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Arts & Letters Daily

QuickBooks

Linking verbs

    Dr. Otto
As we discovered in the Tutorial on Sentence Patterns, many sentences have verbs which show no action. We saw verbs which connected (linked) words in the predicate to the subject.
YouTube Tutorial – click on INTRODUCTION /OR/ APPLICATION.
Text for Tutorial on APPLICATION – click HERE
Sample – scroll down to Sample
Assignment – scroll down to Assignment
Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key
Practice oral English – click HERE
ASK DR. OTTO – click HERE

Notes

 

Linking verbs are a small group of verbs that do not express action. The verb ‘be’ is the most important linking verb. The main purpose of this verb is to serve as a link that joins the subject to a word in the predicate in a way that adds meaning to the subject. Students should memorize these verbs.

Verb ‘Be’ Present Tense Past Tense Future Tense
First Person singular I am I was I will be
Second Person Singular You are You were You will be
Third Person Singular He/she/it is He/she/it was He/ she/it will be
First Person Plural We are We were We shall be
Second Person Plural You are You were You will be
Third Person Plural They are They were They will be

Verb ‘Be’ Chart

1. Verb ‘to be’

  • Example: Bob is ill. (‘is’- present tense, third person singular of the verb ‘be’. The word ‘ill’ is a predicate adjective that describes how Bob feels.)
  • Example: My friends were late. (‘were’ –  past tense ,third person plural of the verb ‘be’. The word ‘late’ is a predicate adjective that describes friends.)

2. Linking verbs can also serve an auxiliary function and therefore are called auxiliary verbs. They can be combined with other verbs in a verb phrase to form verb tenses. Auxiliary verbs combine with the main verb to form a verb phrase. They include all tenses of the verb ‘be’ plus have, had, has, shall, will, would, may, might, must, can, could). The following examples illustrate the use of auxiliary verbs to create continuous tenses:

  • Example: The ball game has started. (‘has’ is the auxiliary verb used with the past tense of the main verb  ‘started’)
  • Example: We are leaving soon. (‘are’ is the auxiliary verb and ‘leaving’ is the main verb)
  • Example: I am leaving for a vacation next week. (‘am’ is the auxiliary verb and ‘leaving’ is the main verb)

3. Some verbs act as both linking and active verbs

Some verbs can act like the verb ‘be’ because they serve a linking function in some sentences.

appear              become     feel           grow    seem     look     prove      remain      keep      smell    sound              stay            taste                turn

  • Example: The cookies taste sweet. (‘taste’ is a linking verb that joins the subject ‘cookies’ with the predicate adjective ‘sweet’)
  • Example: The cook tastes the cookies. (‘tastes’ is an active verb that describes the action of the subject ‘cook’. ‘Cookies’ is object of the verb ‘tastes’ )
  • Example: My forehead feels hot. (‘feels’ is a linking verb that joins the subject ‘forehead’ with the predicate adjective ‘hot’)
  • Example: The doctor feels my arm for a broken bone. (‘feels’ is an active verb that describes the action of the subject ‘doctor’)
  • Example: John grows stronger every day. (‘grows’ is a linking verb that joins the subject ‘John’ with the predicate adjective ‘stronger’)
  • Example: Mother grows vegetables in her garden. (‘grows’ is an active verb that describes the action of the subject ‘mother’. ‘vegetables’ is object of the verb ‘grows’.

Assignment

 

Answer each question by underlining the correct verb in brackets.

  1. John (become, became) committed to his training.
  2. The cook (appear, appeared) tired after a long day in the kitchen.
  3. Mother (feel, felt) sorry for the sick children.
  4. The watchman (stay, stayed) up all night long.
  5. Last night at the party, some foods (taste, tasted) better than others.
  6. Betty (appear, appeared) promptly.
  7. Cookies (taste, tastes) delicious with cold milk.
  8. My friend John (look, looks) like a movie star.
  9. The police (prove, proved) that the money was stolen from the local store.
  10. That performer (sound, sounds) like a famous opera singer.
  11. My friends (stay, stayed) late when they come.
  12. Gasoline (smell, smells) very strong.
  13. Most labourers (look, looks) tired by the end of a long working day.
  14. The rock band (sound, sounds) very loud.
  15. Some rock bands (sound, sounds) louder than others.
  16. The destruction from the earthquake (remain, remains) unchanged.
  17. In my garden, tomato plants (grow, grows) very well
  18. The leaves (turn, turns) color in the fall.
  19. We (keep, keeps) warm by making a huge bonfire.
  20. I (feel, feels) sick now because I (eat, ate) too much for dinner.

Answer Key

Linking Verbs

1. John (become, became) committed to his training.

2. The cook (appear, appeared) tired after a long day in the kitchen.

3. Mother (feel, felt) sorry for the sick children.

4. The watchman (stay, stayed) up all night long.

5. Last night at the party, some foods (taste, tasted) better than others.

6. Betty (appear, appeared) promptly.

7. Cookies (taste, tastes) delicious with cold milk.

8. My friend John (look, looks) like a movie star.

9. The police (prove, proved) that the money was stolen from the local store.

10. That performer (sound, sounds) like a famous opera singer.

11. My friends (stay, stayed) late when they come.

12. Gasoline (smell, smells) very strong.

13. Most labourers (look, looks) tired by the end of a long working day.

14. The rock band (sound, sounds) very loud.

15. Some rock bands (sound, sounds) louder than others.

16. The destruction from the earthquake (remain, remains) unchanged.

17. In my garden, tomato plants (grow, grows) very well.

18. The leaves (turn, turns) color in the fall.

19. We (keep, keeps) warm by making a huge bonfire.

20. I (feel, feels) sick now because I (eat, ate) too much for dinner.