Learn about link verbs, which are followed by a noun or adjective, and do the exercises to practise using them.

Level: elementary

Some verbs are followed by either a noun or an adjective:

She was a good friend.
She was very happy.
V + N
V + Adj
He became headmaster.
He became angry.
V + N
V + Adj

These verbs are called link verbs. Common verbs like this are:


He looked hungry.
He looked a good player.

She seemed an intelligent woman.
She seemed intelligent.

After appear and seem we often use to be

She appeared to be an intelligent woman.
He seemed to be angry.

Some link verbs are followed by an adjective but not a noun. Common verbs like this are:

get go grow taste smell

He got hungry in the evening.
The dog went crazy.
She grew stronger every day.
The soup tasted wonderful.
This milk smells bad.

Link verbs 1


Link verbs 2



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Submitted by g-ssan on Sat, 29/10/2022 - 19:37


Hello sir ,
I have been noticing that "be" can be auxiliary verb and link verb and the way to recognise them that auxiliary verb it’s not main verb in clause like link verb and after auxiliary verb might come noun , adjective , adverb , preposition. help me teacher is it seems right .

Hello g-ssan,

It's a little difficult to follow your summary but I think I agree. When 'be' is used as a link verb it is the main verb in the sentence, so is followed by a complement (noun, adjective etc). When 'be' is an auxiliary it is followed by the main verb. Of course, sometimes you have both: She is being very annoying today.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Faii on Fri, 20/05/2022 - 09:38


Is it incorrect to say "This plant grows rapidly"?Isn't here the verb "grow" a linking verb ?

Hi Faii,

No, it's correct. The verb "grow" can also be intransitive, as in this example. As a linking verb, it would be "This plant grows tall", for example.

I hope that helps to understand it!


The LearnEnglish Team