Is the verb "to be" transitive or intransitive?


Is the verb "to be" transitive, intransitive or something else? I know it is a linking verb, but is it always categorized as such?

edited Sep 23 '13 at 23:44 sali New member

2 answers


"to be" is neither transitive nor intransitive.


1) If you wrote "to be" in a sentence it would be an infinitive which would mean it is acting as either a noun, adverb, or adjective, and not a verb.

2) If you are talking about "be" the base form of "is" "are" "was" "were" "am", then you are talking about a linking verb, which you should not be labeling as transitive or intransitive since linking verbs do not have direct objects and are not action verbs.

3) If you are talking about it helping another verb (e.g. is talking), then it is acting as a helping verb and the main verb will be labeled transitive/intransitive.


Whichever way you are using "be" or "to be", you will not be labeling it transitive/intransitive.

link comment edited Sep 23 '13 at 23:56 Aaron Prejean Expert

waht about in: i want to be a lawyer.

link comment answered Aug 05 '16 at 19:35 priscila aragon New member

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