Compound Intransitive Verb

Another category of intransitive verb is the compound intransitive verb. A compound intransitive verb takes the form of a phrase that usually consists of two words. Grammatically the phrase is a single unit that functions exactly like an ordinary intransitive verb. Some examples of these that we have already met are:

gosok gigi
terima telepon
main tenis (also often bermain tenis)

At first glance it might seem as if gigi, telpon and tenis are objects, and that gosok, terima andmain must be transitive verbs. But in fact the me- prefix that marks subjectfocus transitive verbs only rarely appears attached to the front of these phrases, and in every respect the phrases behave as if they were intransitive verbs.

Other such compound intransitive verbs are:

berganti pakaian
to get changed (of clothes)

mengisi bensin
to fill up (the tank of a motor vehicle with petrol/gasoline)

Compounds involving merasa and menjadi probably also belong to this category. For example, in the sentence Saya merasa sakit (I feel ill), rasa sakit is a compound base form, and the whole phrase merasa sakit behaves exactly like an intransitive verb.

Similarly in the sentence Dia menjadi guru (She is a teacher) jadi guru seems to be a compound base form governed by themeN- prefix, and the whole phrase menjadi guru behaves exactly like an intransitive verb.


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