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Linking verbs are verbs that do not perform any action. For example is, was, were, are all part of linking verbs.
COPULAR VERBS OR LINKING VERBS
Add copula verb is also called a linking verb.
It is a word that connects the subject to the complement.
It has the function of describing the subject.
It is a verb denoting a sensation or existence.
Verbs can be classified as primary verbs, auxiliaries and full verbs.
Full verbs can be classified as transitive, intransitive and copular.
The word copula means ‘a connecting word’ or ‘link’ in Latin. In English linguistics, Copular Verbs express a “copular” relationship between the subject and the verb.
Linking verbs don't express action but help complete statements about the subject by describing or identifying it.
Example: is, feel, seem, appear, sound, etc
Alan is happy.
The child feels feverish.
The music sounds good.
The sentences don't tell you what Chacko, the child, and the music did but rather what they are.
So linking verbs don’t show what a person is doing, but his state of being or quality.
So, copular verbs or linking verbs do not show action like main verbs. They rather link
Or connect the subject to a subject complement.
(The complement is the part of the sentence that follows the verb and it will contain additional information that describes or identifies the subject).
• Larry looks happy.
Here, looks is a linking verb while happy is the complement that describes and identifies Larry. Larry is the subject
• The play was good.
Here, was is the linking verb; good is the complement and play is the subject
LINKING VERBS ARE DIFFERENT FROM ACTION VERBS.
Linking verbs do not express action. They give added information about the subject
Look at the examples below:
1) Thelma is a workaholic.
In this example, is connects the subject, Telma, to added information about her ->that she shows much dedication to her work.
2) During noon break, the kids are happy to take a nap.
Here, the linking verb is describing the subject, kids->that they enjoy sleeping during break.
3) After drinking the juice milk, Josh turned green.
Turned connects the subject, Josh->and says that he needed a medication.
It is common for most languages to have one main copula. In English, The verb be is often referred to as the COPULAR. It can be followed by a noun, adjective, or prepositional phrase.
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Ben is a doctor.
Ben is upset.
Ben is in a foul mood.
At first glance, the copula may look like a main verb, but it has the grammatical function of auxiliary verbs rather than main verbs.
Copula be occurs to the left of the negative marker not.
Beth is not upset.
Copula be can contract with the negative marker not.
Beth isn't upset.
• Copula be can contract with pronominal subjects.
Copular relationships are relationships of identity
Copular verbs can be followed or complemented by
nouns/noun phrases, and
Copulas complemented by adjective phrases:
Pam looked pretty.
He seemed very happy.
Copulas complemented by noun phrases:
Dan is Barry’s classmate.
They remain good friends.
Current Copulas complemented by adjuncts:
Julie and Sanam are in France.
They will get home soon.
CLASSIFICATION OF COPULA VERBS
• copula verbs of existence
o act, appear, be, become, continue, grow, prove, remain, seem, sit, strand, turn
• copula verbs of sensation
Feel, look, smell, sound, taste
Most copulas are stative in their normal use — i.e. they describe conditions or states that are regarded as permanent — or at least as extending over a unspecified period of time. They are not used with continuous tenses.
• Tara is beautiful.
• That sounds interesting.
Some copulas are dynamic because they function as event verbs. They can be used with continuous tenses.
Eg. The sky is becoming dark
The bread has gone bad.
Copular verbs or linking verbs are different from intransitive verbs. HOW?
While intransitive verbs make complete sense on their own, copular verbs require a word or phrase to make their meaning complete
Some words can function both as a linking verb and an action verb as you will see in some of the sentences below.
SOME OF VERBS CAN BE BOTH LINKING VERBS AND ACTION VERBS .
Eg: felt, smell, taste, etc
Alan felt cold. (linking verb)
Alan felt along the wall for the door key. (action verb)
The cat smelled bad. (linking verb)
The cat smelled the food. (action verb)
LINKING VERBS + ADJECTIVES
Linking verbs work differently from action verbs in the use of modifiers.
Action verbs are modified by adverbs,
Linking verbs are modified by adjectives.
This perfume smells strong. (linking verb+adjective)
This perfume smells strongly. (action verb+adverb)