Absolute verbs 不明示受詞的「絕對」動詞

date-created:: 2023-04-24



(AHD5) v.intr.
1. To speak with another or others about something: As we discussed yesterday, the problem could have more than one solution.
2. To examine or consider a subject in speech or writing.
3. To come to an agreement as a result of a discussion: As we discussed, you will clean your room before going out.

I just heard a colleague say We will discuss on <topic> in open communication. This made me do a double take and reach for Eudic 歐路詞典 in curiosity. I'm relieved that no, one does not say discuss on sth. It is transitive.

But I discovered something unusual: I found the above intransitive senses for discuss by AHD5 most peculiar. The fact that no other dictionaries have such a treatment is worthy of research.

For AHD5 senses 1 and 3, I suspect the object is implicit in as (I forgot the proper terminology for this usage. #todo/rsch). If that's the case, discuss is still transitive. For 2, I would like to see an example.

Then, happily, the answer quickly came to those who care enough to look.



Highlights & Notes


(AHD5) grammar
b. Of, relating to, or being a transitive verb when its object is implied but not stated. For example, inspires in We have a teacher who inspires is an absolute verb.

(M-W) grammar
Of a verb : having no object in the particular construction under consideration though normally transitive
Kill in "if looks could kill" is an absolute verb.

(NODE3) grammar
(Of a transitive verb) used without an expressed object (e.g. guns kill).
Verbs grouped as absolute, relative, or nounal.


With the clearly defined "absolute verbs," it's all clear now. Whether to define intransitive discuss and kill is a judgment call: AHD5 errs on the side of redundancy to the systematic rule of absolute verbs while other dictionaries choose brevity.

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