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​Linking Verbs

Unlike action verbs, linking verbs do no show action.  Linking verbs link the subject of a sentence to a predicate adjective or a predicate nominative.  


          Shaundra is smart.        

                     Shuandrais the subject

                     smart is the predicate adjective 

          Shaundra was president.

                     Shaundra is the subject

                     president is the predicate nominative

​The most common linking verbs are forms of be, become, and seem.  These verbs are always linking verbs.

be                                 become                         seem

--am                                 --become                          --seem

--is                                   --became                          --seemed

--are                                --have become                 --have seemed

--was                               --has become                   --has seemed

--were                              --had become                  --had seemed

--have been

--has been

--had been 

Less-common linking verbs include forms of grow, look, smell, sound, taste, turn, get, and feel.  When used as action verbs, these verbs can be modified by adverbs or can include direct object.  

When used as linking verbs, these verbs can be replaced by a be verb and the sentence will have essentially the same meaning.


          --I tasted the food.  

                   tasted is an action verb (am the food does not make sense.)

          --The food tasted good.   

                   tasted is a linking verb (The food is good means the same thing.)

          --Travis got a perfect score.

                   got is an action verb (Travis was a perfect score does not make sense.)

          --Travis got excited about his score.

                    got is a linking verb (Travis was excited about his score makes sense.)