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  1. #1
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    Default How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    If a verb is used intransitively only, like "to cry" (to produce tears from your eyes), should I use it with an object in the following way: He made her cry a lot. Is that the way to make an intransitive verb transitive?

    And also,

    What's the difference between the two sentences in terms of the sense they convey:

    He made her cry.
    Her mother made her do the washing -up.

    Is the second one in causative form, but the first one is not.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    Hi demir
    .
    My answers are in the quote:
    Quote Originally Posted by demir View Post
    If a verb is used intransitively only, like "to cry" (to produce tears from your eyes), should I use it with an object in the following way: He made her cry a lot. Is that the way to make an intransitive verb transitive? No, 'a lot' is an adverb (similar to 'frequently') in this sentence. You could make the verb transitive by saying: "He made her cry a lot of tears" (This sentence is a bit odd, however).
    And also,
    What's the difference between the two sentences in terms of the sense they convey:
    He made her cry.
    Her mother made her do the washing -up.
    Is the second one in causative form, but the first one is not.
    Both are causative -- make someone do (something).
    Thanks in advance. You're welcome.

  3. #3
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    .
    'He made her cry a lot'. Is that the way to make an intransitive verb transitive? -- No, you have not made it transitive; there is still no object. To make it transitive: 'He made her cry bitter tears'.

    'He made her cry.' 'Her mother made her do the washing -up.' Is the second one in causative form, but the first one is not? -- No, both are causative.


    Oops-- didn't see you coming, Philly.
    .

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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    Thank you very much for your explanations.

    I would like to ask one more thing:

    'He made her cry.'
    "Her mother made her do the washing -up.'

    In the first sentence: the subject is “he” and the object is “her,” and the causative verb “make” makes this object do the action of crying.
    The subject "he" causes something to happen, or causes a particular state or condition, that's her crying. As it is in the sentence: He made me smile.
    In the second sentence: the subject is “her mother” and the object is “her(daugther)” and the causative verb “make” makes this object do the action of doing the washing up.
    In the first sentence:
    the subject "he" causes something to happen, or causes a particular state or condition, that's her crying. As it is in the sentence: He made me smile. or
    In "The teacher ended the lesson" the subject "the teacher" causes a particular condition, that's ending the lesson. Aren't the two subjects',"he" and "the teacher" functions alike; causing a particular state or condition.
    whereas, in the second original sentence: Her mother made her do the washing up.

    the subject "her mother" forces, or makes her (daughter) to do something.
    Last edited by demir; 16-Dec-2006 at 11:05.

  5. #5
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    .
    First I have to step back a bit: I see we have been calling make a 'causative verb' (which it may be, in a more general sense), but it is as, more strictly, a 'coercive verb' (along with let and have) that it is usually examined.

    Now: frankly, I see no practical value in your distinguishing a caused state or condition from a caused action, demir, unless you can apply it meaningfully to some grammatical problem. Coercive verbs cause things, that is all:

    I made her think. Action or condition? Is it significant?

    Perhaps Philly has more to say to this, pro or con.
    .

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    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    Hi demir
    .
    I agree with Mr Mic. It seems to me that 'forcing' someone to do something is just one of any number of ways to 'cause' something to happen. I also think that crying can be seen as an action -- but whether it's an action or a state is irrelevant here.
    .
    .
    (Hi MM -- Glad to see we think alike. )
    .

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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    Let's go back to the question, first.
    Quote Originally Posted by demir View Post
    If a verb is used intransitively only, like "to cry" (to produce tears from your eyes), should I use it with an object in the following way: He made her cry a lot. Is that the way to make an intransitive verb transitive?
    Only certains verbs go both ways, sort to speak. For example, the verb study is privy to both intransitive and transitive structures:

    Transitive (SVO): Demir studies English every day.
    Intransitive (SV): Demir studies every day.

    Semantics is the key here. Consider the verb make:

    Intransitive: The dog makes daily. <meaning, deficates>
    Transitive: The dog makes holes in the yard. <meaning, digs>

    Here are more examples:

    Transitive: I washed the car.
    Intransitive: I washed.

    Transitive: I ate bananas today.
    Intranstive: I ate today.

    Transitive: I grew that plant.
    Intransitve: The plant grew.
    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 16-Dec-2006 at 14:05.

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    Default Re: How to use an intransitive verb in the sense of transitive

    I agree with the panel. made is a causative verb here,

    (1) He made her cry.
    (2) Her mother made her do the washing-up.

    The structures are the same. It's Subject-Verb-Direct Object-Object Complement. An object complement modifies the object and we can turn them into a sentence of their own. Like this,

    (1) ...her cry. <she cried>
    (2) ...her the washing-up. <she did the washing-up>

    Hope that helps.

    Some Examples of the Seven Clause Patterns in English: Click here<scroll down to the bottom of the page>

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