Intransitive Nouns

Transitivity, in linguistics, is the property of verbs that describes whether they require an object to complete their meaning. Nouns take the function of being an object of a verb. When a verb is intransitive, it does not function as an object. An intransitive noun does not take the function of being an object of a verb. For example, “The dog ran.” In this sentence, “dog” is an intransitive noun because it is the subject of the sentence and does not take an object. Read on to learn more about intransitive nouns.

What is an Intransitive Noun?

An intransitive noun is the doer of an action or verb instead of functioning as a receiver. Intransitive nouns are the subjects of sentences and do not take objects. They can be either singular or plural, but they cannot be used as objects in a sentence.

Examples of Intransitive Nouns

Some examples of intransitive nouns include:

• “The birds flew away.”

• “The children laughed.”

• “The wind blew the leaves.”

• “The sun shone brightly.”

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Intransitive Noun Rules

An intransitive noun follows one simple rule: it must always be at the beginning of a sentence. A noun can have three cases, subject, object, and possessive. With intransitive nouns, always use the subject and possessive cases.

Here are a few examples:

  • Susan likes to criticize the teacher. (subjective case)
  • The teacher’s bag was lost. (possessive case as a subject)
  • The senator wants to reduce the budget for education. (subjective case)
  • Divine’s car was parked down the street. (possessive case as a subject)

Aside from nouns, there are also two grammatical structures that takes the function of an intransitive noun: the infinitive and the gerund.


An infinitive is a verb form that is preceded by “to” and one of its functions is as a noun. For example, “To run is good exercise.” Here, “to run” is an infinitive that acts as the subject of the sentence.

Here are five examples of infinitives as intransitive nouns:

  1. To strive for excellence is admirable.
  2. To create a masterpiece takes time.
  3. To travel the world is a dream for many.
  4. To learn a new language can be difficult.
  5. To help others is an act of kindness.


A gerund is a verb form that ends in “-ing” and functions as a noun. For example, “Running is good exercise.” Here, “running” is a gerund that acts as the subject of the sentence.

Here are five examples of gerunds as intransitive nouns:

  1. Skiing is a popular winter sport.
  2. Cooking your meals saves money.
  3. Investing in blue chip stocks is a secure way to grow your money.
  4. Reading fantasy novels can be an escape from reality.
  5. Shopping online can be convenient.
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Examples of Intransitive Nouns

Here are twenty examples of intransitive nouns:

  1. Dogs are one of the most loyal animals.
  2. Cats are known for their independence.
  3. Trees provide oxygen to the environment.
  4. Flowers bring beauty to a garden.
  5. A troupe of dancers performed a ballet.
  6. A choir of singers sang a beautiful song during the event.
  7. The team won the championship game.
  8. The family went on vacation last month.
  9. The flock of birds flew south for the winter.
  10. Bill and Rhea’s business is doing well.
  11. Newton’s theory of gravity revolutionized science.
  12. Priyanka’s academic performance improved this year.
  13. To make mistakes is part of the learning process.
  14. To practice playing guitar daily is essential for progress.
  15. To allow yourself to dream is necessary for motivation.
  16. To buy a new car requires careful consideration.
  17. Running is a great way to stay in shape.
  18. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise.
  19. Singing can be therapeutic for the soul.
  20. Writing helps to express thoughts and feelings.

Intransitive Noun Exercises with Answers

Write sentences with intransitive nouns using the ideas below. Model answers will be given.

1. paint pictures skill

2. children play outside at school

3. hike, nature, explore

4. birthday celebrate fun

5. teacher cook recipe student Lanie

Model Answers:

1. Painting is a great skill to learn.

2. To play outside is the most requested activity of children.

3. Hiking is an enjoyable way to explore nature.

4. Julian’s birthday celebration was fun.

5. Ms. Garcia is teaching Lanie how to cook.

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Intransitive Noun List

Common NounsProper NounsCollective NounsAbstract NounsInfinitivesGerunds
tigerAlex the Tigerswarm of beeschivalryto fallinviting
authorFranz Kafkafleet of shipsfamineto viewgiving
restaurantOlive Gardenpack of wolvesdevotionto playordering
countryLithuaniaream of papersensitivityto askcrashing
clothesPolo Ralph Laurenpacket of lettersluckto dividehelping
Intransitive Table

Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

English grammar, like any language, is a complex subject to study. Understanding and applying grammar rules can be challenging, especially for English language learners. However, your success in learning the language is dependent on your learning plan.

First, know that there are different levels of language proficiency. Knowing your status allows you to align it with your study materials and learning strategy. To keep your motivation, select beginner-friendly materials instead of university textbooks when starting. In doing so, you will feel less intimidated by the topics you should learn.

Second, focus on the basics: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Learn how to use them correctly in sentences and understand their meaning. It will help you build a strong foundation for your English language learning journey. Divide those topics into subtopics and learn each concept and rule one by one.

Third, find a reliable source of learning materials. Online resources such as websites, blogs, and YouTube videos are mostly free. LillyPad’s blog, for example, is a great resource for English language learning materials. Additionally, you can find books and other printed materials in your local library or bookstore.

Fourth, practice speaking the language with native speakers or other English learners. It will help you understand how to use the language correctly in conversations and improve your pronunciation.

Finally, be patient with yourself and don’t give up. Learning a language takes time and effort, so set realistic goals and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand object of the preposition and transitive.

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Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

Learning a new language can be difficult, and English is no exception. Even experienced English learners make mistakes when speaking or writing in the language. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by English learners:

Common MistakeWhy it HappensCorrectionExamples
Not capitalizing the first letter of the subject of a sentenceAs the convention of communication changes due to technology, most learners adapt to typing in lowercase, especially when instant messaging. Sometimes, they carry non-standard practice in the formal use of English and omit to capitalize the first letter of a sentence.The rule of capitalization states that every first letter of a sentence must be in capital letters. Technology can help you correct this by turning on auto-capitalization. When writing with pen and paper, always start with a capital letter.Incorrect:

to the park every weekend is part of my routine.

ian’s house is well-structured. Correct:

Going to the park every weekend is part of my routine.

Ian’s house is well-structured.
Doubling the possessive case of nouns when using it to express joint ownership in a sentenceThe possessive case is formed by adding an apostrophe and the letter ‘s’ after a noun. It can express joint ownership, which learners may not be familiar with.When you want to show that two or more persons own a thing, add an apostrophe and the letter ‘s’ at the final or last noun.

Converting every noun into possessive case means that each owns a thing separately.
Bianca’s and Tonya’s computers are the same color.

Meaning: There are two computers owned by Bianca and Tonya separately.

Bianca and Tonya’s computer is silver.

Meaning: There is one computer that Bianca and Tonya own or share.
Intransitive Common Errors Table
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Learning Intransitive Noun Strategies and Best Practices

A holistic approach to learning a language makes it easier to understand and remember. The five macro skills, reading, listening, viewing, speaking, and writing, should be developed and used in the learning process for better language acquisition. The table below lists activities you can do when learning linking verbs:

Learning Strategies
Reading– Use flashcards to know basic English sight words and their meaning.
– Search for material that contains translations of common expressions from your native language to English.
– Select study materials appropriate for your language proficiency.
Listening– Listen to an audiobook or a song and write what you hear to improve your retention of English words.
– Compare and contrast two audio materials like TV ads and a speech.
– Summarize a podcast, movie, audiobook, and other English audio materials.
Viewing– Observe how native speakers speak and try to mimic it.
– Watch English movies, interviews, and tutorials.
– Use pictographs to learn and remember new words.
Speaking– Join a community of English language learners and communicate with them to improve and gain feedback.
– Integrate the language into your daily life and try to speak using English.
– Participate in speech organizations (e.g. debate clubs, theatre groups)
Writing– Write a journal of your learning journey in English.
– Answer practice tests and create your own sentences.
– Create a reflection essay on the media you watch or listen to.
Intransitive Learning Strategies Table
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Gerunds Frequently Asked Questions

Transitivity refers to the ability of a verb to take objects. It is closely related to valency, which considers other verb arguments in addition to direct objects. Verbs can be either transitive or intransitive, depending on whether they take an object or not. Intransitive verbs do not take objects, while transitive verbs do.

To identify intransitive verbs, look for a verb that does not have an object following it. For example, in the sentence “She ran quickly,” the verb “ran” is intransitive because there is no object following it.

It’s easy to identify an intransitive noun. Since they function as a subject, they are commonly found at the beginning of a sentence. Aside from nouns, gerunds, and infinitives also function as intransitive nouns. For example, in the sentence “Running is fun,” the gerund “running” is an intransitive noun.

1. The house address is unknown.
2. Lorenzo fell asleep on the couch.
3. The agent’s advice was ignored.
4. Sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy.
5. To love means to be vulnerable.

A transitive noun functions as the direct object of a verb. As such, it follows the verb in a sentence. For example, in the sentence “Piolo bought a new car,” the noun “car” is transitive because it follows the verb “bought.”

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Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

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What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

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