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Linking Verbs

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)

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