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Attributive Ditransitive English Verbs

Traditional notional grammars define verbs as “action or state of being words.” Transitive verbs in English grammar are main verbs that take an object. Ditransitive verbs take two objects: (1) a direct object and an indirect object or (2) a direct object and an object complement. Ditransitive verbs that take a direct object and an object complement are referred to as attributive ditransitive verbs. Attributive ditransitive verbs can occur within passive constructions.

Some common attributive ditransitive English verbs include the following:

  • appoint
  • call
  • color
  • consider
  • decorate
  • designate
  • elect
  • find
  • keep
  • make
  • name
  • paint
  • prove

For example:

  • I consider him untrustworthy.
  • They elected Cheryl their president.
  • The police found the burglar sleeping.
  • I sometimes call my son Bubba.
  • Freddy Frog has been painting his house yellow and green.
  • The troubled young man proved them wrong.

Attributive ditransitive verbs can occur within passive constructions. The English language has two grammatical voices: active and passive. The active voice allows speakers to form sentences in which the grammatical subject performs the action of or acts upon the verb functioning as the predicate. The passive voice allows speakers to form sentences in which a direct or indirect object moves into the subject position. Because attributive ditransitive verbs take objects, attributive ditransitive verbs in active constructions can shift into the passive voice. Only the direct object can shift into the subject position For example:

  • I have found the soup quite tasty. (ditransitive verb, active voice)
  • The soup has been found quite tasty by me. (ditransitive verb, passive voice)
  • The committee elected me President. (ditransitive verb, active voice)
  • I was elected President by the committee. (ditransitive verb, passive voice)

Attributive ditransitive verbs are transitive verbs that take a direct object and an object complement. Attributive ditransitive verbs can occur within passive constructions.

References

Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kilby, David. 1984. Descriptive syntax and the English verb. Dover, New Hampshire: Croom Helm.
Leech, Geoffrey N. 2004. Meaning and the English verb. Harlow, English: Pearson Longman.

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