Transitive vs. Intransitive Verb Question

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erika

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Can someone dissect this sentence and explain why FEASTED is either a transitive or intransitive verb?

That Squirrel feasted on birdseed.

Thank you so much!
Erika :>
 

Steven D

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erika said:
Can someone dissect this sentence and explain why FEASTED is either a transitive or intransitive verb?

That Squirrel feasted on birdseed.

Thank you so much!
Erika :>

Feast - This essentially means "to eat".

The animals were feasting.

The animals were eating.

What were they eating? They were eating lots of good food.

The animals were feasting on lots of good food.


feast - can take an object or not take an object - It works the same as "eat".

Oftentimes "on" follows "feast". - phrasal - feast on


It's also an idiomatic expression

Idiom:

feast (one's) eyes on

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=feast


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2coff=1&q="feasting+on+good+food"
 
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erika

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X Mode said:
erika said:
Can someone dissect this sentence and explain why FEASTED is either a transitive or intransitive verb?

That Squirrel feasted on birdseed.

Thank you so much!
Erika :>


**Is feasted an intransitive or transitive verb????**
 

Steven D

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That squirrel feasted on birdseed. <<<

That squirrel - complete subject

squirrel - simple subject

feasted - verb

birdseed - object of the verb "feast"

feast on - phrasal verb

feasted on birdseed - predicate - verb + complements
 

Casiopea

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erika said:
**Is feasted an intransitive or transitive verb?**

In addition, :D

There are two ways to determine whether a word or group of words functions as the verb's object (i.e., if a verb is transitive):

(1) omit the words that follow the verb
EX: The squirrel feasted on birdseed into the night.
EX: The squirrel feasted into the night. (OK)

If the resulting sentence is grammatical, then the omitted words are probably not the verb's object. I say 'probably' because test (1) is not fool-proof. (Sometimes the object is omitted, especially if it can be picked up in context: I ate today ~ I ate lunch today.)). So, let's move on to test (2):

(2) separate the verb and the words that follow it

The squirrel feasted on birdseed into the night.
The squirrel feasted into the night on birdseed. (OK)

If the resulting sentence is grammatical, then the omitted words do not function as the verb's object. Consider,

EX: Max washed dishes into the night.
EX: Max washed into the night dishes. (Not OK)
EX: Max washed into the night. (Not OK: it means, Max washed himself)

In the above examples, 'dishes' functions as the object of the verb 'washed', which means 'washed' is transitive: It needs an object in order to realize its meaning.

'feast' is not transitive. It doesn't require an object in order to realize its meaning. We know this because we can (a) omit the words that follow it and (b) move those words around.

BUT, :shock:, if the phrasal verb 'feasted on' is used, then 'birdseed' functions as the object of the preposition 'on'. It does not function as the object of the verb.

EX: That squirrel feasted on birdseed. (Object of 'on')

The prepositional phrase 'on birdseed' is added information; it specifies the kind of food that was eaten; 'on birdseed' is not required by the verb in order to express its meaning: something was eaten. That meaning is part of the verb. It's already housed in the verb.

All the best, :D
 

Steven D

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What about this? Would you say that "feast" has transitive senses? I understand about the food being the object of "on". However, it seems to me that we could still think of "feast" as being used transitively even though the food is the object of "on". What do you think?

v. feast·ed, feast·ing, feasts
v. tr.

This doesn't appear to be the quite the same as "feasted on", but nevertheless, would be transitive.

To give a feast for; entertain or feed sumptuously: feasted the guests on venison.

v. intr.

To partake of a feast; eat heartily.
To experience something with gratification or delight: feasted on the view.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=feast


transitive senses
1 : to give a feast for
2 : DELIGHT, GRATIFY
- feast·er noun

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary
 

Casiopea

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X Mode said:
What about this? Would you say that "feast" has transitive senses? I understand about the food being the object of "on". However, it seems to me that we could still think of "feast" as being used transitively even though the food is the object of "on". What do you think?

v. feast·ed, feast·ing, feasts
v. tr.

This doesn't appear to be the quite the same as "feasted on", but nevertheless, would be transitive.

To give a feast for; entertain or feed sumptuously: feasted the guests on venison.

v. intr.

To partake of a feast; eat heartily.
To experience something with gratification or delight: feasted on the view.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=feast


transitive senses
1 : to give a feast for
2 : DELIGHT, GRATIFY
- feast·er noun

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

It's a meaty topic! 8) To me, what appears to be the verb's object--what I call a pseudo-object, because it resembles or imitates the true object--functions as added information because it serves to narrow down the semantic content of the verb's implied object. For example,

We feasted. (We ate in a hearty manner)

That 'We' ate food is implied by the verb 'feasted', so adding, say, 'food', results in redundancy,

We feasted on food.

If we remove the implied object food altogether and replace it with a non-food, say, eye-candy: Feast your eyes on that!, 'feast' is transitive,

In a heartily manner, set your eyes on that!

But, in this case 'feast' is synonymous with transitive verbs: 'set/place/grab onto a non-food item', all of which carry a different meaning from 'feast on food'.

As for the transitive sense of 'feast' cited, :up:, notably, "feasted the guests on", we're dealing with semantic association once again,

EX: They feasted the guests on venison.

Intransitive: They ate the guests! :lol:
Transitive: They regaled/lavishly entertained the guests with deer meat. :D

In this case, 'feast' is semantically associated with other transitive verbs.

Consider,

EX: It feasted the squirrel on birdseed. (The squirrel is the recipient)
EX: The squirrel feasted on birdseed. (The squirrel is the actor)

In short, I agree with your findings: 'feast' can be transitive or intransitive. Moreover, context determines transitivity. Transitive 'feast' (recipient) and intransitive 'feast' (actor) express different meanings.

I'm really hungry now. :shock:
 

Steven D

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That 'We' ate food is implied by the verb 'feasted', so adding, say, 'food', results in redundancy,

We feasted on food. <<

I don't think it's a redundancy so much as it is a statement of what is obvious.

Is this a redundancy?

We ate hamburgers and french fries.

Is this a redundancy?

We feasted on hamburgers and french fries.

:)
 
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erika

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I appreciate all the feedback, but I am still confused. Is it both? Is it an intransitive or a transitive verb???

THANKS for all the input
 

Steven D

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Hi Casio,


Okay,

I get the picture on the rest of what you are saying here.

However, I have to say that the idea that the food is the object of the preposition "on" and not the verb "feast", however accurate in grammatical terms it is, seems to me to be illogical.

For example:

We ate pizza.

We feasted on pizza.

In both sentences "pizza" is the object of what one ingests. Both really mean the same thing.

With feast "pizza" is the object of "on", yes. However, it is still, for practical purposes, the object of what one eats. And what one eats is what one feasts on.

I don't find grammar logic agreeable 100% of the time. But I do understand it.


:)
 

Casiopea

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X Mode said:
I don't think it's a redundancy so much as it is a statement of what is obvious.

Is this a redundancy?

We ate hamburgers and french fries.

Is this a redundancy?

We feasted on hamburgers and french fries.

:)

I should have been more clear. Sorry. Allow me to capitalize FOOD so as to show that it represents the verb's underlying object: feast (FOOD).

The new examples do not admit to redundancy. :up: The added info 'hamburgers and french fries' modifies FOOD by narrowing down its semantic frame of reference.

X Mode: 'a statement of what is obvious'.
Casiopea: modification, added information

We agree. :D

Now I am really hungry. :oops:
 

Casiopea

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X Mode said:
I've got a bit of an appetite as well.

:)

:lol: Literally speaking, I was really hungry! I actually went out an got a burger. :lol: Seriously.
 

Steven D

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erika said:
I appreciate all the feedback, but I am still confused. Is it both? Is it an intransitive or a transitive verb???

THANKS for all the input

It's both. However, in grammatical terms, the transitive sense of the verb is not as common as the intransitive sense of the verb.

It's mostly used as an intransitive verb. When used as a phrasal verb with "on", in grammatical terms the object that follows would be the object of the preposition "on". Though I would like to think of "feast on" as having an object, it wouldn't be looked at that way in grammar terms.

I would look at the Dictionary.com definitions for the transitive sense and the intransitive sense of the verb. As I said, the intransitive sense of the verb is the more common than the transitive sense.

I think the phrasal verb "feast on" is very common when considering how feast is used for the most part.

1. feast on - phrasal verb

2. feast - intransitive sense

3. feast - transitive sense

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=feast
 

Casiopea

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erika said:
I appreciate all the feedback, but I am still confused. Is it both? Is it an intransitive or a transitive verb???

THANKS for all the input

Sorry about that, Erika. :(

I agree with X Mode. The verb feast can be either transitive or intransitive. In your example, feasted on is a phrasal verb and its particle 'on' requires an object, which is not to say that 'feast' is transitive. Try the tests! If you can omit the phrase 'on birdseed', then feast is intransitive. If you cannot omit the phrase, then feast is transitive. In short, 'feasted' is intransitive, but as a phrasal verb its particle 'on' requires an object, which makes feasted on pseudo-transitive.

Intransitive
The squirrel feasted. (OK; The squirrel ate heartily)

pseudo-Transitive
The squirrel feasted on birdseed. (OK; The squirrel ate birdseed heartily)

By the way, Erika, why do you need to know? :D


All the best, :D
 
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