Inti qieghed hawn: Grammar > Word order > The link verb

The link verb
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Tradott mill-Ingliz minn ...

A link verb links a qualification to the subject. The most commonly used link verb is zijn? (to be). It is easy to see how the link verb zijn connects the subject with a qualification:

Left Middle Right
subject FF? link verb FF? - LINK? OV?
Mijn opa is - timmerman -
My grandpa is carpenter

In the above example, the complement (the qualification) is a noun. There are, however, other types of words that can qualify as complements, the most common being the adjective. In fact, with the exception of verbs, all words that are linked to the subject by a link verb are complements.

Just like in English, link verbs can generally be recognized by the possibility of adding 'to be', e.g. "he remains (to be) a lawyer", "he seems (to be) upset". The Dutch link verbs are:

blijken to appear raken to get, become
blijven to stay, remain schijnen to seem
dunken to seem voorkomen* to appear
heten to be called worden to become
lijken to seem zijn to be

This is the list that most Dutch children are taught at school and perhaps you have seen it before yourself. You may have noticed that I added a verb to the traditional list: raken. This is a synonym for worden, and fully deserves to be mentioned in this list.

(*) Voorkomen has several meanings. As a link verb, it means 'to appear' or 'to show as'. It is, however most often used in the sense of 'to occur'. The verb voorkomen ('to appear' or 'to occur'), with the stress over the prefix, is separable. See also the chapter about compound verbs?. Another meaning of this verb is 'to prevent'. However, used in this sense, it is an inseparable compound verb. The stress lies over the verb: voorkomen. Recall, that this is in indication that the compound verb is inseparable.

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L-ahhar aggornament May 17, 2007 ::