+0
Where is the direct object in the transitive sentence below?

"These agents are trained to kill."
1 2 3 4 5 6
Comments  
Hi,

Where is the direct object in the transitive sentence below?

"These agents are trained to kill

There isn't one. It's not a transitive sentence. Consider 'The window is broken'.

best wishes, Clive
Clive
Hi,

Where is the direct object in the transitive sentence below?

"These agents are trained to kill

There isn't one. It's not a transitive sentence. Consider 'The window is broken'.

best wishes, Clive

It is an objectless transitive, Clive.

Similar examples:

Eve insisted: Adam ate.

Orson Welles ate, drank and smoked too much.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
AnonymousWhere is the direct object in the transitive sentence below?

"These agents are trained to kill."

It's an objectless transitive.
There is no such thing as a transitive sentence.

Verbs are transitive or intransitive, not sentences.

"to train" is a transitive verb. As such, it can be used both in active and in passive sentences.

The sample sentence illustrates a transitive verb used in a passive sentence (i.e., a sentence in the passive voice).
In the active counterpart "Someone trained these agents to kill", agents is the direct object. But sentences in the passive voice do not have direct objects because the direct object from the active sentence has been used as the subject of the passive sentence.

CJ
CalifJimThere is no such thing as a transitive sentence.

Verbs are transitive or intransitive, not sentences.

"to train" is a transitive verb. As such, it can be used both in active and in passive sentences.

The sample sentence illustrates a transitive verb used in a passive sentence (i.e., a sentence in the passive voice).
In the active counterpart "Someone trained these agents to kill", agents is the direct object. But sentences in the passive voice do not have direct objects because the direct object from the active sentence has been used as the subject of the passive sentence.

CJ

I think the questioner was speaking casually when he/she used the term "transitive sentence". It's like a "present perfect sentence", a "conditional sentence", etc. We all know what is meant.

Could you tell me how you know that the sentence in question has a missing agent and not a missing object?

You: These agents are trained to kill (by...).

Other possiblities (objectless transitive): These agents are trained to kill (defectors, cockroaches, poachers, deer).
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi,

These agents are trained to kill.

I'd like to add a comment. If the sentence were 'These agents are trained to kill every year' , ie a repeated process, I would see it as more meaningful to look at this as a passive sentence. However, in the original example, I think the best way to look at it is simply that the past participle is used as an adjective describing an ongoing state. It's similar to saying 'These agents are French'.

When you look at it this way, it's clear that there is no object, or agent, involved.

Best wishes, Clive
CliveHi,

These agents are trained to kill.

I'd like to add a comment. If the sentence were 'These agents are trained to kill every year' , ie a repeated process, I would see it as more meaningful to look at this as a passive sentence. However, in the original example, I think the best way to look at it is simply that the past participle is used as an adjective describing an ongoing state. It's similar to saying 'These agents are French'.

When you look at it this way, it's clear that there is no object, or agent, involved.

Best wishes, Clive

That of course is another way of looking at it. Like "the road was closed by the police" and "the road was closed".

So now we have three ways of looking at it:

1. A sentence containing an objectless transitive verb.

2. A passive construction.

3. A construction with an adjectival phrase, "trained to kill".
Perhaps we should redefine "intransitive verb" as "a verb that must have an agent"; and "transitive verb" as "a verb that must have a patient"...

MrP
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more