Welcome to Daily Tips on Learning English. Today’s tip is to be aware of how some verbs in English, transitive verbs, require an object.
Not using an object after a transitive verb is a common mistake made by learners of English. For example, although in Chinese, you can say, “我喜欢”or “我不喜欢”without mentioning what you are talking about, in English, “like” requires an object. So you can’t say, “I like.” or “I don’t like.” You must say, “I like it.” or “I like them.” “I like her.” “I like you.” “I like Taiwan.” or “I don’t like it.” “I don’t like them.” “I don’t like him.” “I don’t like singing at KTVs.” You must use an object after “like” because it is a transitive verb. Another common word which is misused is “want”. “want” is also a transitive verb and must be followed by an object. You cannot ask “do you want” as in the Chinese “你要不要？”“你要吗？”You must ask “Do you want some?” if you are asking about something uncountable like coffee or tea. “Do you want it?” if you are asking about a singular countable object like the last piece of pizza. “Do you want them?” if you are asking about plural countable objects such as some books. And “Do you want to?” or “Do you want to do it?” if you are asking about doing something like going to a movie or going to a concert. The two verbs “like” and “want” are the two most commonly misused transitive verbs as in “I like” or “I want”. Be careful to complete the meaning of these transitive verbs by adding an object. And when using a pronoun, be careful to choose the proper pronoun. In English, certain verbs are used only transitively, some are used only intransitively, and some are used at times transitively and at other times intransitively.
Today’s tip is to pay special attention when learning verbs, to learn whether or not the verb is transitive, and not to neglect adding an object if it is. This has been today’s daily tips on learning English. Tune in tomorrow for another tip.