barbecue can be a transitive verb or a intranstitive verb

thuhoai

Senior Member
Vietnam
Hi

I am confused about the verb "barbecue", so I try to look it up into dictionaries. According to Oxford Advance Dictionary "barbecue" can be a transitive verb or an intranstitive verb. And it is a transitive verb by Macmillian dictionary and the freedictionary.

I need your help.

Thanks,
 
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  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I have always believed it to be transitive, e.g. "I will barbecue some chicken"

    If I want to describe the activity then I say "I am going to have a barbecue (noun)"

    I am surprised that it can be considered intransitive.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Personally I would only use this verb with an object - " He barbecued some steaks", though I would prefer to say "He cooked some steaks on the barbecue".

    Do you have an example of "barbecue" used an intransitive verb ?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm fed up with fried food, I'm going to bake (something) tomorrow.
    I'm fed up with boiled food, I'm going to barbecue (something) tomorrow.

    It is certainly used far more often as a transitive verb, but those sentences could go eiither way for me. Perhaps the intransitive form is more common in the US than in the UK?
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I'm fed up with fried food, I'm going to bake (something) tomorrow.
    I'm fed up with boiled food, I'm going to barbecue (something) tomorrow.

    It is certainly used far more often as a transitive verb, but those sentences could go eiither way for me. Perhaps the intransitive form is more common in the US than in the UK?
    You may be right. I find "bake" natural as an intransitive verb: "She bakes every day", meaning she makes cakes and/or bread every day. Logically it should be the same for "barbecue".
     

    thuhoai

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    Here is a sentence from my lesson.

    After all, I agreed with them that we would barbecue.

    So I wonder whether the verb "barbecue" is a transitive verb. Does it require an object? Or does it sound natural?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Here is a sentence from my lesson.

    After all, I agreed with them that we would barbecue.

    So I wonder whether the verb "barbecue" is a transitive verb. Does it require an object? Or does it sound natural?
    Sorry thuhoai if I wasn't clear enough. My post #5 above gave an example of using it intransitively or transitively - the "(something)" meant that the sentence could be written either with or without the word "something.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    As an intransitive verb it would be:

    We're going to barbecue tomorrow.:cross::thumbsdown: I've never heard it used this way.
    Oh, but I have. :tick: I wouldn't call it common - much more common would be "we're going to cook out tomorrow" or "use the grill tomorrow" - but "barbecue tomorrow" sounds perfectly natural to me.

    Actually, I think barbecue was in the past used in this way much more often than it is now. When I was a kid, that was how it was almost always said, not just by my family but by everybody I knew (this was in Southern California). I think "cook out" or "grill" is a lot more common now, not only here in the Midwest but also in SoCal. (In fact, in the Midwest, barbecue is most often used as a noun to refer to a specific dish, usually made of pork or but sometimes of beef, and that's the case in some other parts of the country, too.)
     
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