Linking Verbs

As the name suggests, linking verbs work as a link between the subject (who or what the sentence is about) and information about the subject. Unlike action verbs, linking verbs do not express action, but rather serve as a way of connecting the subject of the sentence to a noun or connecting it to a description of the subject.

Linking Verbs

Linking Verbs Examples

Connect subject to a noun The room was a mess.
Connect subject to a noun The car is a wreck.
Describes subject The dog is brown.
Describes subject The man is tall.

The most common linking verbs are “to be” verbs, for example is, are, was, and were. Other common linking verbs include “to become” and “to seem”. These verbs are true linking verbs, as they always function as a linking verb.

True Linking Verbs Examples

Verb Example
Be I am tall.
Become He became suspicious.
Seem She seems happy.

Some action verbs double as linking verbs, like “grow” and “look”. In the sentence “He looks tired,” the verb “looks” provides information about the subject and works as a linking verb. Whereas in the sentence “He looks at the dog,” “looks” refers to an action made by the subject, therefore serving as an action verb. To determine whether a verb is serving as a linking verb, substitute it with a “to be” verb, like “is.” If the sentence makes sense with the substitution, it is a linking verb.

Other Linking Verbs Examples

Verb Example
grow She grows tired.
feel The fabric feels soft.
look She looks sad.

Below is a list of common linking verbs. Access additional linking verb word lists with VocabularySpellingCity. Word lists can be imported and later paired with engaging learning games and activities for linking verb practice.