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They had a competition to see who could throw the furthest.


It looks like there is no object of the verb "throw" in the sentence above. So what I wonder about are..

1. In that sentence, is the object of throw is omitted and is "throw" used as an intransitive verb?

2. If context is clear, can the object of a verb be omitted like in the sentence?

3. Is the sentence grammatically correct?

I'd say yes to all the questions.

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fire1I'd say yes to all the questions.

Me too, pretty much. However, leaving out the object of a transitive verb is sometimes called the "absolute" usage, which may be something a little different from "intransitive". I suspect different dictionaries and grammar books may define these things in various ways.

We ate late last night. (Obviously an omitted object. We had to have eaten something.)

CJ

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CalifJimCalifJim

Thank you very much. Your answer is very helpful. Emotion: smile

Just two more things..

1. What's the exact meaning of absolute usage?

2. Can I say "he hit!", omitting the word "the ball" or without specifying the word "the ball", when I see a baseball player hit the ball"?

CalifJimCalifJim

Maybe are you done with this topic? I'm curious to know about the last two questions.

fire11. What's the exact meaning of absolute usage?

We're talking about definition 7b here.

https://www.yourdictionary.com/absolute

You can explore more on your own by Googling

absolute usage of a verb

You'll see that 'absolute' is used with more than one meaning in grammar, but in this thread we're only interested in the one that has to do with omitting objects of verbs.

fire12. Can I say "he hit!", omitting the word "the ball" or without specifying the word "the ball", when I see a baseball player hit the ball"?

It's not natural for that situation, but you've got the right idea generally.

Guns kill. Thieves steal.
The nurses performed the procedure while the students observed.
The men sitting around the card table waited as Arthur dealt.
When it came to doing the dishes, Mom washed, and Dad dried.

CJ

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fire1
CalifJimCalifJim

Maybe are you done with this topic? I'm curious to know about the last two questions.

Please be patient. You never know what's going on in the home of the person you're communicating with.

There may be phone calls to take, meals to prepare, even screaming kids to calm down. Most of us do not devote our full attention every second to our volunteer work on this forum! Emotion: smile

CJ

CalifJimCalifJim

I'm very sorry. I just worried that you might haven't noticed the alarm of my post, because there are a lot of alarms of other questions.

I'm sorry to ask again, I'm curious why it's a bit unnatural to say "He hit!" in the situation.

Maybe is it because people must add "the ball" for emphasis?

fire1 I'm curious why it's a bit unnatural to say "He hit!" in the situation.

I'm only going by native speaker instinct. There is no grammar rule that serves as a guide in these cases. I suppose it's because we already have a perfectly idiomatic way of saying that: It's a hit!

fire1I'm very sorry. I just worried ...

Apology accepted.

fire1haven't noticed the alarm of my post, because there are a lot of alarms of other questions.

Alarm? Do you mean the notifications? (The bell icon?)

True, sometimes it doesn't work, but it's been OK lately.

CJ

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