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Can the verb 'to be' be a transitive verb, everything I read says no.

But how does it work in the examples below:

"The dog is a poodle."------verb 'is' takes poodle like a transitive verb to explain what the dog is being right?

Or what about

"Let x be y." ------verb 'be' is just like equals, and equals is a transitive verb.

Please explain, maybe 'to be' is a special case that does connect subjects to objects, but becuase it is so common and used in many different ways, it is not considered a transitive verb?

Thanks for the help
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Can the verb 'to be' be a transitive verb, everything I read says no.-- That is right: No.

"The dog is a poodle."--verb 'is' takes poodle like a transitive verb to explain what the dog is being right?-- No. 'Being' (existence) is not transitive. Transitive means that the verb works on the object: 'He shot the dog' means that the dog received the shooting, and a passive form can be composed: 'The dog was shot'. The passive voice cannot be composed using 'be'.

"Let x be y." ------verb 'be' is just like equals, and equals is a transitive verb.-- No,'just like' does not mean that they have the same grammatical form.

Please explain, maybe 'to be' is a special case that does connect subjects to objects, but becuase it is so common and used in many different ways, it is not considered a transitive verb?-- Your reasoning is wrong, but your conclusion is right: 'be' is intransitive.
Okay, so please let me know if this is right.

From what I understand, despite the verb 'to be' meaning being, existence, etc and being used in such examples like "the dog is a poodle" or "X is Y", it is a action verb that does not directly act upon the object like "he shot the dog" but more so it links and explains.

And even though it is used to mean similarily to 'equal' in "X is Y", it yes means the same as "x equals Y", but it is a different verb in general. Doesn't mean the same form

So overall, the verb 'to be' is intransitive, it does not work an object, but it is a linking verb and such to help explain......IS that why it is a special verb case called a COPULA?

Thanks again!
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...despite the verb 'to be' meaning being, existence, etc and being used in such examples like "the dog is a poodle" or "X is Y", it is a action verb-- No, it is not an action verb.

And even though it is used to mean similarily to 'equal' in "X is Y", it yes means the same as "x equals Y", but it is a different verb in general. Doesn't mean the same form-- That's right.

So overall, the verb 'to be' is intransitive, it does not work an object, but it is a linking verb-- Yes.

IS that why it is a special verb case called a COPULA?-- Some grammars call 'be' the copular and other linking verbs quasi-copulas, but often it does not refer only to 'be'. It is another word for 'linking verb':


a verb, such as be, seem, or taste, that is used merely to identify or link the subject with the complement of a sentence. Copulas may serve to link nouns (or pronouns), as in he became king, nouns (or pronouns) and adjectival complements, as in sugar tastes sweet, or nouns (or pronouns) and adverbial complements, as in John is in jail.
AnonymousCan the verb 'to be' be a transitive verb
No. The verb be doesn't act on anything. There is no object.

To say that a dog is a poodle is not at all like saying that someone kicked the poodle, petted the poodle, or fed the poodle, all of which are 'acts' on the poodle. All you're saying is that the dog is in a certain category called the poodle category. Nothing happens to any real poodle if you just categorize a dog under the term poodle.

CJ
Anonymous"Let x be y." ------verb 'be' is just like equals, and equals is a transitive verb.
I'd say that equal is transitive in a different usage -- not in this usage.

Here you can passivize:

No one equals him in chess.
He is not equaled (by anyone) in chess.

But in this usage you cannot passivize:

X equals Y.
?Y is equaled by X.

So it looks intransitive to me in this usage. You'd never have "Let y be equaled by x".

But I could be wrong. Emotion: smile

CJ
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What about 'He will (be)(play) Romeo in the production.'?
canadian45What about 'He will (be)(play) Romeo in the production.'?
I don't know. What do you think?

I know you can have Romeo will be played by him but not Romeo will be been by him! Emotion: big smile

CJ
CalifJim
canadian45What about 'He will (be)(play) Romeo in the production.'?
I don't know. What do you think?I know you can have Romeo will be played by him but not Romeo will be been by him! CJ

I take it that this is some sort of test for transitive verbs, seeing if the sentence can be recast in the passive voice. It's something that I don't remember coming across before, and I don't have any particular comment about that. But just considering the active voice, "be" seems to be transitive. Emotion: smile
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