Linking Verbs Anchor Chart

Last week I shared an anchor chart for helping students differentiate between action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs (click here to check it out). 

This week, however, I decided to "zoom in" and focus on linking verbs in particular.  Before I started teaching 5th grade, when I thought of linking verbs, "the big 7" came to mind: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, and been.  In fact, I seem to remember memorizing that list when I was in high school.  Once I began teaching fifth grade grammar, though, I quickly realized that linking verbs go far beyond that initial list of seven.  Yes, I must admit that I did not understand that words like smell, taste, and look can be action verbs OR linking verbs, depending upon the context of the sentence!  (Or perhaps I learned it long ago, but then forgot that grammar rule somewhere along the way!)

I believe that there are three things to remember when it comes to identifying linking verbs:
1.  Linking verbs are used in sentences where the subject is being renamed or described.
2.  Some words are true linking verbs: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, & been.  (This is a good list to memorize in the beginning.)
3.  Some verbs have multiple personalities and can act as a linking verb OR an action verb.  You must read the sentence in context to determine its use in a given sentence!

This anchor charts is my attempt to sum up those important concepts about linking verbs:
Linking Verbs Anchor Chart! Help students understand the function of linking verbs with this anchor chart and a free worksheet!
Clip art by Graphics Factory.

I created this FREE worksheet if you want your students to differentiate between linking verbs and action verbs in sentences.  Just click on the image to download it for free!
Help students understand the function of linking verbs with this anchor chart. Then give your students an opportunity to practice with this FREE worksheet!
Border by Kelly Benefield.


  1. Linking verbs can definitely be tricky for students. Thanks for sharing this anchor chart!


  2. I LOVE this anchor chart! It really explains what a linking verb is, and that can be a challenge for some students. Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth