Linking verbs and phrasal verbs

A handful of verbs that reflect a change are called resulting copulas. These verbs, too, link a subject to a predicative adjective. Examples are: turn, become, run, go, grow etc.

Her face turned red.

He grew anxious. (NOT He grew anxiously.)

The mob turned violent. (NOT The mob turned violently.)

The meat has gone stale.

This is he / This is him

This expression is often used when you pick up the phone to answer a call.

‘Hello. Can I speak with Andrews?’ ‘This is he.’

The predicate following the linking verb should be in the nominative (subject) case.

However, many people feel that this expression is too formal. If you think so, you can perhaps say ‘Speaking’ or ‘This is (your name).’

‘Hello. Can I speak with Alice?’ ‘Speaking.’

‘Could I speak to Susie?’ ‘This is Susie.’

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are two-word verbs consisting of a verb and an adverb particle or preposition. Note that there are also some three-word phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs can be transitive or intransitive. Intransitive phrasal verbs do not take objects. Examples are: sit around and break down.

They were just sitting around, doing nothing.

When she heard the news she broke down.

Transitive phrasal verbs take an object.

She called off her wedding.

The problem with phrasal verbs is that their meaning cannot be guessed easily.

In addition, many phrasal verbs have several different meanings. The phrasal verb, come out, for example has eighteen different meanings.