Understanding Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verbs are verbs which cannot have a direct object. If you add a direct object to an intransitive verb then you get a sentence which doesn’t make any sense.

Examples:  I swim the purse.    I go a pizza. , “swim” and “go” are intransitive verbs. At least, in English…

As a general rule, consider the English tense of any verb (my examples here all use past tense), and then ask the question “What?”, using the same tense of the auxillary verb:

  • I drank. What did you drink? Drink is a Transitive verb (it takes an object– I drank beer, for instance).
    I wrote. What did you write? Transitive.
    I saw. What did you see? Transitive.
    I came. What did you come? That makes no sense– Come must be Intransitive!

It is most often verbs of Personal Motion/ Action or States of Being that are Intransitive.I was born. What did you born? Nonsense; State of being; Intransitive.
I sat. What did you sit? Motion. Intransitive
I laughed. What did you laugh? Action. Intransitive.

In Italian, it seems that there are always some irregularities. But, for the most part, the English definition holds true.
In Italian, Transitive verbs use the auxillary verb form of AVERE, while Intransitives normally use the auxillary verb form of ESSERE/ STARE when combined in the past participle tenses.
You just have to memorize certain Italian verbs because some of them can be used in both Transitive and Intransitive forms, while others are Intransitive in English but Transitive in Italian. For example:
Abbiamo corso per dieci minuti (We ran for ten minutes). Intransitive, but using AVERE in Italian.
Ho lavato la macchina (I washed the car). –What did I wash? The car. Transitive.

Note  Mi sono lavato la faccia (I washed my face). –Reflexive verbs are (edit) usually Intransitive.

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