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Linking Verbs
Since linking verbs, also referred to as copulas or copular verbs, don't function in the same way as typical verbs in showing action, it can sometimes be tricky to recognize them. These types of verbs show a relationship between the subject and the sentence complement, the part of the sentence following the verb. They connect or link the subject with more information words that further identify or describe the subject. While standard verbs are indicative of action, linking verbs identify a relationship or existing condition. These are sometimes described as performing the function of an equal sign because they provide the connection between a subject and a certain state. Ads by Google Regulatory Affairs Degree Get Your MS Online in this exciting field at Northeastern. Apply today! northeastern.edu/MS-Reg-Affairs

Words That Are True Linking Verbs


Some words are always linking verbs. These are considered "true." They do not describe the action, but always connect the subject to additional information. The most common true linking verbs are forms of "to be," "to become" and "to seem." Forms of "to be" Am Is Is being Are Are being Was Was being Were Has Has been Have been Will have been

Had been Are being Might have been Forms of "to become" Become Becomes Became Has become Have become Had become Will become Will have become Forms of "to seem" Seemed Seeming Seems Has seemed Have seemed Had seemed Will seem Any time you see these words in a sentence, you know they are performing a linking or connective function in showing a relationship or describing a state. For example: "I am glad it is Friday." Here the linking verb "am" connects the subject (I) to the state of being glad. "Laura is excited about her new bike." Here "is" describes Laura's emotional state of excitement. "My birds are hungry." The word "are" identifies that the birds currently exist in a physical state of hunger.

Determining Other Linking Verbs


In addition to true linking verbs, there are also many verbs that can exist either as action verbs or linking verbs. These are also called resultative verbs. Verbs related to the five senses often function in this way. Common verbs that can exist as either action verbs or linking verbs include: Grow Look Prove Remain Smell Sound Taste Turn Stay Get

Appear Feel Since these verbs can function as either action verbs or copular verbs, how do you make the distinction? A common test is to replace the verb you suspect in the sentence with an appropriate form of a true linking verb. If it makes sense, it is linking. If it isn't logical with the substitution, it's an action verb. For example, take these two sentences: "The flowers looked wilted." "She looked for wildflowers" Substitute the copular verb "are" for the word "looked" in both sentences. In the first sentence, it makes sense: "The flowers are wilted." In the second sentence, however, it doesn't make sense: "She are for wildflowers." "The spaghetti sauce tasted delicious." "She tasted the delicious spaghetti sauce." The sentence: "The spaghettis sauce is delicious" works, but "She is the delicious spaghetti sauce" is illogical. The verb in the first sentence is copular, and in the second sentence it is not. Ads by Google Buy Dumbbells Online Upto 32% Off. Starts @ Rs.279. One Stop Shop For Gym Equipments. www.healthkart.com/Dumbbells

Additional Resources
Teachers in upper elementary and middle school may need to include lessons on linking verbs in their curriculum. ESL students may also be learning about distinguishing this verb type. Along with repetition, identification worksheets and quizzes work well for many teachers. There are many online grammar exercises and resources available for teaching, learning, and understanding copular verbs, including: Grammar Bytes gives quick tips and examples on identifying verb forms. Interactive exercises are also available. Quia offers an interactive online quiz to identify linking and action verbs. Lesson Tutor has simple hints for verbs and assignment to test your knowledge. Using English, a site designed for ESL students, has a short section on linking verbs. You can also use their forum to ask questions. Katrien Vanassche's Verb Page includes sentence breakdowns and charts. The Verb Song, submitted by Sara Jordan on Songs for Teaching, is a fun way for younger students to learn this concept. link/cite print suggestion box

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1996-2013 LoveToKnow, Corp. All Rights Reserved. Audio pronunciation provided by LoveToKnow, Corp.