A copular verb is a special kind of verb used to join an adjective or noun complement to a subject. Common examples are: be (is, am, are, was, were), appear, seem, look, sound, smell, taste, feel, become and get.
A copular verb expresses either that the subject and its complement denote the same thing or that the subject has the property denoted by its complement.
For example in the sentence ‘Peter is my boyfriend’ the copular verbis asserts that Peter and my boyfriend are the same person whereas in the sentence ‘Peter is British’ the copular verb is assigns the quality of Britishness to Peter.
More examples are given below.
- Honey is sweet. (Here the copular verb is assigns the quality of sweetness to honey.)
- The stew smells good.
- The milk turned sour.
- The night grew dark.