Linking Verbs and Formation of Verbs and How Best to Learn Them

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Linking verbs are verbs that seem like lexical verbs in forms but they function as auxiliary verbs. Linking verbs can be used with both adjectives and nouns. They have an adjective and a noun or a noun phrase as complement of a sentence.

Typical Examples of Linking Verbs 

get

seem

grow

look

sound

turn

declared

appear

go

smell

become

taste

elected

remain

considered

appointed

stay

feel

All linking verbs are followed by adjectives while some of them are followed by nouns or phrases.

If they are followed by adjectives, they function as the auxiliaries, but if they are followed by nouns or noun phrases, they are lexical verbs. Let us consider features of linking verbs one after the other.

Features of Linking Verbs

 The following are features of linking verbs:

  1. Linking verbs are followed by adjectives. For example:

(i)         Tolu grows nervous.

(ii)        You easily get angry.

(iii)       Mariam looks fairy.

(iv)       Immediately, my eyes turn red.

(v)        This soup tastes sour.

  1. Even if the linking verbs are used as past forms, they can also be followed by adjectives. For example:

(i)         That statement sounded foolish.

(ii)        Whenever I saw you, you appeared neat.

(iii)       Your view was considered irrelevant.

(iv)       This water seemed chilled.

  1. Linking verbs can also be followed by comparative adjectives. For example:
  2. Your performance is getting worse.
  3. Your soup is tasting more luscious.

iii.        This course is becoming more and more complex.

  1. Some linking verbs can be followed by nouns or noun phrases. For example:

(i)         You have become a man.

(ii)        That cooked rice smells aroma.

  1. Certain linking verbs are followed by an object indirect and a complement. For example:

(i)         The HOD appointed him a course rep.

(ii)        The students elected her the president.

  1. At times, linking verbs may not have the object but they can welcome the direct complement. For example:

(i)         The governor was declared the winner.
(ii)        Mr Ojo was considered the devil among others.

It is unnecessary to place the word (as) before a complement. For example:

(i)         The students elected her (as) the president.

(ii)        The governor was declared (as) the winner.

  1. There are exceptional cases in which the linking verb go can be used with ‘-ing’ verbs or prepositional phrases to express skills. Let us consider them below.

(i)         It is possible as ‘-ing’ vebs. For example:

I go:

swimming.

playing.

fighting.

bathing.

shopping.

(ii) Also, it is possible as prepositional phrases. For example:

I want to go

for a swim.

for a play.

for a fight.

for a bath.

  1. The linking verb go is also possible as the continuous tense. For example:

I am going:

shopping.

swimming.

bathing.

playing.

for a swim.

for a bath.

for a play.

  1. In this case, to-infinitive is possible to be used with go. For example:

I am going:

to swim.

to play.

to fight.

to shop.

The Use of ‘Have’ and ‘Take’ 

The ‘have’ and ‘take’ are exceptionally used to express ‘to do’ or ‘doing’ something. Consider the examples below.

(i)         Have/take a seat means sit down. It does not mean to lift up a seat or own a seat.

(ii)        Have/take a rest means to rest.

Consider the sentences below.

  1. I want to take my soft drink now.
  2. I am going home to have a rest.
  3. Please, have a nice time!
  4. It is good to take/have a look at it critically.
  5. I have told you to go and take/have a sleep.

Remember that the indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ as possessives like ‘my’, ‘his’ or ‘her’ must follow the verbs ‘have’ or ‘take’ before a noun. It is not appropriate to say:

(i)         I want to take/have seat.

(ii)        I am going to have/take rest.

(iii)       Let me have soft drink.

Formation of Verbs

 It is crucial to discuss how some verbs are formed from certain words such as nouns, adjectives or adverbs by the addition of certain prefixes or suffixes. Consider the tables below.

  1. Some verbs are formed from certain words by adding prefixes. For example:
Words Prefixes Verbs
slave

power

able

courage

rich

danger

new

franchise

throne

plant

rate

grade

large

 En-

Em-

En-

En-or Dis-

En-

En-

Re-

Disen-

En-/De-

Im-

Under-

De-

En-

Enslave

Empower

Enable

Encourage or Discourage

Enrich

Endanger

Renew

Disenfranchise

Enthrone/Dethrone

Implant

Underrate

Degrade

Enlarge

Uses of Some Verbs

 Let us select some of the verbs we formed above and use them in sentences.

(i)         The church members prayed that God would empower them.

(ii)        This drug will enable me to sleep comfortably.

(iii)       It is only God that can enthrone and dethrone.

(iv)       Parents should try to implant morals into their children.

(v)        The pastor advised his members to renew their sonship in God

(vi)       Don’t underrate us; we are important.

(vii)      I won’t allow anybody to enslave my family members.

  1. Some verbs are formed from certain words by adding suffixes. Look at some of them below.
Words Suffixes Verbs
Sweet

Quiet

Sharp

Low

Loose

Popular

Stigma

Item

Bright

Deep

Black

Long

Strength

Glad

-en

-en

-en

-er

-en

-ise

-tise

-ise

-en

-en

-en

-en

-en

-en

Sweeten

Quieten

Sharpen

Lower

Loosen

Popularise

Stigmatise

Itemize

Brighten

Deepen

Blacken

Lengthen/long

Strengthen

Gladden

Uses of Some Verbs

 Let’s select some of the verbs we formed above and use them in sentences.

(i)         I need some sugar to sweeten my tea.

(ii)        You have to sharpen your brain academically.

(iii)       Itemise four types of nouns.

(iv)       Sunday, going there can still worsen the situation.

(vi)       My children always gladden me.

  1. Some verbs are formed from certain words without adding prefixes or suffixes. They are free words. Look at some of them below.
Word Verbs
Angry

Hungry

Safe

Silent

Inconvenient

Anger

Hunger

Save

Silence

Inconvenience

 Uses of Some Verbs

 We shall use the verbs above in sentences.

(i)         The students angered the teacher by making a noise in the classroom.

(ii)        My boss hungers for the experienced people to do the work.

Remember that anger and hunger can also be used as nouns in another context.

(iii)       I am trying to save you from danger.

(iv)       My father silences all the children making noises.

(v)        You can come tomorrow because I don’t want to inconvenience you.

Also, save, silence and inconvenience can be used as nouns in another context.

Evaluation

1. Briefly discuss linking verbs.

2a.       Mention any 12 examples of linking verbs.

b. Use the following words correctly as linking verbs in the sentences:

(i) stay             (ii) go               (iii) grow         (iv) get             (v) turn

(vi) considered            (vii) seem         (viii) elected

  1. ‘Linking verbs are followed by adjectives.’ Interpret the expression with relevant examples.
  2. Underline the linking verbs in the following sentences:

(i)         The soup tastes salty.

(ii)        The man goes hungry.

(iii)       Stay blessed.

(iv)       The boss chose him the sales representative.

(v)        He remained calm during the meeting.

(vi)       Your face appeared unhappy.

  1. Suggest meaning to the following sentences:

(i)         I am going to take a sleep.

(ii)        You have to take a good look at it.

(iii)       Let me have a daily bread.

(iv)       Please, can you leave me alone? I want to have a rest.

(v)        Have a good day!

  1. Reform the following sentences in another way:

to swim.

I will go           to dance.

to fight.

  1. How would you form verbs from the following words?

(a) grade          (b) large           (c) courage      (d) rich

(e) stigma        (f) black           (g) dark            (h) loose

  1. Apart from the sentences given, use the following words in sentences:

(a) hunger   (b) silence   (c) inconvenience      (d) save   (e) anger

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