Difference between object of a transitive verb and the complement of an intransitive verb

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My students are having difficulty telling the difference between the object of a transitive verb and the complement of an intransitive verb.

 

For example,

 

"He became a master of martial arts."

 

Half of the students said that "master of martial arts" would have to be the object and that became would be transitive, since the verb "to become" is being done to "master of martial arts."

 

Others said that became would act like "come" and would not ever be able to be transitive, as it is a state of being verb. And so "master of martial arts" would have to be the complement.

 

Who is correct?

asked Sep 20 '13 at 21:53 sali New member

1 answer


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'Master of martial arts' is the compliment. You might try using a mathmatical symbol to help explain the different.

With an intranstitive verb and a compliment, an equal sign (=) will make sense.

 

He became a master of martial arts.  'He' = 'master of martial arts.'  This is true.

 

With a transitive verb and a direct object, the = doesn't make sense.

John hit the ball.  'John' = 'ball'.  This is false.

link comment answered Sep 23 '13 at 11:04 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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