Verbs Exercise (395)

Decide if the verbs in boldface type are action verbs or linking verbs.

  • These Popsicles must be old; they taste funny.

  • This year I grew sweet potatoes in big pots.

  • The air in the barn smelled unpleasant, so we went back outside.

  • The child grew angry when he didn’t get the toy he asked for.

  • When she realized her error, she turned her head and blushed.

Answers and Explanations

1. These Popsicles must be old; they taste funny.

Correct: linking verb
One way to test whether a verb is an action verb or a linking verb is to substitute the verb with a form of the verb "to be." If the sentence still makes sense, the verb is a linking verb. If the sentence is total nonsense, the verb is an action verb.

2. This year I grew sweet potatoes in big pots.

Correct: action verb
Another way to test whether a verb is action or linking is to turn the sentence around: I grew sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes grew me. If the result is nonsense, the verb is an action verb.

3. The air in the barn smelled unpleasant, so we went back outside.

Correct: linking verb
The verb "smelled" links the subject to the adjective unpleasant. If you reverse the sentence, the meaning remains unchanged: The air smelled unpleasant. Unpleasant smelled the air. No action is being performed.

4. The child grew angry when he didn’t get the toy he asked for.

Correct: linking verb
In this sentence, the verb "grew" has the sense of "became." It joins the subject to the adjective "angry." No action takes place.

5. When she realized her error, she turned her head and blushed.

Correct: action verb
When the verb "turn" means "become," it is a linking verb. In this sentence, "turned" describes an action. The subject "she" does something to the object "head."

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