What Is Factitive Verb?

Factitive Verb is a form of transitive verbOpens in new window that takes both a direct objectOpens in new window and an object complementOpens in new window, the two of which are in appositionOpens in new window.

The most common factitive verbs are:


Factitive verbs are known to make something another thing, either by thought, word, or action.

For example:
  1. He called his friend a fool.
  2. I consider it shameful to treat anyone in that way.


Consider also the following:
  • She thinks Shakespeare a great poet.
  • He considers that preposterous.
  • He called the idea silly.

As indicated in the last two sentences, a factitive verb, can be followed by a nounOpens in new window, pronounOpens in new window and an adjectiveOpens in new window.

Generally, the first element that follows a factitive verb is the object of the factitive verb (usually a noun or pronoun).

The second element—a noun or an adjective—is what is called objective complementOpens in new window; without it the object would be incomplete.

In the following sentences the complements of the factitive verbs are written in bold:

  • They appointed Sanders, accountant. (noun as complement)
  • He found the bag empty. (adjective as complement)
  • They named their dog, Rex. (noun as complement)
  • She considers him faithful.
  • He named his son, Williams.
Important Hint!  
  • A factitive verb does not make complete sense by mentioning its object but requires some complement to be added after the object.
  • Note also that factitive verbs cannot be used in the progressive aspect.
There is no such expression:
  • They are appointing Sanders, accountant.
Likewise, we cannot say
  • She is considering him faithful.

These verbs “appointing,” and “considering” and others in like manner have different meanings in the progressive aspect. They are not factitive verbs.