I have an English grammar book from 1984 (let this not affect the question please), where this example is given about action verbs and linking verbs:

I enjoy a cup of coffee when I arrive at work.

In the answers section, the very "enjoy" is characterized as a state of being (linking) verb, while "arrive" is said to be an action verb. According to some methods of testing I found on the internet, the most common one being the ability to replace the SOB verb with "is, am, was", the verb enjoy is not a linking verb, since it is something the subject "I" can do. She/he CAN enjoy a cup of coffee. Unlike, for instance, "The cake smells good," or "The little boy is hurt." The cake cannot SMELL anything, nor can the boy IS anything. Is this therefore a wrong instance of a SOB (linking) verb, or is the rule for testing them wrong, and there is a better one?

Another example presented in the book which I am not so certain of, "Do you have the latest sales figures in your office?" HAVING is something someone can do. It can be changed into "have you the ... in your office?" and this too cannot be changed to "are you the sales figures...in your office?"

What is the rule here for linking verbs, and IS there one at all? I understand that grammar changes according to region of the world and whatnot, but also that grammar is not necessarily always a rigid set of rules.

Thanks for the help.

ps: in the examples of action and linking verbs, these are presented:

ACTION: to WALK, to KICK, to TYPE, to DRINK, etc. STATE OF BEING: to BE, to HAVE, to BECOME, to SEEM, to APPEAR, etc.

  • Standard grammar references would not call have and enjoy linking verbs. What's your books definition or explanation of linking verbs? – Peter Shor Aug 21 '17 at 11:29
  • Therefore the book from which i quoted the answers section is wrong? This is "BUSINESS ENGLISH COURSE," from "BUSINESS TRAINING LIMITED," Sevendale House, 7 Dale Street, Manchester M1 1JB. Odd that there would be misinformation in here on grammar, since it is an English language long-distance correspondence workbook, "accredited by the council for the accreditation of correspondence colleges." is it then a modern modification of English grammar that the 2 have been excluded from linking verbs? or were they never that? Have spent so much time trying to justify that answers section... – Shade Aug 21 '17 at 11:33
  • The definition provided simply contrasts verbs of action, and says "state of eing verbs are different. No action happens - these verbs simply tell us about circumstances." it goes on to provide an example, "he is a policeman." The verb "is"tells us about his state of being. Verbs like walk, talk, eat, sleep can tell us about his actions, but is tells us about his condition. All the time he EATS, TALKS, WALKS, he is a policeman. I understand your skepticism on the credibility of the book(s) (9 different ones that get mailed consecutively after each is done and an exam is written and sent. – Shade Aug 21 '17 at 11:37
  • makes me wonder how much more information is baloney in these books... – Shade Aug 21 '17 at 11:41
  • This book from 1919, found on Google books, has something close to the standard definition of linking verb in it. Your book is definitely using a non-standard definition of linking verb. – Peter Shor Aug 21 '17 at 11:42

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