?

    The old play house.

    (I was using Merriam Webster for my dictionary).

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    Default Re: Verb types

    You would know because of the meaning. As an intransitive verb, house cannot be used in that sentence, as it makes no sense.

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    Default Re: Verb types

    Quote Originally Posted by notmyname216
    I decided to look up the word "house" in the dictionary. Now I am confused. The dictionary says that "house" can be a transitive verb OR a intransitive verb. IF that is true how do I know, in the sentence given below, that "house" is not a intransitive verb?

    The old play house.

    (I was using Merriam Webster for my dictionary).
    Let's clear this up, OK? The words 'play' and 'house' are not connected in this sentence,

    [1] The old play house. / They play house. (Sentence)

    "play house" means to act like mothers (i.e., traditionally, take care of the family and house) and fathers (i.e., traditionally, earn the money). It's a game children play, and, today, it's what some couples might be described as if they have recently moved in together. That "the old" are playing house seems like a very interesting situation: They are acting like newlyweds.

    "The old" functions as the subject. "play" functions as the verb, and "house" functions as the object of the verb. How do I know this? Simple. Every sentence has a period, and our sentence above has a period. Every sentence has a verb, and our sentence has a verb "play". That verb is transitive, and its object is "house".

    [2] The old playhouse . . . . / It . . . (Noun phrase)

    The compound noun "playhouse" cannot function as a verb; "old" cannot function as a verb, and "the" cannot function as a verb. There is no verb in that sentence, so [2] is not a sentence. It's a phrase, a noun phrase. We could make that phrase into a sentence by adding a verb, like this,

    [3] The old playhouse smells. / It smells.

    In short, here are our options with "the old play house"

    a) Sentence:
    The old (subject) play (verb) house (verb's object).

    b) Phrase:
    The old (adjective) playhouse (noun) . . . [NO VERB]

    c) Incomplete sentence:
    The old (adjective) play (subject) houses (verb). . . [NO OBJECT]

    We could finish c) by adding in an object, say, "many great lines", like this,

    d) The old play houses many great lines. / It houses many great lines.

    "The old play" (it), say, one of Shakespeare's plays, has many great lines.

    In d) above, the subject is "The old play". The verb is "houses", and the verb's object is "many great lines."

    All the best,

  10. #10
    notmyname216 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Verb types

    Thank you Casiopea. I am now no longer confused.

    Could you show a example sentence where "house" is used as a intransitive verb?

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