This section of Exploring English describes English linking verbs.
A linking verb joins a subject with a predicate adjective, noun, or pronoun. The most common linking verbs are forms of the verb 'to be'. Other common linking verbs are 'seem', 'become', 'grow', 'smell', and 'taste':
Mary seemed able to win the race, but she became fatigued near the finish line.
A linking verb is usually followed by an adjective, not an adverb:
Her hands feel rough.
If you are not sure whether a verb is a linking verb or an action verb, try
substituting a form of of the verb 'to be' for the verb. The verb is a linking verb if the
meaning of the sentence is not significantly altered:
Zola looks sad.
Zola is sad.
A linking verb is sometimes referred to as a copula.
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Last Modified April 08, 2003