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Linking Verbs 

Grade 5
Aug 27, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. Joe Biden is the President of America. 
  2. Batman and Superman are the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe. 

In the sentences above, there is an extra layer of information about the main subject. The phrases that were added, give us more information about the subject in hand. But, the subjects, and the additional information do not appear together in the sentences. They are separated by some words in both the sentences. They are called the linking verbs.  

Linking Verbs: 

Linking verbs are the verbs that connect the subject of a sentence with a word or a phrase that gives the reader further information about the subject. The information shared by these words will be, in most cases, the condition of the subject. 

The most frequently used linking verbs in English are all forms of to be and all the sense verbs, like; 

  • Becky is a teacher. 
  • Ryan was an engineer. 
  • She has become an extremely irritating individual. 
  • Charlotte seems like a nice person. 

All forms of to be are called true linking verbs

But given the ambiguous nature of the English language, some linking verbs serve dual purpose; i.e., they act both as linking  verbs and as action verbs. Some verbs that perform the functions of both the linking verbs and action verbs are all the sense verbs like look, touch, smell, sound, taste, etc. 


Yet, with the help of the following test, we can decide whether the given verb is a linking verb or an action verb

Read the sentence: 

I tasted the pasta that she made yesterday. 

Now, substitute taste with a true linking verb that agrees with the subject. In this case, it would be am and the sentence would read: 

I am the pasta that she made yesterday. 


Here, after substituting the given verb with a true linking verb, the sentence doesn’t make any sense. Therefore, in the given sentence, tasted is not a linking verb

Read the sentence: 

The pasta tasted delicious. 

Now, substitute taste with a true linking verb that agrees with the subject. In this case, it would be was and the sentence would read: 

The pasta was delicious. 

Here, even after substitution, the meaning of the sentence remains the same and it still makes sense. Therefore, in the given sentence, tasted is a linking verb


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