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Hi

Could you please tell me how many kinds of a verb are there? In fact, this question has always troubled me because almost all books show a different number. Some books mention some kinds and some mention the others. One of my books, for example, describes "transitive and intransitive verbs" this way, making it very confusing for me to understand.

1- There are two kinds of a verb: transitive and intransitive

Why two? What about the others? If someone has ever listed down all the kinds of a verb, could I please know the spicific number?
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Hi Tom

Believe it or not, in all my years of teaching ESL classes, I don't believe anyone ever asked me that question. You're the first. Emotion: smile

I don't think you can simply say "There are X kinds of verbs" without first stating what aspect you are trying to categorize.
For example, there are regular and irregular verbs. However, in each of those categories, there will be transitive and intrasitive verbs. The transitivity of a verb has no connection whatsoever with whether it is regular or not.

You might also categorize verbs this way:
- Action verbs
- Linking verbs
- Helping (auxiliary) verbs

So, in a nutshell, I guess I would say that your question is impossible to answer.
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Hi Mr. Tom. As Yankee says, there is really no good answer to the question "how many kinds of verb are there?" When books say There are two kinds of a verb: transitive and intransitive it is a rather awkward way of saying "all verbs can be categorized as either transitive or intransitive" -- but there are many other ways to categorize verbs.

Think of it this way. Suppose I said "There are two kinds of dog: male and female." In one sense that is true. But you could also way "there are two kinds of dog: purebred and cross-bred" or "There are three kinds of dogs: long-haired, short-haired, and curly-haired." or "There are two kinds of dog: the kind that insists on sleeping on your bed at night, and the kind that doesn't" or "there are many kinds of dog: boxer, dalmation, chow, bulldog, etc. etc."

Does that help explain why there is no clear answer to "how many kinds of verbs are there?"
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Hi Tom

Yes, there are transitive and intransitive verbs. Intransitive verbs don't take an object. Transitive verbs take an object, and sometimes there is a direct object and an indirect object.
Some verbs are both transitive and intransitive, depending on which meaning you choose:

I am writing at the moment. (intransitive)
I write novels. (transitive)

Of course, there are other ways you can categorize verbs. For example, "regular" and "irregular".

Are those the sorts of things you want to know?
Many thanks, Amy

Let's put it this way. A student of yours asks you in the class:

"Miss, how many kinds of a verb are there?"

What would your answer be?

When many books say:
There are two kinds of a verb: transitive and intransitive.
...then how come we can ever tell our students any other form? The two ends the story, doesn't it?
 Yankee's reply was promoted to an answer.
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what are the properties of verb?
 khoff's reply was promoted to an answer.
How many kinds of books are there?
How many kinds of flowers are there?
How many kinds of animals are there?
How many kinds of sentences are there?
How many kinds of verbs are there?

None of these questions has a definitive answer. It depends on how you wish to classify the things you are talking about. And you can classify any group of things in a nearly infinite number of ways, depending on the limits of your imagination.

Take books, for example. There are books of fiction and books of non-fiction. But those same books can be classified into those which are longer than 100 pages and those that are shorter than 100 pages. The very same books can be classified by topic: Those about people and those about other things. And the same books can be classified by the color of their covers: the red books, the blue books, the white books, etc. And the very same books can be classified this way: books that contain illustrations and books that have no illustrations.

When your book says there are two kinds of verbs: transitive and intransitive, what your book is assuming is that the classification is by transitivity. Here's what the question and answer really mean:

How many kinds of verbs are there from the point of view of transitivity?
From the viewpoint of transitivity there are two kinds of verbs.


CJ
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