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We know, that by adding be-, we can make intransitive verbs transitive. Can we conclude, that all be- verbs are transitive?

  • Does "betragen" as in "der Schaden des Gewitters beträgt 120000 Euro" count? – 0x6d64 Dec 4 '15 at 16:19
  • @0x6d64 That’s an accusative object, so no, it’s not a counterexample. (»Der Schaden beträgt einen symbolischen Euro.«) – Jan Dec 4 '15 at 19:31
  • @Jan: Danke, das hätte mir eigentlich auch auffallen sollen :) – 0x6d64 Dec 5 '15 at 7:35
  • The verbs begegnen and bestehen are often (although not exclusively) used without an accusative object. Does that count? – Tim Dec 5 '15 at 10:09
  • @Tim Yes, begegnen does; it never takes an accusative object as far as Wiktionary knows. See my answer. – Jan Dec 5 '15 at 12:06
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Depends. In general, you can assume that every word that you create using this word formation rule will result in a transitive verb. After all, that's what it is good for. However, you can never safely assume that every word that has the structure of a certain word formation rule will always have the function / meaning which is common for that rule. Some words may lose their original meaning over time, or be remnants from a time when the formation rule worked differently; however, I do not know if there is an example for be-.

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Transitive verbs, in the definition used by Canoo.net, are those that take an accussative object, and thus those which, when transformed into the passive voice, retain a subject in the passive voice.

Begegnen fulfills neither condition. Jemandem begegnen uses a dative object as does etwas begegnen. A passive voice is only really possible for the second one:

Dem Vorwurf wird begegnet.

You see no subject in there, thus the verb is intransitive.

  • folgen and begegnen are treated as exceptions in some books though. – user1917231 Dec 10 '15 at 11:15
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    @user1917231 Well, if they are exceptions they break the rule, mathematically speaking. – Jan Dec 10 '15 at 23:36
  • Well therefore the general rule may still apply. As a general rule of thumb, all untrennbare Verben make the stem verb transitive. – user1917231 Dec 11 '15 at 12:44
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"Bedürfen" is not transitive since it takes a genitive object: "Ich bedarf deines Rates". No other option even in colloquial speech except for switching to some other verb like "benötigen".

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