Linking verbs

do not describe any direct action taken or controlled by the subject.


Can "fall" be a linking verb, so that in e.g.

No-one has fell out the window

could "out the window" be a predicate adjective, rather than a prepositional phrase? The phrase may just seem like bad grammar. But it seems to have a different sense to "no-one has fallen out the window",. I think this version has more immediacy to it; that could be because it is incorrect grammar / informal, or perhaps because it redefines what has happened?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Dec 20 '20 at 4:50

Yes, it can, but it isn't a linking verb where you use it.

A linking verb is a verb that connects the subject with a subject-complement, which by definition can only be a nominal phrase or adjective.

As it stands:

He has fallen ill.

He fell dead.

And many others are possible, using “fall” as a linking verb.

Like many linking verbs in English that are also used as unaccusative verbs without a complement, this one can only take adjectives as complement it seems, and not nominal phrases, thus:

*He has fallen an ill man.

Does not work, with say “become” or “be”, nominal phrases can also be used.

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