Is the Word Is a Verb or a Preposition?

The word "is" is commonly used in the English language, but it’s classification as a verb or a preposition has often raised questions among grammar enthusiasts. Is it a verb? Is it a preposition? In this post, we aim to explore and clarify the nature of the word "is" and it’s grammatical function. After careful analysis, it becomes apparent that "is" is indeed a verb and functions solely as a verb to describe a state of being or existence. So, let's dive in and uncover the role of "is" in the English language.

Is Is the Word a Preposition?

Is the word “is” a verb or a preposition? Many people may wonder about the nature of this small but important word. Contrary to what some may believe, “is” isn’t a preposition. Rather, it’s a linking verb that’s used to indicate a state of being or existence. When used in a sentence, “is” connects the subject of the sentence to a descriptive adjective, showing the relationship between the two.

For example, consider the sentence “She’s mean.”. In this case, “is” links the subject “she” to the descriptive adjective “mean,” indicating that she possesses the quality of being mean. Similarly, in the sentence “He’s lovely,” “is” connects the subject “he” to the adjective “lovely,” expressing that he exhibits the quality of being lovely.

In both of these examples, “is” serves as a linking verb, providing valuable information about the subject and it’s relationship to a descriptive adjective. It doesn’t function as a preposition, which typically expresses the relationship between different elements in a sentence, such as location, direction, or time.

So, the next time you come across the word “is,” remember that it isn’t a preposition but a valuable linking verb used to convey a state of being or existence.

Examples of Other Linking Verbs

There are several examples of other linking verbs besides the word ‘is’. These verbs are used to connect the subject of a sentence to a word or phrase that describes or identifies it.

Some common linking verbs include:

– ‘Feels’: She feels tired after a long day.

– ‘Looks’: The cake looks delicious.

– ‘Seems’: He seems upset about something.

– ‘Becomes’: The caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

– ‘Remains’: The problem remains unsolved.

These verbs don’t show action, but rather a state of being or a condition. They help to link the subject to a complement that provides more information about it.

Verbs play a crucial role in language, as they convey actions, events, or states. From physical movements to abstract concepts, verbs encompass a wide range of meanings. While there are certain indicators that can help identify verbs, it’s important to understand their diverse forms and functions within sentences. By examining their characteristics and considering their context, one can effectively determine whether a word is a verb.

How Do You Know if a Word Is a Verb?

When determining if a word is a verb, it’s crucial to consider it’s function within a sentence. Verbs are known to describe actions, both physical and mental. They provide the necessary information about what someone or something is doing or experiencing. For instance, the word “run” clearly denotes an action performed by someone. Similarly, the word “think” signifies a mental process.

Verbs also encompass a “state of being” category, which includes words like be, become, and exist. These verbs convey the state in which someone or something exists or the change that occurs over time. For example, the phrase “I’m happy” highlights the state of being happy, while the phrase “She became a doctor” emphasizes the transformation from one profession to another.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to examine the words position within a sentence. Verbs usually function as the main predicate in a sentence and can be modified by various elements such as adverbs or adverbial phrases. Identifying these modifications can help confirm if a word is functioning as a verb.

In addition to sentence structure, verb forms can provide valuable clues about a words grammatical function. Verbs undergo conjugation, changing their form to match the subject or tense of a sentence. For example, the verb “to be” can take forms such as am, is, are, was, or were. By analyzing the way a word changes it’s form, it becomes easier to classify it as a verb.

Moreover, it’s essential to consult dictionaries and grammar resources to gain a comprehensive understanding of a word. These resources offer definitions, examples, and usages of words, including their verb forms. Cross-referencing a word with reliable sources can confirm whether it’s a verb or not, enhancing ones proficiency in grammar and language usage.

By analyzing these factors and consulting reliable resources, one can confidently identify if a word is functioning as a verb or not, deepening their understanding of language structure and usage.

Source: How do you know if a word is a noun, an adjective, or a verb?..

It’s important to understand that the word “is” falls under the category of state of being verbs. This type of verb refers to the existence or state of something. The most commonly used state of being verb is “to be,” and “is” is simply the third person singular form of this verb in the present tense.

What Type of Verb Is the Word Is?

In grammar, “is” is classified as a linking verb. A linking verb is a type of verb that connects the subject of a sentence to a complement, which can be a noun, adjective, or another clause. In the case of “is,” it’s commonly used to link the subject to a predicate noun or an adjective that describes or identifies the subject.

For example, in the sentence “John is a chef,” the word “is” links the subject “John” to the predicate noun “chef,” indicating that John exists as a chef. Similarly, in the sentence “The weather is hot,” “is” links the subject “weather” to the adjective “hot,” describing the current state of the weather.

However, it’s important to note that “is” can also be used as a helping verb in certain verb tenses, such as the present continuous tense. In this case, it’s combined with the main verb to express ongoing actions or states. For instance, in the sentence “She’s running,” the word “is” serves as a helping verb, indicating that the action of running is happening in the present moment.

In summary, while “is” is primarily a linking verb that connects the subject to a complement, it can also function as a helping verb in certain verb tenses. It’s usage depends on the context and the role it plays in linking or expressing ongoing actions or states.


It isn’t a preposition, nor can it be categorized as a noun. Understanding it’s role as a verb is crucial for effective communication and comprehension. So, the next time you come across the word "is," remember it’s verb status and appreciate it’s ability to convey the essence of being.

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