Learn about linking verbs in sentences. What they are, what they do and how they are used.

Linking Verbs

 

Warm-Up Question

 

The hikers in the woods are tired.

 

hikers-in-woods

 

i. What is the subject of this sentence? 

ii. What is the linking verb in this sentence?

iii. What is the adjective in this sentence?

iv. What is the prepositional phrase in this sentence?

 

 the answer

ANSWER

 

The hikers in the woods are tired.

 

hikers-in-woods

 

i. What is the subject of this sentence? The hikers

 

ii. What is the linking verb in this sentence? are

 

iii. What is the adjective in this sentence? tired

 

iv. What is the prepositional phrase in this sentence? in the woods

 

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Learn About Linking Verbs

 

1. a sentence must have a subject

 

in a sentence with a linking verb the subject

will be who or what the sentence is about

 

 

 

robot-dog

 

 

βœ… Robox is a new type of robot dog.

 

the subject of this sentence is Robox

because this is who the sentence is about

 

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2. a sentence must also have a main verb

 

there are two types of main verb

 

 

 

action verbs

 

robot-dog

 

βœ… Robox wagged its tail.

 

what Robox is doing

 

linking verbs

 

robot-dog

 

βœ… Robox is cute.

 

what Robox is like

 

 

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the difference between action verbs and linking verbs

 

 

 

action verbs

 

pirate-sailing

 

βœ… Patch rowed his boat.

 

there is an action

 

linking verbs

 

pirate-sailing

 

βœ… Patch was in his boat.

 

there is no action

 

 

 

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the difference between action verbs and linking verbs

 

 

 

action verbs

 

runners

 

βœ… The children ran in a race.

 

describes the action in the sentence

 

linking verbs

 

runners

 

βœ… The children were tired.

 

describes the subject of the sentence

 

 

 

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verbs 4 REVISION question

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linking verbs are verbs such as is and was

 

 

 

linking verb

 

treasure-chest

 

βœ… The chest is full.

 

 

linking verb

 

treasure-chest

 

βœ… The chest was full.

 

 

describes what the chest is like

 

 

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linking verbs are verbs such as are and were

 

 

 

βœ… The coins are gold.

 

treasure-chest

 

describes what the coins are like

 

 

βœ… The coins were gold.

 

treasure-chest

 

describes what the coins are like

 

 

 

 

 

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verbs 4 REVISION question

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linking verbs can be linked to adjectives to describe…

 

 

 

the colour

 

surfing-penguin

 

Monty's hat is blue.

 

is βž• blue

 

linking verb βž• adjective

 

the age

 

cycling

 

The bike was new.

 

was βž• new

 

linking verb βž• adjective

 

 

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linking verbs can be linked to adjectives to describe...

 

 

 

something's personality

 

purple-alien

 

βœ… The alien is friendly.

 

is βž• friendly

 

linking verb βž• adjective

 

someone's feelings

 

broken-bike

 

βœ… Tom was upset.

 

was βž• upset

 

linking verb βž• adjective

 

 

 

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verbs 4 REVISION question

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the subject of a sentence with a linking verb

 

will be who or what is being described

 

 

 

βœ… Sam's telescope

is brand new.

 

pirate-ship

 

the telescope

is the subject

 

βœ… The four pirates

were all excited.

 

pirate-ship

 

the four pirates

is the subject

 

 

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these are the linking verbs that we use the most

 

am | is | are | was | were

 

 

cinema

 

linking verbs can be linked to adjectives to describe a subject

 

The film was funny.

 

 

subject | linking verb | adjective

 

 

 

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verbs 4 REVISION question

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learn club remember

 

 

a sentence must have a main verb

 

there are two types of main verb

 

  

 

βœ… The dog bit Jack.

 

dog-bite

 

describes the action

the subject is doing

 

βœ… The dog is a pest.

 

dog-bite

 

describes what the

subject is like

 

 

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linking verbs can be linked to

 

 

 

adjectives

 

βœ… The children are noisy.

 

children-in-park

 

are βž• noisy

 

linking verb βž• adjective

 

prepositional phrases

 

βœ… They are in the park.

 

children-in-park

 

are βž• in the park

 

linking verb βž• prepositional phrase

 

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prepositional phrases start with a preposition such as

 

at | on | in | from | to | up | over | under

 

 

museum

 

βœ… The children are in the science museum.

 

subject | linking verb | prepositional phrase

 

this prepositional phrase describes where the children are

 

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prepositional phrases can describe a subject

 

they can tell us where or when something occurs

 

 

swimming

 

 

βœ… In the summer the children are in the pool.

 

prepositional phrase | subject | linking verb | prepositional phrase

 

when | where

 

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these are the linking verbs that we use the most

 

am | is | are | was | were

 

 these verbs are called the be verbs

 

 

airport

 

βœ… The passengers were in a queue.

 

subject | be linking verb | prepositional phrase

 

 

there is no action in a sentence with a linking verb

 

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there are two main tenses for be linking verbs

 

astronaut-on-mars

 

simple present tense ➑️ simple past tense

 

βœ… The astronaut is amazed. ➑️ The astronaut was amazed

 

βœ… The aliens are scared. ➑️ The aliens were scared.

 

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which be linking verb we use will depend on

 

how many and when we are talking about

 

 

one person or thing

 

camping

 

βœ… The tent is blue.

 

βœ… The tent was blue.

 

 

more than one person or thing

 

camping

 

βœ… The campers are in the tent.

 

βœ… The campers were in the tent.

 

 

the tense changes when the time changes

 

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a sentence with a linking verb might also have an adverb

 

adverbs can be used to modify adjectives

 

 

tablet-computer

 

 

βœ… The tablet was incredibly expensive.

 

subject | linking verb | adverb | adjective

 

incredibly is an adverb that tells us how expensive the tablet was

 

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learn club remember

 

sentences with a linking verb do not have an action in them

 

  

 

linking verb sentence

 

halloween-children

 

βœ… They are in Halloween costumes.

 

 

action verb sentence

 

halloween-children

 

βœ… They played trick or treat.

 

 

linking verbs are linked to descriptions not to actions

 

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learn club remember

 

linking verbs can be linked to

adjectives or prepositional phrases

 

robot-working

 

βœ… The parcel was heavy.

 

subject | linking verb | adjective

 

βœ… The robots were in the warehouse.

 

subject | linking verb | prepositional phrase

 

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learn club remember

 

we use these be linking verbs the most

 

is | are | was | were

 

pirate-ship

 

βœ… A parrot is on the sail.

 

βœ… A parrot was on the sail.

 

βœ… The pirates are at the front of the ship.

 

βœ… The pirates were at the front of the ship.

 

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learn club remember

 

clues to identify linking verbs

 

look for a be helping verb with

an adjective or a prepositional phrase

 

 

flying-pig

 

βœ… The pig was pink.

 

adjective

 

 

flying-pig

 

βœ… The pig is in the air.

 

prepositional phrase

 

 

 

 


 

 

learn club remember

 

be verbs can also be used with action verbs

 

be verbs can also be used with ing action verbs so you need to look for a be verb without an ing action verb after it

 

 

 

 

He was in his Superman costume.

 

super-hero

 

βœ… is a linking verb

 

 

He was ironing his costume.

 

super-hero

 

❌ not a linking verb

 

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Now take the Linking Verbs Quiz to find out what you have learned...

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