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The tests suggested above are useful grammatical tests for detecting transitive process verbs. However, transitivity is not a mere grammatical phenomenon. It has to do with the semantic notion of participation.

Being as succinct as I can, we can think of action verbs as verbs representing someone doing something. The action being performed is an affecting action if the person creates, alters, or destroys something and it is non-affecting if the person is born, changes or dies. As far as grammar is concerned, if all participants are represented in the clause, affecting actions are represented by transitive verbs and non-affecting actions are represented by intransitive verbs. Locations in time and space are not things that can be affected by actions. They are circumstances in which actions take place.

I hope this helps you notice when the grammatical tests work and when they don't.