In the standard grammars and dictionaries very little specific attention is paid to the question of transitivity, though Ashton touches on the matter obliquely in her discussion of ‘adverbial subject’ and the ‘nominal construction’1 and Polomé considers the structure of the verbal clause in some detail.2 Neither, however, gives any attention to the question as to whether the patterns they exemplify are specific to certain verbs or not, so that the learner/ reader has no way of knowing how general is the phenomenon under discussion. This is particularly true with respect to the affix known as the ‘object-infix’, the optional pre-radical element which formally marks an object relationship.3 Ashton comments that ‘Direction of emphasis dictates the position of the noun object, and the use or omission of the object prefix,4 and Polomé remarks that ‘…in the non-relative forms the infix slot is only filled when the attention is obviously focussed on the object….’.5 This is helpful once one knows that such an affix can occur at all, but not otherwise, and it is misleading to the extent that the impression is given that all verbs may have such an affix. The Standard dictionary recognizes the terms ‘transitive’ and ‘intransitive’ among its abbreviations but does not appear to make use of them, so that the user has to rely on English intuitions about the nature of transitivity in Swahili.