Linking Verbs: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

Verbs are an important part of a sentence, but did you know that there are different types of verbs? This lesson will teach you about one type, linking verbs, and how to identify them in sentences.

What Are Verbs?

Subjects and verbs are the essential parts of a sentence. The subject is 'who or what the sentence is about', and the verb is 'what the subject is or what the subject does' in the sentence.

Action Verbs

When people think of verbs, most think of action verbs. Action verbs, which can include physical or mental actions, often paint a picture in the reader's mind that shows what the subject is doing in the sentence.

Physical Action

  • The baby giggled at the sight of the clown.

The action verb of the sentence is 'giggled,' and if you try to imagine it, you could picture the baby's belly laugh.

Mental Action

  • I know how to divide fractions.

The action verb of the sentence is 'know,' but you can't actually see anyone 'knowing' how to divide fractions.

Linking Verbs

Linking verbs are different than action verbs, and sometimes they can hide in sentences. When a linking verb is used, nothing is being thrown, squashed, carried, mixed, or even understood. No action is taking place.

Instead, linking verbs connect the subject to an idea in the predicate, which is basically everything in the sentence that isn't the subject. Because it's not something the reader can visualize, sometimes students have a hard time finding linking verbs in sentences.

Let's look at a couple of examples.

  • The fudge brownies smell delicious.

While someone might actually bend down and stick their nose inches from the brownie pan, no one is actually smelling the brownies in this sentence. The verb 'smell' just connects the brownies to the idea of them smelling delicious.

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