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Languages => Language-specific analysis => English => Topic started by: Audiendus on August 31, 2019, 05:35:22 AM

Title: Transitivity of 'put'
Post by: Audiendus on August 31, 2019, 05:35:22 AM
I put the clothes in the drawer.
I put the clothes.

The second sentence is incomplete, although it has a subject, a verb and an object.
Can 'put' be regarded as ditransitive? Ditransitive verbs take two objects, but such a phrase as "in the drawer" is not really an 'object'. It looks more like an adverbial phrase, but of a particular kind; an adverbial phrase such as "with great care" would not be sufficient. Similarly, the adverb "here" would complete the sentence, but the adverb "now" would not.

Any comments would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Transitivity of 'put'
Post by: Daniel on August 31, 2019, 05:52:31 PM
You could call that "ditransitive", yes. The verb put requires two arguments, one of which is introduced by a (locative) preposition. Beyond that, the issue is terminological, not substantive. Often introductory syntax textbooks will use this as an example of of an English verb with two obligatory arguments (complements), although in general a "ditransitive" is usually understood to refer to a specific construction with two unmarked arguments as in "give you the book".