Students may have some problems understanding the difference between Italian transitive and intransitive verbs, In this article, you may find useful information and learn Italian Transitive and Intransitive Verbs.
Verbs are transitive when they express an action that transfers from the subject to the object.
Mario mangia una mela ogni mattina (Mario eats an apple every morning)
and they answer the question ➠ CHI / CHE COSA? Who? What?
Maria incontra sempre ➠ chi? ➠ la sua migliore amica; (Maria always meets ➠ who?➠ Her best friend)
Francesco legge ➠ che cosa? ➠ il giornale tutti i giorni. (Francesco reads ➠ what? ➠ the newspaper every day.)
On the other hand, the verbs that express an action that remains on the subject are considered intransitive.
They answer the question: come? dove? quando? etc. (How? Where? When?)
Il treno parte ➠ quando?➠ alle tre; (the train leaves ➠ when?➠ at three)
Paul va ➠ dove? ➠ a Perugia ogni anno.(Paul goes ➠ where? ➠ in Perugia every year)
The Auxiliary choice
When deciding between auxiliary verbs in compound tenses (essere vs avere), we use “avere” with transitive verbs.
Ieri Mario ha mangiato una mela (Yesterday Mario ate an apple)
Maria ha incontrato la sua amica due giorni fa (Maria met her friend two days ago)
In contrast, with intransitive verbs, the form of essere is frequently utilized.
il treno è partito alle tre (the train left at three)
There are some exceptions, such as the following intransitive verbs which take “avere”:
VERBI INTRANSITIVI IRREGOLARI
ho viaggiato molto,
The auxiliary of Reflexive verbs
With reflexive verbs, we always use the auxiliary “essere“
Marco si è lavato (Marco has washed himself)
The auxiliary for Modal Verbs
In compound tenses, verbs like “dovere“, “potere” and “volere” take the same auxiliary needed by the infinitive verb that follows.
Miriana è dovuta partire presto; (Miriana had to leave early)
Ho dovuto mangiare tutto (I had to eat everything)
Ausiliare del verbo principale
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A list of transitive and intransitive verbs: