Could you describe what a transitive verb is?

My son applied to the JET Program this winter and much to his surprise he was accepted. He actually had an excellent interview, lots of laughs and conversation well past the time allotted for it. But at the end he was asked a question which he was convinced was the deal-breaker: Could you describe what a transitive verb is? He hemmed and hawed and gave the “Can I get back to you later on that?” reply. Since the JET Program is about teaching English in Japan, he thought he blew it.

Today he got his placement—Kagoshima prefecture, Satumasendai. It is located at the most southwestern point of Japan (about as far away from the Fukushima power plants as possible on mainland Japan). Some have called it the Naples of Japan because of its location on a beautiful bay. From reading about the weather, it sounds more like Miami Beach. It is only a 4 hour bullet train ride to Kyoto and a 7 hour bullet train ride to Tokyo. (And close to Nagasaki, Shanghai, and South Korea). He does not know yet what school(s) he will be at, or where precisely he will be living. 

He does not speak Japanese and has immersed himself in learning it in classes and using Rosetta Stone. He wrote out some hirgana on a napkin tonight at the restaurant he is working at and where we were eating dinner, demonstrating his new handwriting skills. Because he is a theater person (majored in it in school), he is actually having a wonderful (and quite dramatic) time learning to speak it too.

He leaves in about 5 weeks, July 23 to be exact. He will be gone for at least a year. And yes, of course, we are going to visit. This is a major adventure for him. Though IB will take risks and fully enjoys the experiences which follow, he has never been one to throw himself at them without some trepidation. This is a big step for him and he is utterly excited.

And I am thrilled for him too…and a bit melancholy. Though with modern technology, like skype, the distance will be much reduced, still nothing can replace the real face to face time, the real physical interactions with ones we love. I will miss him a lot.

I remember some counsel given to me by IB when he was small (6 or 7 years old) when I was trying to decide whether to take a job at another school or not. He turned to me and said, “You know how it is with adventures, Mom. Sometimes you just have to go on ’em.” I can’t think of any better advice.

(By the way a transitive verb has two characteristics: first it is an action word [want, eat, take, make, grab] and second it takes a direct object, someone or something which receives the action.) 

This entry was posted in family, grammar, Japan, school and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Could you describe what a transitive verb is?

  1. JEROME BLOOM says:


  2. Mrs. Chili says:

    Wow. I’m a little jealous, and at the same time grateful that it’s not me. Weird.

    Ask him to send you lots and lots of pictures… then post them here so we can live vicariously…

    • jyourist says:

      I will definitely post lots of pictures, but he is actually thinking of starting a wordpress blog while there. I will post the link if he does.

  3. What a wonderful opportunity for him! I was just blogging about travel and children yesterday. My time abroad (which…do you want to hear this?…ended up extending into quite a few years) changed my life forever, and the legacy of that, I think, is that my kids are now travelers. I love that. He should definitely blog about it (tumblr is great for blogging on the run). Best of luck to both!

  4. Pingback: Tanzaku | Nexus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s