A linking verb joins a subject to a subject complement (also called a predicate noun or predicate adjective), a word or phrase that describes or explains the subject. The most common linking verb is the verb to be.
- Kayaking is my favorite sport.
- My grandmother was an expert pilot.
Other common linking verbs are seem, appear, look, feel, sound, taste, and smell.
- This shirt feels comfortable.
- That cake smells delicious.
Linking verbs are always intransitive. If a verb takes a direct object, it is not a linking verb.
- The dog smelled the garbage. (Transitive verb with direct object garbage)
- The garbage smelled awful. (Linking verb to subject complement awful)