transitive verb "to run"


For the sentence


Sara runs three miles a day.


What is "three miles a day" in this sentence? Is "three miles" a direct object?

verb asked Nov 08 '13 at 12:00 sali New member

1 answer


This is a very excellent question.


Many traditionalists would say run, in the form you have it now, should ALWAYS be intransitive.


The reason they would say this is because "run", and "walk", and "jog", when we think of them in our heads, usually do not have an "object", or something to receive them, when we perform them.


"I run (every day)."

"I jog (when I get tired.)"

"I walk (once I reach complete exhaustion.)"

and so on.


So how they would address this sentence is by saying you should have used a prepositional phrase so as to omit any confusion:

"Sara runs for three miles each day."

I am sure that you see now that the above sentence most definitely uses an intransitive verb.


I, however, focus on word usage.


My argument against the traditionalists.


"I ran the track until I wanted to drop."


Traditionalists would say that I meant "on the track", and that ran was intransitive.


I, on the other hand, believe that "track" is actually receiving my verb "run" because my feet are pounding that track into the ground in my effort to work out.


The most blatant example that traditionalists are forced to recognize would be:

"When mother told me to, I walked the dog"

They will try to say that I meant "with the dog", but even they must realize that mother ordered me to apply the traditionally intransitive verb "walk" to the direct object, "dog", so that I am not just with a dog, my walking is actually a force being exerted onto the dog to get it out of the house.


Using that logic to return to your sentence:

In my opinion, run is transitive in "Sara runs three miles a day."

Because guess what those "three miles" (a noun) receive EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Sarah's running.

link comment answered Nov 08 '13 at 12:31 Aaron Prejean Expert

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