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Verbs Quiz

Mixed Verbs

Test Your Verb Knowledge with Our Fun and Engaging Verbs Quiz.

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What are Linking Verbs? Examples & Usage | Tips and Tricks

Explanation of Linking Verbs

Linking verbs are a type of verb that connects the subject of a sentence to a word that describes it, such as an adjective or a noun. Unlike action verbs, they do not show any action but instead function as a link between the subject and the rest of the sentence. The most common linking verb is ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been), but other verbs such as ‘seem’, ‘appear’, ‘become’, ‘feel’, and ‘look’ can also be used as linking verbs.

Table of Linking Verbs

Linking Verb Example Sentence
is
She is happy.
am
I am tired.
are
They are hungry.
was
He was excited.
were
We were confused.

Importance of Understanding Linking Verbs

Linking verbs play a crucial role in English grammar and are essential for expressing a complete thought or idea. They provide context and meaning to a sentence, and without them, the sentence may not make sense. Understanding linking verbs is important for effective communication, both in writing and in speech. Proper usage of linking verbs can enhance the clarity and coherence of your sentences, making your writing or speech more effective.

Example in Simple Sentences

She is a doctor.
The cake smells delicious.
The house looks old.
The boy appears nervous.
The soup tastes salty.

Examples in Complicated Sentences

The teacher who is tall and strict assigns a lot of homework.
The movie that was boring made me fall asleep.
The student who seems shy always sits alone.
The dress that looks expensive is on sale.
The cake that tastes like heaven is a family recipe.

Tips and Tricks for Using Linking Verbs

Identify the subject and the complement of the sentence before choosing a linking verb.
Use linking verbs to connect the subject to a noun, pronoun, or adjective that describes or renames it.
Avoid using linking verbs to show action in a sentence.
Use different forms of linking verbs depending on the tense and the form of the sentence.
Avoid using linking verbs excessively, as it may make the sentence dull or repetitive.

Using Linking Verbs in Writing

Linking verbs are commonly used in academic writing to connect ideas and provide coherence to a sentence. They are particularly useful in describing the attributes or characteristics of a subject in a clear and concise manner. When using linking verbs in writing, it is important to choose the appropriate verb that accurately describes the subject and avoid overusing linking verbs, which can make your writing seem repetitive or dull. Using linking verbs can also help you to vary the sentence structure, making your writing more engaging and interesting to the reader.

Using Linking Verbs in Speech

Linking verbs are also commonly used in speech to provide context and meaning to a statement. When speaking, it is important to use linking verbs correctly, as they can affect the clarity and coherence of your message. Proper usage of linking verbs can help you to convey your ideas effectively and communicate your thoughts clearly to your audience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using action verbs instead of linking verbs, which can change the meaning of the sentence.
Overusing linking verbs, which can make the sentence dull or repetitive.
Using the wrong linking verb, which can affect the accuracy and clarity of the sentence.
Not identifying the complement of the sentence before choosing a linking verb, which can result in an incomplete or confusing sentence.

Correct: The soup smells delicious.
Explanation: In this sentence, “smells” is a linking verb that connects the subject “soup” with the predicate adjective “delicious.”

Incorrect: I am running quickly to the store.
Explanation: In this sentence, “am” is a linking verb, but it is incorrectly used with the action verb “running.” Instead, it should be used with a predicate nominative or predicate adjective.

FAQs About Linking Verbs

The most common linking verb is ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been).
Yes, some action verbs can be used as linking verbs, such as ‘seem’, ‘appear’, ‘become’, ‘feel’, and ‘look’.  
It is important to use linking verbs correctly because they provide context and meaning to a sentence, and improper usage can affect the clarity and coherence of your message.  
To avoid overusing linking verbs, try to vary your sentence structure, choose the appropriate verb that accurately describes the subject, and use action verbs to show action in a sentence.  

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