Action verbs

Action verbs are those that express action, such as do, see, run, walk, drive, sing.

There are two types of action verbs.

Transitive action verb

The action verb is used with a direct object, ie the person/thing that receives the action of the subject. Common transitive action verbs that must be followed by a direct object are: bring, send, owe, contain, buy, show, take, tell, verify, check, get, wash, finalise, annoy, lay, lend, offer, edit, make, phone.

Michael takes a sandwich to work every day (takes is the action verb. The sandwich is the direct object of the verb).

Intransitive action verb

These do not need a direct object but many are followed by an adjective, adverb or preposition. Examples include: sit, rise, cough, swim, smile, cry, arrive, write, cook, respond.

The bomb exploded in the city centre (exploded is the intransitive action verb. It is followed by a preposition of place with no direct object).

Examples of action verbs as both transitive and intransitive

 Many verbs can be both, depending on their meanings. Here are some examples:

set, leave, give, study, sit, grow, smell, dance, sing, write, teach, stop, climb, run, check, cost, go, burn, eat, paint, drive, manage, pay, improve