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Appendix:English copulae

This is a list of copulae in the English language, i.e. words used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate (a subject complement).

Other features of words terms copulae include their use in "existential there" clauses, but only some of these can be used in this way. In some cases "there" retains its locative sense or seems literary in register.

Because many of these copulative verbs may be used non-copulatively, examples are provided.

  • act "Tom acted suspicious."
  • appear "Tom appears satisfied, but really is not." "There appears to be a problem."
  • be "Tom is a coward." "There is a problem."
  • become (inchoative) "Tom became wealthy."
  • bleed "Tom bleeds blue."
  • burn "Tom burned bright." "There burns a candle."
  • come "The prediction came true;" "the belt came loose;" "the characters in the story come alive" "There came a time."
  • come out "It came out burnt."
  • end up "I ended up broke;" "the room ended up a mess."
  • fade "He faded away."
  • fall "Tom fell ill with the flu."
  • feel "Tom felt nauseated."
  • get (inchoative) "Tom got angry."
  • glow "The ingot glowed orange." "There glowed a lamp in the window."
  • go "The man went crazy;" "Tom went bald;" "the food went bad;" "the mistake went unnoticed." "There went a maid a dancing."
  • grow (inchoative) "Tom grew insistent." "There grew a vine upon the wall."
  • keep "Tom kept quiet."
  • leave "They left happy."
  • lie "The paper lies crumpled up on the floor."
  • look "Tom looks upset."
  • play "The opossum played dead."
  • plead "Tom pleaded innocent."
  • prove "Tom's behavior proves difficult to understand." "There proved to be a problem."
  • remain "Tom remained unsatisfied."
  • rest "Rest assured." "There remained a problem."
  • run "The dog runs wild;" "the animals run free."
  • sink "It sank deep."
  • seem "Tom seems happy." "There seemed a problem.
  • shine "Tom's smile shines bright."
  • sit "The car sat idle all winter."
  • smell "Tom smelled sweet"
  • sound "Tom sounded obnoxious."
  • stay "Tom stayed happy."
  • stand "Tom stands tall;" "Stand strong."
  • taste "The food tastes fresh."
  • test "Tom tested positive."
  • turn (inchoative) "Tom turned angry."
  • turn out "The cookies turned out great."
  • turn up "The prime minister turned up missing."
  • wax (inchoative) "Tom waxed poetic."