7.1 Glossary - Key language concepts

Understanding words used to describe language and grammar will help you to improve your understanding of English more rapidly. This is a glossary of the most important terms used on this course.

Browse the glossary using this index

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The most simple form of the verb. This is nearly always in its present simple form, e.g.

  • go, have, want

Or we say the infinitive 'with to' for

  • to go, to have, to want

intransitive verb

An intransitive verb is a verb which cannot be immediately followed by an object noun phrase:

  • My friends have arrived.
  • He died suddenly.
  • They escaped from prison.

On the other hand, transitive verbs must be immediately followed by a noun:

  • She wrote a letter.

Online dictionaries usually indicate whether a noun is transitive [T] or intransitive [I]. Some verbs can be both depending on the sense and context that they are being used in.