Adjective After Linking Verbs (Skill 25)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Previous Skill: Adjectives and Adverbs (Skill 24)

Generally an adverb rather than an-adjective will come directly after a verb because the adverb is describing the verb.
  • In this example, the verb spoke is followed by the adverb nicely. This adverb describes the verb spoke.
 However, you must be very careful if the verb is a linking verb. A linking verb is followed by an adjective rather than an adverb.
  • In this example, the linking verb looks is followed by the adjective nice. This adjective describes the subject she.
You should be sure to use an adjective rather than an adverb after a linking verb. Be careful, however, because the adjective that goes with the linking verb does not always directly follow the linking verb.

  • In this example, the adjective nice, which describes the subject he, is itself described by the adverb unusually. From this example, you should notice that it is possible to have an adverb directly after a linking verb, but only if the -adverb describes an adjective that follows.
These sentences show the types of errors with linking verbs that are common on the TOEFL test.

The test looks easily* to me.

Sally feels unbelievable* happy about the news.

  • In the first example, the linking verb looks should be followed by the adjective easy rather than the adverb easily. 
  • In the second example, the linking verb feels is followed by the adjective happy. The incorrect adjective unbelievable should be the adverb unbelievably because it describes the adjective happy.
The following chart lists commonly used linking verbs and outlines the differ ent uses of adjectives and adverbs after regular verbs and linking verbs.

EXERCISE 25: Each of the following sentences contains at least one adjective or adverb. Indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. Kathy looks gorgeously in that dress. (I)

  • Looks is linking Verb and should be followed by adjective gorgeous, not gorgeously.
  • So, the correct sentence should be Kathy looks gorgeous in that dress.
2. The children have grown considerably. (C)

  • grown is regular verb and followed by adverb, considerably. So it is correct.
3. Steve walked rapid to the corner to catch the bus. (I)

  • walk is regular verb and rapid is adjective. Rapid should be rapidly. So it incorrect.
  • The correct sentence should be Steve walked rapidly to the corner to catch the bus.
4. The boys became sick with the flu. (C)

  • became is linking verb and sick is adjective. So , it is correct.
5. The mother closed the door careful. (I)


  • closed is regular verb and careful is adjective. So it is incorrect.
  • careful should be carefully (Adverb)

6. Tom appeared rather unhappily at what had happened.(I)

  • appeared is linking verb and unhappily is adverb, So it is incorrect.
  • unhappily should be happy (adjective)
7.The choir members sang enthusiastically. (C)

  • sang is regular verb and enthusiastically is adverb. SO it is correct.
8. The soup tastes too salty. (I)

  • tastes is linking verb and salty is adverb. So it is incorrect.
  • the correct sentence should be The soup tastes too salt.
9. The book seemed easily for the students.

  • seemed is linking verb and easily is adverb. So it is incorrect.Easily should be easy (adjective)
  • The correct sentence should be The book seemed easy for the students.
 10. In the late afternoon, the sun set slow in the west.

  • set is regular verb and slow is adjective. So it incorrect. Slow should be slowly (Adverb).
  • The correct sentence should be ......., the sun set slowly.....
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Next Article: TOEFL REVIEW EXERCISE (Skill 24-25)


Yasmina Contreras said...

I think there is a mistake in sentence 8, because SALTY is an adjective.

Matthew Hopping said...

The possible values and concerning objects would help students in determining all those possible values which must have been understood by the individual. phd ghost writer


Thank you very much for this useful site but salty is an adjective not adverb.

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