A linking verb links the subject of a sentence with a word or words that: (i) express (es) the subject’s state of being
She is here (expresses state of being)
She seems ready (state of being)
(ii) Describe (es) or rename (es) the subject.
Anna is a nurse (a nurse, describes Anna)
Joyce is cheerful (cheerful describes Joyce)
The road is bumpy.
A linking verb does not tell about an action.
Read: DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS
Common Linking Verbs
Am look grow
Are feel remain
Is taste become
Was smell sound
Will be appear
NB: Some verbs can be either linking verbs or action verbs.
The crowd looked at the mangled car – Action
The driver of the car looked shocked – LINKING
The chef smelled the food – Action
The food smelled wonderful – Linking
Exercise 1 Identify the verb in each of the following sentences.
Then label each verb Action or Linking.
- Queen Elizabeth of England seems an interesting historical figure.
- We watched the Olympic games on television.
- The crowd cheered loudly.
- She seems calm.
- PLO Lumumba is a quick thinker.
- The hunter aimed the arrow at the antelope.
- The referee blew the whistle to start off the game.
- She was very tired after the journey.
- She is careful when crossing the road.
- The country seems prosperous.