Examples and Observations:
- "It is always the best policy to speak the truth--unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."
(Jerome K. Jerome)
- "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four, 1890)
- "If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself. Tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches."
(Rainer Maria Rilke)
- "While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior."
(Henry C. Link)
- "I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist."
- "These copular verbs (also linking verbs) can be divided semantically into two types: (1) Those like be that refer to a current state: appear, feel, remain, seem, sound. (2) Those that indicate a result of some kind: become, get (wet); go (bad); grow (old); turn (nasty). Be is the copula that most often takes adverbial complements which characterize or identify the subject: I felt cold; I felt a fool."
(Sylvia Chalker, "Copula," in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, edited by Tom McArthur, Oxford University Press, 1992)
- Like the be-pattern, linking verbs may take nouns as complements. Some of the linking verbs have a little more acute verbal action than the be-equations:
Everything became a mist.A simple syntactic structure--a linking verb with a noun and two adjectives--here makes an urgent point:
(C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 380)
He became a castaway in broad daylight.
(William Golding, Pincher Martin, 56)
War remains the decisive human failure.As predicate complements, adjectives that follow linking verbs often carry the new information and draw the stress.
(John Kenneth Galbraith, The Economics of Innocent Fraud, 62)
Argument remains inescapable.In these linking examples, the major emphasis tends to fall on the predicate complement or, sometimes, whatever word or structure is at the end of the sentence . . .."
(Julie Thompson Klein, Crossing Boundaries, 211)
She looked new and fresh.
(Carolyn See, The Handyman, 173) . . .
(Virginia Tufte, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Graphics Press, 2006)