What is the linking verb, and what words are being linked in this sentence: The math homework was easy. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The linking verb in this sentence is "was," and the words being linked are "homework" and "easy." A linking verb has that name because it is a state-of-being verb that links the subject noun to its descriptive complement.  So in the sample sentence you provided, the linking verb "was" is...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The linking verb in this sentence is "was," and the words being linked are "homework" and "easy." A linking verb has that name because it is a state-of-being verb that links the subject noun to its descriptive complement.  So in the sample sentence you provided, the linking verb "was" is used to show that the homework has the state of being "easy." 

Linking verbs can be very descriptive in themselves, in spite of the fact that their primary function is to connect the subject to its description. For example, "Her son's banging grew annoying." The use of the word "grew" implies that the noise was becoming more annoying over time.

Linking verbs can be identified easily. All forms of the verb "be" are linking at all times. Other linking verbs can be identified by asking whether the main verb in the sentence can be replaced with a form of "be" and retain the meaning of the sentence. If so, then the verb is a linking verb. 

In the example above, the verb "grew" could easily be replaced with the verb "was," creating the sentence "Her son's banging was annoying." Since the sentence still makes sense, we've just identified "grew" as a linking verb within the context of that sentence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team