Linking Verbs: 14 Common Linking Verbs with Example Sentences

Linking verbs are an essential part of the English language. They are verbs that connect the subject of a sentence to a noun or an adjective that describes or identifies it. The most common linking verbs are forms of the verb “to be,” such as am, is, are, was, were, being, and been. However, there are many other linking verbs, such as appear, feel, look, seem, and sound.

Linking Verbs

Verbs are an essential part of a sentence. They help us convey actions, conditions, or states of being. However, not all verbs show action. Some verbs, called linking verbs, connect the subject of a sentence to a noun, pronoun, or adjective.

Linking Verbs

Linking verbs do not describe an activity performed by the subject. Instead, they establish a relationship between the subject and the rest of the sentence. For example, in the sentence “The flower smells sweet,” the linking verb “smells” connects the subject “flower” to the adjective “sweet.”

Here are some examples of linking verbs:

  • Be: am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being
  • Become: became, become, becomes, becoming
  • Seem: seemed, seems, seeming
  • Appear: appeared, appears, appearing
  • Feel: felt, feels, feeling
  • Look: looked, looks, looking
  • Sound: sounded, sounds, sounding
  • Taste: tasted, tastes, tasting

It’s important to note that some verbs can function both as linking verbs and action verbs, depending on how they’re used in a sentence. For instance, in the sentence “He smells the flower,” the verb “smells” is an action verb because it describes the activity of smelling. However, in the sentence “The flower smells sweet,” the same verb “smells” is a linking verb because it connects the subject “flower” to the adjective “sweet.”

Types of Linking Verbs

There are three types of linking verbs: true linking verbs, sensory linking verbs, and conditional linking verbs.

True Linking Verbs

True linking verbs are verbs that solely act as a link between the subject and the predicate, and do not show any action. Some examples of true linking verbs are “be”, “seem”, “appear”, “become”, and “remain”. For instance, in the sentence “She seems happy”, the linking verb “seems” links the subject “she” with the predicate adjective “happy”.

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Sensory Linking Verbs

Sensory linking verbs are the verbs that are used to describe the sensory experience of the subject, such as sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. Some examples of sensory linking verbs are “look”, “sound”, “feel”, “taste”, and “smell”. For example, in the sentence “The food smells delicious”, the linking verb “smells” links the subject “food” with the predicate adjective “delicious”, describing the sensory experience of the food.

Conditional Linking Verbs

Conditional linking verbs are the verbs that show a condition or a possibility. Some examples of conditional linking verbs are “seem”, “appear”, “become”, and “get”. For instance, in the sentence “If I get the job, I will be happy”, the linking verb “get” links the subject “I” with the predicate adjective “happy”, showing the possibility of happiness if the condition of getting the job is fulfilled.

List of Linking Verbs

Common Linking Verbs

Below is a common linking verbs list in English with examples.

  • Be
  • Appear
  • Become
  • Feel
  • Grow
  • Look
  • Remain
  • Seem
  • Sound
  • Taste
  • Prove
  • Stay
  • Smell
  • Turn

Linking Verb Examples

  • I am a doctor.
  • My name is Susan.
  • These are my favorite pictures.
  • The sky was grey.
  • They were very ambitious for their children.
  • The diamonds appeared to be genuine.
  • Pollution from cars has become a major problem.
  • feel awful about forgetting her birthday.
  • Business has been bad this year.
  • Rachel will be three in November.
  • She grows prettier every day.
  • You look tired. You should go to bed.
  • He remains undecided about what to do.
  • The boy decided not to become a sailor.
  • She seems very happy.
  • That sounds like a good idea.
  • Mmm! This tastes good!
  • The task proved too difficult.
  • I hope we can stay friends.
  • The cream smells funny.
  • His face turned pale.
  • You look really stunning in that dress!

Functions of Linking Verbs

Linking verbs are an essential part of the English language as they help to convey the meaning of a sentence by linking the subject to additional information. There are two primary functions of linking verbs: equating subjects and describing subjects.

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Equating Subjects

One of the primary functions of a linking verb is to equate the subject to another noun, pronoun, or adjective. For example, in the sentence “The cat is black,” the linking verb “is” connects the subject “cat” to the adjective “black.” Without the linking verb, the sentence would not make sense.

Describing Subjects

Another function of linking verbs is to describe the subject of a sentence. Rather than showing an action, linking verbs provide additional information about the subject. For example, in the sentence “She looks tired,” the linking verb “looks” describes the subject “she” and provides information about her state of being.

Linking verbs can also be used to describe a subject’s condition or state of being. For instance, in the sentence “The weather seems nice today,” the linking verb “seems” describes the subject “weather” and provides information about its condition.

Identifying Linking Verbs

Linking verbs, as we learned from our search results, are verbs that do not show action but rather describe the subject. They connect the subject to a word or phrase that renames or describes it. Here are some tips to help you identify linking verbs in a sentence:

  • The most common linking verb is any form of the verb “to be,” such as am, is, are, was, were, etc. For example, “She is a doctor” or “They were happy.”
  • Other common linking verbs are “sense” verbs, such as seem, appear, become, feel, look, smell, sound, taste. For example, “He seemed tired” or “The flowers smelled sweet.”
  • Linking verbs are used to indicate conditions or states of being. They do not show action. For example, “The soup tastes delicious” or “She feels happy.”

It is important to note that some verbs can be both linking and action verbs, depending on how they are used in a sentence. For example, in the sentence “She feels the soft fabric,” “feels” is an action verb because it shows physical sensation. However, in the sentence “She feels happy,” “feels” is a linking verb because it connects the subject “she” to the state of being “happy.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a linking verb and can you give an example?

A linking verb is a verb that connects the subject of a sentence to a complement, which can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective. The most common linking verbs are forms of the verb “to be,” such as am, is, are, was, were, and be. Other linking verbs include appear, feel, look, seem, and sound.

For example, in the sentence “She is a doctor,” the linking verb is “is,” and it connects the subject “she” to the complement “doctor.”

What are the common linking verbs?

The most common linking verbs are forms of the verb “to be,” such as am, is, are, was, were, and be. Other common linking verbs include appear, feel, look, seem, and sound.

What is the difference between a linking verb and a helping verb?

A linking verb connects the subject of a sentence to a complement, while a helping verb is used with a main verb to form a verb phrase. Helping verbs include forms of “to be,” “to have,” and “to do.”

Can a verb be both a linking verb and an action verb?

Yes, some verbs can function as both linking verbs and action verbs, depending on how they are used in a sentence. For example, in the sentence “She looks happy,” the verb “looks” is a linking verb that connects the subject “she” to the complement “happy.” However, in the sentence “She looks at the book,” the verb “looks” is an action verb that describes the action “looking at.”

How do you identify a linking verb in a sentence?

To identify a linking verb in a sentence, look for a verb that connects the subject to a complement. Common linking verbs include forms of “to be,” such as am, is, are, was, were, and be, as well as other verbs such as appear, feel, look, seem, and sound.

What are some examples of sentences with linking verbs?

  • The flowers smell sweet.
  • He seems tired.
  • She became a teacher.
  • They were happy.
  • I am an artist.

Last Updated on November 27, 2023

16 thoughts on “Linking Verbs: 14 Common Linking Verbs with Example Sentences”

    • No, in the sentence “You will like her once you get to know her,” the verb “get” is not a linking verb. Instead, it is functioning as a dynamic verb, indicating the action of coming to know someone.

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