Writing with Action and Linking Verbs

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!

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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