What Are Linking Verbs or Copular Verbs – Definition, Sentence Examples, List

Let’s explore Linking Verbs!

What Are Linking Verbs or Copular Verbs – Definition, Sentence Examples, List

What are Linking verbs or Copular Verbs along with the definition, meaning, examples, sentence examples, list, etc. captured to clear the basic concept. In addition, the basic comparison of linking verbs vs action verbs vs helping verbs also included.

Let’s explore Linking verbs!

Linking Verbs – Examples & Definition

Let’s try to understand the basics of link verbs along with definitions, examples!

Linking Verbs or Copular Verbs Basics

Linking verbs are exactly what they sound like. Linking verb and copular verb both are same in meaning, the only difference is their names. The function of a linking verb is to join the subject with a noun predicate or with an adjective predicate.

  • The thing worth noting here is that the linking verb can never describe anything directly about the subject.
  • Like, for example, they will never describe any mental or physical activity of the subject; their functionality lies more as the bridge between the subject and the predicate.

In this post, we will be talking in detail about the linking verbs and see the complete list of linking verbs we have in the English language along with their examples.

Let’s take a look at them one by one.

Linking Verb Definition

It is absolutely true that the linking verbs only connect the subject with the latter part of the sentence, i.e., the predicate. But that doesn’t mean they don’t provide any information about the subject at all.

what are linking verbs definition sentence examples list
What are linking verbs definition sentence examples list

Unlike the action verbs, they don’t divulge any mental or physical action, but they do reveal some information about the subject, as their condition or relationship.

Linking Verbs Examples & Explanation

Let’s try to understand linking verb or copular verb with two simple examples,

am exhausted.

  • In this sentence ‘I’ explain his/her exhaustion.
  • Here, ‘am’ links between the subject (I) and predicate (exhausted).
  • ‘Am’ is not specified any details about the subject
  • “Am’ is not telling about the subject.

Meera is very happy about herself.

  • In this sentence ‘Meera’ explain her happiness.
  • Here, ‘is’ links between the subject (Meera) and predicate (very happy about herself).
  • ‘Is’ is not specified any details about the subject
  • “Is’ is not telling about the subject.

Hence, ‘am’, ‘is’, etc. are linking verbs or copular verbs examples. In the same way, there are so many words that act as linking verb, like,

Am Will be Must be
Is Could be Might be
Are Shall be Should be
Was Would be Has been

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Linking Verbs Exercise & Mock Test

We will understand the linking verb with a detailed list.

Sentence Examples and List of Linking Verbs

Like for sentence example, we will take a sentence like,

  • “They are Real Madrid footballers” or
  • “They are trade-union supporters”,
linking verbs sentence examples list
Linking verbs sentence examples list

Here, “Are” is the linking verb because not only they link the two parts of the sentence (subject and predicate) but also they establish the relation between “they” and “Real Madrid Footballers” or “Trade-Union Supporters”

This is one of the key characteristics of the linking verb. Apart from working as the bridge between the two, linking verbs also establish the relationship between the two parts of the sentence.

  • But how can you spot the linking verbs in any sentence? This is one of the challenges that students and the user of the English Language often face.
  • So what’s the remedy behind it?

Well, it’s actually pretty straightforward. To spot something amidst many other things, you need to know how they look and what they are exactly. The same can be said about the linking verb as well.

To spot them, you just need to know the list of linking verb present in the English language. Fortunately, compared to other verb types, the list for linking verbs is quite small, and in most cases, all these verbs are always used as linking verbs.

Memorizing them once will help you use them whenever you need them.

Linking Verbs List or Copular Verbs List

As mentioned earlier, the linking verb used in English are relatively small in number, and they are almost always used as linking verbs.

They are:

  • Is
  • Can be
  • May be
  • Are
  • Could be
  • Might be
  • Am
  • Will be
  • Must be
  • Was
  • Would be
  • Has been
  • Were
  • Shall be
  • Have been
  • Should be
  • Had been
  • Become
  • Seem

You also need to keep in mind that linking verb also depends on the functionality as well.

That is why; any verb can act as a linking verb in a given situation.

But in other scenarios, they might not be considered as one. The list given above tells you only about the verbs that almost always function as linking verb.

Check a few worksheets for linking verbs for practice.

Want to Check Your Skills Now?
Linking Verbs Exercise & Mock Test

Sentence Examples of Linking Verbs

Now, let’s look at a few examples, using the linking verb to understand their usage better.

  • She is excited about his new job.
  • John seemed gloomy the whole day.
  • The cake smells
  • He fell really sick after getting drenched in the rain last night.
  • You are a supporter of the new lobby; I know that.
  • His plans for the future seem
  • You look stunning after the complete make-over.
  • I am a huge fan of his singing.
  • She should have been more willing to do the work.
  • He became nervous in front of the teacher.
  • The audience was mesmerized by his performance.
  • Dreams come true if you believe in them.
  • He stayed calm despite the troubles.
  • The child was very happy with his new toy.
  • I felt sleepy after having the whole cake alone.
  • All the little puppies are super cute.
  • The streets seem so deserted tonight.
  • Only a handful of people are lucky enough to share the same love forever.
  • He feels so proud when his mother praises him for his work.
  • Thanks to the pleasant weather, we were having a great time together.
  • The boy turned pale when rebuked by the teacher.
  • You are behaving rudely with the rest of your friends.
  • We are having a party for his 50th
  • Your parents will feel disappointed if you don’t study sincerely.
  • Sometimes, they are very nice to me.
  • We are going to Paris next year.
  • Martin is the new boss of the office.
  • This test is perfect for measuring your child’s potential.
  • He is not fond of spicy food.
  • Crossing the road absent-mindedly could be
  • He gets really bad-tempered when he is hungry.
  • There seems to be a flaw in the design of the building.
  • The vegetable smells.
  • Going by air will be safer compared to a train.
  • The police are looking for him everywhere.
  • She stays indoors as she has no friends.

Check out a very NICE VIDEO from Khan Academy,

Linking Verbs vs Action Verbs

We have learned about the action verbs, let’s learn the difference between linking verbs and action verbs!

Linking Verb Action verb
Linking verb means it links the subject and the rest of the parts of a sentence. Action verb means it describes any time of action or work
The linking verb doesn’t specify any action. Action is mandatory in these types of verbs.
For example,

am, is, has been, etc.

For examples,

Eat, play, cry, smile, run, read, etc.

Sentence example,

I am happy.

Sentence example,

I am running

Linking Verbs vs Helping Verbs

We have learned about the difference between linking verb and action verb, let’s learn the difference between linking verbs and helping verbs!

Linking Verb Helping verb
Linking verb means it links the subject and the rest of the parts of a sentence. Helping verbs means it helps the main verbs.
The linking verb doesn’t specify any action. The helping verb helps the main verb by expressing the action.
For example,

am, is, has been, etc.

For example,

do, did, should, etc.

Sentence example,

Nita is tall.

Here, ‘is’ is used

As a linking Verb.

Sentence example,

We should help the people.

Should – helping verb

Help – main verb

Conclusion

So, there you go, the detailed analysis of the linking verb along with a number of examples to comprehend the usage. Understanding the role of action verbs can prove to be very helpful while studying the linking verb.

  • Much like everything else, the more you read and practice the English language, the better you will get with the use of linking verbs.
  • Next time onwards, whenever you read something, try to underline the linking verb and relate them to the definition.

Should you have any other queries on linking verb, their uses, and examples, feel free to mention them in the comments section, and we will surely get back to you.

Further Study

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Linking Verbs Exercise & Mock Test

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