Linking VerbsDownload this explanation in PDF here.
Some verbs don't talk about actions, but instead link the subject to an adjective (or a noun or other phrase, but not a grammatical object) which gives us more information about the subject. These verbs are called linking verbs (or sometimes copula verbs).
These three verbs are always linking verbs in English:
|be||He is tall.|
|seem||You seem sad.|
|become||He became thin.|
|act||He acted happy, but actually he was really sad.|
|appear||She appeared cold, so we took her inside.|
|feel||I feel terrible today!|
|get||It's getting warm. The spring is coming!|
|go||The food went bad, because I forgot to put it in the fridge.|
|grow||She grew tired.|
|look||You look beautiful today!|
|prove||He thought he was right, but he was proved wrong.|
|remain||He remained calm. It was only a spider.|
|smell||The meal smelled delicious.|
|sound||The band sounded excellent.|
|stay||He stayed curious all his life.|
|taste||The milk tasted horrible.|
|turn||The weather turned bad just as we were leaving.|
Linking verbs are not the same as stative verbs. Some linking verbs are stative, but some are not.
- I'm getting old (a linking verb but not a stative verb).
- The soup tastes good (a linking verb and a stative verb).
- I know Julie (stative verb but not a linking verb).