- Slides: 10
Diagramming with Linking Verbs and Understanding Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective
Before we go on to learn about linking verbs, let’s first refresh our memory about a simple sentence’s structure… A sentence in its simplest or most complex form MUST have a subject and a predicate (verb). Simple sentence: Tony runs However, most sentences are not this simple. Many sentences have complements in order to add detail. We have learned about one kind of complement called the direct object. Tony loves running (D. O) The direct object follows a transitive verb and answers either Whom? or What?
We also learned that transitive verbs display action and can be one word or more than one word when a helping verb is added: Peter enjoyed the movie. Peter may enjoy the movie. Peter should have been enjoying the movie. Recall the 23 Helping Verbs:
So, now you are ready to move on to learn about another type of verb: The Linking Verb What is a linking verb?
But wait…you might be asking, “Aren’t the verbs is, am, are, was, were, being, been helping verbs? ” The simple answer is “Sometimes. ” In order to be a helping verb, these words must help out a main, action verb. If they do not, but still link to some other description of the subject, then they are being used as linking verbs. Still confused? Let’s try a few examples. The student has been studying. Studying is the main verb and has been is the helping phrase. vs. The student will be exhausted. Exhausted is NOT a verb, but an adjective, so will be is a linking phrase.
A linking verb can connect the subject with either a noun or a pronoun called the predicate nominative or predicate noun. Mr. Sampson is a teacher. The linking verb IS links Mr. Sampson to a noun that renames him as a teacher. Mr. Sampson and teacher are one in the same. Mr. Sampson teacher (Tip: Sentences with a PN can usually be reversed. The teacher is Mr. Sampson. ) The noun “teacher” is called the predicate nominative (or predicate noun) because it follows a linking verb and renames the subject—in this case, Mr. Sampson.
Here is how we diagram a predicate noun: Mr. Sampson is a teacher. This line slants back towards the subject. Mr. Sampson is teacher a The movie will be Lord of the Rings. movie This line slants back towards the subject. will be Lord of the Rings
A linking verb can also connect the subject with an adjective. (An adjective describes a noun or pronoun. ) Henry can be quiet. The linking verb phrase can be links Henry to an adjective that describes him. Quiet is called the predicate adjective. Here is another sentence about Henry seems quiet. Seems is the linking verb. If you are not sure, substitute the linking verb with the word “is. ” If it still makes sense, the verb is linking. Henry seems quiet. = Henry is quiet. (It makes sense!) Henry looks lonely. = Henry is lonely. (Still makes sense!) Henry feels sad. = Henry is sad. (Feels is a linking verb!)
Here is how we diagram a predicate adjective (just like a predicate noun): The concert was amazing. concert was This line slants back towards the subject. amazing (PA) Th e Jackie appears thrilled. Remember: If in doubt, substitute the verb with the word “is” (or “are” if plural), and if it still makes sense, then the verb is linking. This line slants back towards the subject. Jackie appears thrilled (PA)
So now you know about action verbs, helping verbs, and linking verbs. However, keep in mind, that the English language is full of some confusing grammar rules. Here is one other type of verb that you should not confuse with either helping or linking. It is called an intransitive complete action verb. Here is an example: I have been there. “There” is NOT a PN or PA. “There” answers the question “Where? ” and is being used as an adverb in this sentence. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know this yet. We will study this type of sentence later on. But for now…watch this video from Grammar Revolution.