Writing with Action and Linking Verbs

Verbs are the drivers of written and spoken English. This…

Verbs are the drivers of written and spoken English. This is because of the way they animate a conversation, essay, or article. Verbs can have several functions in the English language. And as such, they also have several forms to fit each function. In this article, we’ll be focusing more on identifying action and linking verbs.

If you’re unfamiliar with action and linking verbs, don’t worry. We’ll be covering everything from their definition to the specific functions they can perform in a sentence. To help you understand them easier, we’ve also included some sentence examples.

A notebook, keyboard, earphones, and cup of coffee all placed on a table.
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

What is a Verb?

A verb is a word that typically relates to an action or state. For example, in the sentence “I opened the door,” the verb is “opened”. When it comes to writing, you can find the verb in the main clause of a sentence.

The three primary forms of verbs include

  • Linking verbs
  • Action verbs
  • Helping verbs

Verbs are essential in sentences. You probably won’t be able to complete your sentence without using them at least once!

Definition of Action and Linking Verbs

Action and linking verbs can be challenging to identify in a sentence. To help you understand them better, let’s first look at their definitions.

Action Verbs

An action verb is also known as a dynamic verb. These verbs are used to describe the actions that your subject is doing in a sentence. An action can either be physical or mental.

For example, The man is running.

In this simple sentence, the action verb is run. This describes the action of the sentence subject, which in this case, is the man. Notice how this helps the reader precisely envision the activity the subject engages in.

There are tons of action verbs that you can use for your sentence. Here are just some of them:

  • Walk, Sing, Dance, Jump, Think, Explore, Drink, Build, Organize, Speak, Laugh, Eat, Ride, Plan, Arrange, Wish, Cut, Stir, Sleep, Knit, and plenty more.

Linking Verbs

Linking verbs describe the subject of a sentence. They act like a connector from the subject to a predicate noun or adjective.

A linking verb doesn’t describe direct actions done by the subject. This is in contrast to how action verbs function.

There are only a few linking verbs, and they include:

  • Be, is, are, am, was, were, has been, or any other form of the verb “be”, become, and seem.

Identifying Action and Linking Verbs

To identify an action verb and linking verb, you’ll need to pay attention to how they’re used in a sentence. As mentioned in the previous section, a linking verb describes your subject. An action verb, on the other hand, describes the action of your subject.

Action Verbs

  • Amy grows berries in her backyard.

The action verb here is grows. It describes to the reader what action Amy is doing.

Linking Verbs

  • Amy grows tired after going to school.

The linking verb in this sentence is the word “grows.” It links the subject Amy to the adjective tired.s

To Wrap Up

By identifying action and linking verbs, you can strengthen the flow of your sentence. Think about your purpose and the tone you are trying to achieve when choosing your verbs.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand action and linking verbs. Try using them in writing your next sentences to practice and fine-tune your writing skills!

Frequently asked questions

What is linking and action verbs?

Trying to tell the difference, you need to pay attention to how each type of verb is used in a sentence – linking verbs are used for descriptions, while action verbs tell you what someone (or something) is doing.

What is the difference between a linking verb and an action verb with example?

Action verbs indicate the actions taken by the subject. Verbs that link to a subject can help identify or describe the subject.

What are linking verbs in writing?

Referring verbs are paired verbs that connect a subject to the rest of the sentence. The sentence doesn’t describe any “real” actions happening. Verbal sentences link to math equations. In its ability to indicate, the verb acts as an equal sign between the items it links.

What is the difference between a helping verb and a linking verb?

Linking and helping verbs differ in that linking verbs act as the main verb of a sentence, and helping words do not act as main verbs. In addition, helping verbs are generally used with action verbs, whereas linking verbs do not denote actions.

What are linking words examples?

Language functionPrepositions/ prepositional phrases (come before noun phrases)Adverbs/Adverbial phrases (join two sentences)
Cause/effectbecause of, due toas a result, therefore
Oppositiondespite, in spite ofhowever
Contraston the other hand
Additionfurthermore, in addition, moreover

Can a sentence have a linking verb and an action verb?

The problem is that there are verbs that can serve both as action verbs and as linking verbs. Therefore, it may function as a linking verb in one sentence, while another may serve as an action verb.

How do you identify a linking verb in a sentence?

Verbs associated with the verb “be” are always linked. Identify a linking verb: 1) If it is a form of be (be, being, been, am, is, are, was, were), you have a connecting verb. 3) For other verbs, if you can replace the verb with a form of “be” and the sentence is clear, you have a linking verb.

Is love an action or linking verb?

Action verbs are used in order to animate a sentence either physically (swim, jump, drop, whistle) or mentally (think, dream, believe, suppose). Verbs make sentences move, sometimes dramatically, sometimes quietly.

What are the 4 types of verbs?

Among the four types of verbs are intransitive, transitive, linking, and passive. Verbs that are intransitive and transitive are in active voice while verbs that appear passive are in passive voice. Intransitive verbs are verbs that express action but do not take an object.

What are the 20 linking verbs?

4 that begin with “s”seem, stay, sound, smell
2 that begin with “w”was, were
2 that begin with “t”taste, turn
5 other wordsis, remain, grow, look, feel

What is linking verb and give 5 examples?

Verbs like to be, to become, and to appear are examples of linking verbs. The examples above always link verbs. Additionally, you have a verb: to appear, to feel, to look, to smell, to sound, and to taste.

What is an example of a linking verb in a sentence?

In the sentence The blanket is green, linking verbs are used to link the subject and the adjective green to provide information about the subject.

What are 10 linking verbs?

As a result, there are: Be, am, is, are, were, weres, wass, haves, any other form of the verb “be”, become, and seem. Other verbs can be connecting verbs or action verbs. We can link verbs such as look, smell, touch, appear, sound, taste, and feel.

What are action words examples?

Run, walk, jump, talk, sing, speak, eat, drink, cry, skip, pull, push, fetch, give, make, bake, bring, teach, study, etc.

How do you write a linking sentence?

  • Start the paragraph with a surprise or startling statement.
  • You should explain how that startling idea relates to the general topic of your paper.
  • Introduce background or any necessary information related to the issue or subject.
  • Thesis
Writing with Action and Linking Verbs

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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