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    State of Being/Linking Verbs
    By jch

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    I have a song, taught to me by an 8th grade English teacher for remembering the "state of being" verbs. It goes to the tune of "Camptown Ladies."

    Am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being, being,
    Am, is, are, was, were, be, been, Oh! Being verbs.

    I don't think has, have, had are state of being verbs. They can be used as helping verbs. I have carrots. (action) He has been a carpenter. (helping)

    It is important for student to learn linking verbs. I teach 6th grade and at this age level our standards expect kids to know predicate nominatives (Mr. Smith was our principal.) and predicate adjectives (Susie is beautiful.). Both of these can be recognized because the state of being verb links the sentence together. I really stress the "linking verb" idea so the kids know that the linking verb (state of being verb) is performing a function - to link the complete subject to the complete predicate, but not showing any action.

    We also do a lot of work with direct objects. A sentence with a linking verb cannot have a direct object. This helps the students narrow their focus on what to look for.

    Having kids learn the linking verbs in the lower grade levels really leads the way to the work they'll do in the higher grades.

    Knowing how our language works also helps those students who study foreign languages.



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