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The name of the dead man will not be released until his relatives have been informed.
The above sentence is from an online dictionary.

The verb inform is a transitive one; it means there should be an object for the verb. I don't perceive that there is an object. The word 'informed' is naked here; I mean there is no word follows the verb 'informed'.

2. The relatives have been informed about the death of ...
[ The above sentence has some words attached after the verb 'informed'. So you could say the verb 'informed' is transitive.

My question is how do you say that the tranistive verb 'informed' properly written here.
To be candid, I am not good at judging transitive and intransitive nature of a verb in a sentence.

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Comments  (Page 2) 
I thank both Clive and CalifJim for the excellent replies.
It seems even if you are a native English speaker and an expert in English, you can't judge a given verb's transitive/intransitive nature.

You should refer to a dictionary to make sure whether it is transitive or intransitive.
This is my understanding. Please tell me if I understood you wrongly.

I gave you an example of my training at the gym. In other words I tried to draw a parallel between my gym training to the English grammar.
When the gym installs a new machine, I don't look at the tiny instructon notice attached to it. I know exactly the muscles pertaining to the machine.
By the way, thanks to the gym training, I maintain my blood pressure like a man of 25 years of age.

However, a native English speaker knows correct prepositions as well as the idiomatic nature.
Yesterday, Cool Breeze told me why we say that I speak to her on the phone. We don't say I speak to her on phone. Being a native speaker, he knew that it is the idiom. I didn't know it.

Is it not the case when judging the transitive and intransitive nature?
Are you forced to look at a dictionary.


Obviously, there are thousand of verbs. How on earth you should know each and every verb's behaviour!
Is it not the case when judging the transitive and intransitive nature?
Are you forced to look at a dictionary [ ? ]
No. As I explained, you look at the sentence, or listen to the sentence, not look in the dictionary!

In the dictionary there are many, many verbs that can be used both transitively and intransitively.

There are a list of definitions for the transitive uses and a list of definitions for the intransitive uses. So that doesn't help very much.

walk (intransitive): to move along by foot
walk (transitive): to take (an animal) for a walk; to cause (an animal) to go walking.

I walked through the park. (walk is intransitive.)
I walked the dog through the park.
(walk is transitive.)
The dog was walked through the park. (walk is transitive, but in a passive structure.)

You have to look for an object (noun) after the verb, or a passive structure. Then you have a transitive verb. If there is no object, and the sentence is not passive either, then it's an intransitive verb.

CJ
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Hi,

Is it not the case when judging the transitive and intransitive nature?
Are you forced to look at a dictionary.
No. Very generally speaking, I'd say that most native speakers know, although I suppose that if it's a verb that is new to you, you could have trouble. But I think we most often learn new words from a context, which helps us to learn about the nature of the verb.

Do you have to look in the dictionary for all the details every time you meet a new word in your native language?

Best wishes, Clive
This is a belated reply. I understand everything CalifJim and Clive written here.

When you look at a verb in a sentence, you could notice whether it is transitive or intransitive.
I can notice it to a some extent. I don't know everything.

Now forget about a sentences. If an ESL student give you a bunch of verbs without referring to any sentence, is it possible to some of them are both transitive and intransitive?

It is my understanding some verbs can never be intransitive. I may be wrong to say so.
This is a belated reply. I understand everything CalifJim and Clive written here.

When you look at a verb in a sentence, you could notice whether it is transitive or intransitive.
I can notice it to a some extent. I don't know everything.

Now forget about a sentences. If an ESL student give you a bunch of verbs, is it possible to tell some of them are both transitive and intransitive? I mean without looking at a dictionary.

It is my understanding some verbs can never be intransitive. I may be wrong to say so.

[ The forum does not function the way it should. The duplication is beyond my control.]
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If an ESL student give you a bunch of verbs, is it possible to tell some of them are both transitive and intransitive?
Yes, it's possible if you know the language well enough to think of a transitive use and an intransitive use of a given verb that's just a verb in a list, but that's hard to do if you are just learning English. If there is only a verb and it's not used in a sentence, a dictionary would be very useful for a learner.

CJ
It is my understanding some verbs can never be intransitive.
That's true.

CJ
Thanks CalifJim.
This was the core of my question.
Even if you are a native speaker as well as good at grammar, it is not easy to judge each and every verb's transitive/intransitive nature. So sometimes you are forced to look at a dictionary.
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