Linking Verbs Further De-mystified

In Linking Verbs De-mystified, I said that I would talk more about linking verbs later because there’s just too much to do for one post. Well, later has arrived.

Again, we’ll keep it simple for clarity sake.

Remember, linking verbs are verbs of state of being, not of doing. You can refer to Linking Verbs De-mystified for the list of common linking verbs.

1. Just as an FYI, linking verbs are also called copular verbs. (I just thought that would be kind of an interesting thing you might want to know—-a 25-cent word to throw around.)

2. A pronoun that comes immediately after a linking verb should be in the nominative.  

Example: It’s I. (not It’s me. I know, I know, most of us say It’s me, but if you want to be grammatically correct—-or if you’re in school and taking a test on grammar—–then stick with It’s I since it’s the only correct choice.)

HOWEVER, a pronoun that is an object and comes immediately after the infinitive of the linking verb to be should be in the objective.

Example: With her hair pulled back, she appeared to be him. (not she appeared to be he.)

3. When choosing whether to use an adjective or an adverb, linking verbs are followed immediately by adjectives, not adverbs.

Examples of adjectives after linking verbs: He is tall. The concert sounded good. The roses smell sweet. I feel bad about that. She looked weary.

Examples of adverbs after regular verbs: The cactus grew quickly. She played the piano well. She looked at him wearily.


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