1.14 Predicate Adjectives

Since linking verbs express a state of being instead of an action, adjectives are used after them instead of adverbs. An adjective that follows a linking verb is referred to as a predicate adjective. Be careful not to use an adverb simply because of the proximity to the verb.

Example

Correct (adjective follows linking verb): Kelly is selfish.

Incorrect (adverb follows linking verb): Kelly is selfishly.

Correct (adjective follows linking verb): Beth seems eager.

Incorrect (adverb follows linking verb): Beth seems eagerly.

Linking Verbs That Can Be Followed by Adjectives

  • appear
  • be
  • become
  • feel
  • get
  • grow
  • keep
  • look
  • prove
  • remain
  • seem
  • smell
  • sound
  • stay
  • taste
  • turn

 

 

 


Adapted from Appendix A, “Writing for Nonnative English Speakers” in Writer’s Handbook v 1.0  used according to Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

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