Summer is near in the United States. And with summer comes higher temperatures and strong storms.
Americans often discuss the bad and good weather that is taking place by using special kinds of verbs known as linking verbs.
In today’s Everyday Grammar, we will explore the connection between linking verbs, grammar, and the weather.
Linking verbs are verbs that often describe a state of existence or a change to a new state. These verbs generally come before an adjective or noun phrase and connect it to the subject of the sentence.
Consider this statement:
She seems happy.
The linking verb seem connects happy, an adjective, to she, the subject of the sentence. The verb is helping to describe the subject’s state of existence.
English speakers often use linking verbs to describe the state of the weather, or to talk about a change in state in the weather. They often use three common linking verbs for these purposes: feel, get, and look.
Let’s explore each of these in turn.
The linking verb feel can describe physical or mental sensations. When English speakers use feel to talk about the weather, they generally use it to describe a physical sensation. You might hear a person say, for example:
It feels humid!
It feels muggy!
Muggy is a term that means unpleasantly warm and humid. Note that in both examples, the word it means the weather.
English speakers often use get, another linking verb, to describe changes in the weather.
For example, you might hear a person talking about the change to hotter weather by saying:
It's getting hot!
Or, they might describe a change to cloudy weather, as in:
It’s getting cloudy.
Our final linking verb, look, can describe positive or negative feelings. Imagine you hear a person planning a walk on a summer day. They might say:
We have to go for a walk. It looks lovely outside!
But imagine that same person saw stormy weather coming. The person might say:
We shouldn’t go for a walk. Those clouds look scary.
Putting it all together
Listen to the following discussion. Note how many times you hear linking verbs.
We should go for a run - my weather app says it looks nice outside.
Are you crazy? The weather looks terrible. It’s getting hot and humid.
The next time you hear Americans talk about the weather – in a film, TV show, or in person, make careful note of what kinds of verbs they use to talk about the weather.
You will probably hear some of the linking verbs that were described today, and perhaps some other verbs too. Then try to use what you have learned in your own discussions.
I’m John Russell.
John Russell wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
humid – adj. having a lot of moisture in the air
negative – adj. thinking about the bad qualities of someone or something : thinking that a bad result will happen : not hopeful or optimistic
scary -- adj. causing fear