how can I test a linking verb to see if it is an action verb?
How do you tell when they are action verbs and when they are linking verbs?
If you can substitute am, is, or are for the verb and the sentence still sounds logical, you have a linking verb on your hands.
If, after the substitution, the sentence makes no sense, you are dealing with an action verb instead. Here are some examples:
Sylvia tasted the spicy squid eyeball stew.This substitution will not work for appear. With appear, you have to analyze the function of the verb.
Sylvia is the stew? I don't think so! Tasted, therefore, is an action verb in this sentence, something Sylvia is doing.
The squid eyeball stew tasted good.
The stew is good? You bet. Make your own!
I smell the delicious aroma of a mushroom and papaya pizza baking in the oven.
I am the aroma? No way! Smell, in this sentence, is an action verb, something I am doing.
The mushroom and papaya pizza smells heavenly.
The pizza is heavenly? Definitely! Try a slice!
When my dog Oreo felt the wet grass beneath her paws, she bolted up the stairs and curled up on the couch.
Oreo is the wet grass? Of course not! Here, then, felt is an action verb, something Oreo is doing.
My dog Oreo feels depressed after seven straight days of rain.
Oreo is depressed? Without a doubt! Oreo hates the wet.
Swooping out of the clear blue sky, the blue jay appeared on the branch.
Appear is something a blue jay can do—especially when food is near.
The blue jay appeared happy to see the bird feeder.
Here, appeared is connecting the subject, the blue jay, to its state of mind, happiness.