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Linking Verb – Definition, List and Examples

Learning English with The AN and freSy

You have undoubtedly observed by now that not all of them operate in the same manner within the many different kinds of statements that can be written in English. This is because there are a variety of kinds, such as action verbs, which describe activities; auxiliary verbs, which communicate a variety of morphological meanings; modal verbs, which express a variety of modalities; and connecting verbs, which characterize the subject of the sentence.

Table of Content
  • What are Linking Verbs?
  • Definition of a Linking Verb
  • List of 30 Linking Verbs
  • How to Use Linking Verbs?
  • Identify a Linking Verb
  • Linking Verb vs. an Action Verb
  • Examples of Linking Verbs
  • Linking verb and Helping Verb
  • Linking Verbs Exercise

What are Linking Verbs?

A linking verb is used when a subject is connected to a word or sentence in the predicate, known as a subject supplement. Linking verbs, in particular, serve as the bridge that connects the subject of a sentence to its complement, providing clarity and meaning to our expressions. By describing a condition of being related to the subject, the subject supplement provides additional information about the subject. The noun or sentence after the connecting verb (such as “unhappy” in our illustration) is referred to as the subject supplement. When a connecting verb comes after a sentence, the subject supplement that comes after it is typically an adjective (or an adjective phrase), a word (or a noun phrase), or a pronoun.

Definition of a Linking Verb

Traditional references to the English language grammar state that a linking verb is a word that characterizes the subject of a sentence by connecting it to the remainder of the sentence. In addition, they can be a single phrase or a collection of syllables instead of just one word. Unlike other verbs, this form of the word does not communicate any activity. Instead, they either designate or characterize the subject being discussed. Consider them the adhesive that binds the various parts of a statement together.

  • The bread smells bad.
  • Our company stays honest and true to its employees.

List of 30 Linking Verbs

am is was are were
being been be have has
had do does did shall
will should would may might
must can could get sound
keep run come taste remain

How to Use Linking Verbs?

Imagine a chain-link barrier as a way to comprehend the function of connecting verbs better. This image can be very helpful. Hundreds of steel wires are woven together to form a sturdy barricade that either lets something in or stops it from getting out. One of these lines by itself is not able to provide much protection for anything, but when connected to another wire, it transforms into something that is significantly more robust,

In a similar vein, the use of linking verbs to “link” or connect our subjects to certain other words or adjectives that help characterize that subject makes both our subjects and the sentences as a whole more powerful.

Think about the following sentence:

The young lady walked down the street.

The subject of this sentence is described through an action word; however, the reader does not learn much more about the lady who is strolling from this sentence. We are unaware of her physical appearance, her current state of mind, or what she enjoys doing in her spare time. Imagine a person walking down a street for us; that’s all we can do. At this point, linking verbs becomes absolutely necessary. Linking verbs allow the author to weave in additional descriptive information about the topic throughout the sentence.

The same statement is presented below, but this time with linking verbs added: The young lady walking down the street had blonde hair hidden under a straw bonnet with a broad peak and was overjoyed to discover that her go-to ice cream parlor had just opened its doors for the day.

Identify a Linking Verb

There are three straightforward methods available to identify a linking verb.

  1. If you substitute the verb in the statement with either is or are, and the sentence maintains its meaning, then the word you are using is most likely a connecting verb. Consider the following illustration: Tony exudes a joyful air. If we change “looks” to “is,” we get the statement that Tony is pleased. Because the second statement is logical, “looks” can be interpreted as a connecting verb.
  2. Using the equals symbol (=) in place of the word is possible. If the statement does not have a strange rhythm, then the word in question is most likely a connecting verb.
  3. Here is an illustration of that: This song sounds amazing. In this, the song= amazing, meaning “sounds” is also a connecting word.

  4. The concluding task is determining whether the word in question represents an activity or a condition of being. If the verb describes the subject’s state of being, then the verb is most likely functioning as a connecting word.

On the other hand, if the word describes an activity, then it most likely isn’t. Consider the following illustration: Daisy’s scent is delightful. Do flowers engage in any activity? No, they simply have a pleasant odor. This indicates that the word “smell” serves as a connecting verb in this statement.

  • John feels Tired. - Johns tired. (wrong)
  • Gloria seems stressed when she studies. - Glorias stresses when she studies. (wrong)
  • The sky looks cloudy. - The sky is cloudy. (wrong)

Linking Verb vs. an Action Verb

Verbs are typically referred to as “active terms.” On the other hand, connecting verbs don’t really convey any movement. They choose to characterize and connect one another in place of performing. To be more specific, this category of the word expresses a condition of being. In addition, it establishes a connection between the subject of a sentence and the subject supplements of that sentence.

The predicate words or predicate adjectives are what is known as the subject counterparts. Linking verbs always include phrases like “to be,” “to become,” and “to seem.” Smell, appearance, appearance, and sound are all examples of words that can be used as connecting words or action verbs.

Examples of Linking Verbs

  • The teacher is absolutely sure.
  • My sister gets mad when she’s hungry.
  • Dick was tired until the pre-workout kicked in.
  • The pie tastes good.
  • That game looks interesting.
  • We all are really excited about the movie.
  • Rick was the best batsman on their team.
  • The father is upset with the boys.
  • Siya is being extremely rude to me.

Linking verb and Helping Verb

  • My parents are performing at Venna’s tonight. (Here, “-are” acts as a helping verb since the –ing verb follows it.)
  • The girls are happy because they’re eating altogether. (Here “-are” is identified as the linking verb since a predicate adjective follows it.)

Linking Verbs Exercise

Find out the linking verbs in these sentences

  1. All the judges were being very rude to Harsh.
  2. The year 2022 has been amazing for my family and me.
  3. Jim had been very angry back in those days.
  4. You will be the father of our baby girl in some time.
  5. We shall be happy to offer our help to the needy ones.
  6. July may be angry with you.
  7. This entire journey might be a success.
  8. If the doctors didn’t arrive on time, he would be dead.
  1. Were
  2. Has been
  3. Had been
  4. Will be
  5. Shall be
  6. May be
  7. Might be
  8. Would be


Linking verbs are very much essential for English grammar; these verbs not only shorten the sentences but also make them look sharper. We hope that this guide helps you in getting a better grasp on linking verbs and how you use them correctly in your sentences. So, let us embrace the magic of linking verbs and unlock the boundless potential of connection within our language. By understanding the power of these versatile words, we can elevate our communication skills and express ourselves with greater clarity.

Linking Verbs - FAQs

There is no motion communicated by linking adjectives. Linking verbs, on the other hand, are used to describe states of being. You have both connecting verbs and action verbs in your sentence. When describing a state of being, linking verbs are the only words that should be used.

A word of this sort is known as a connecting verb, and it does not indicate any activity on its own. Verbs that act as linkers are used to demonstrate a relationship between the sentence’s subject and the overall meaning of the sentence. Verbs that are considered connecting verbs are known as linking verbs. The subject is not shown to have engaged in any activity by the linking verbs. They are a special kind of word that, unlike other verbs, describes the subject rather than the activity.

  • This coat looks beautiful on you.
  • You look amazing, even without makeup.
  • The job seems challenging to solve.
  • My dad appears mad at me.
  • The cake smells delicious.
  • I felt terrible about that ill dog.

The English language has a total of 23 verbs that can be used as connecting phrases. This number comprises approximately eight verbs that function as linkers at all times. Instances of this include becoming and seeming, as well as all forms of the word “to be,” such as “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” as well as “has been.”

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