English as a Second Language/Sentence Patterns



Just wanting to ask about sentence patterns in progressive sentences.

She takes shower is STVO

She is taking shower - is it an SLVC since the subject is followed by a linking verb but I'm sure it's a helping verb? Are all sentences with an "is" or an "are" or the likes. SLVC sentences? Please help me to this.

Thank you and have a good day,


ANSWER: Hi Bernard,

Hope you are well.
Thank you for yet another interesting question.

Let’s clarify some acronyms first:

STVO - Subject Transitive Verb Object

SLVC - Subject Linking Verb Complement

HV – Helping Verb

She (S) is taking a shower (V). or She (S) is showering(V).
“is” is a helping verb (HV) here – like you correctly mentioned, and “is taking a shower” tells what she is doing, an action. So this is NOT an SLVC sentence, but a simple SV sentence.

Some other examples:

Amy (S) is typing (V).

In this sentence above, again, "is" does not function as a linking verb. "Is typing” tells what Amy is doing (the action), not what Amy is being.

Jeremy (S) is (LV) a student (C). Here “is” links Jeremy the subject to student, the predicative noun.

Alex (S) is (LV) intelligent (C). “is” works as a linking verb here, intelligent being the predicative adjective.

As a rule of thumb, linking verbs are used by themselves, while helping verbs come before another verb. Helping verbs can’t stand alone. If there is only one verb in a sentence, then it’s either an action verb or a linking verb. Linking verbs are verbs followed by either a predicate noun (noun in the predicate describing the subject) or a predicate adjective (adjective in the predicate describing the noun)

So, not all sentences with 'is' or 'are' are SLVC.

I hope this answers your question.
Please feel free to follow up if you need more help with this topic.
Looking forward to more questions from you in the future.

Best regards,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Does not mean that if there is a helping verb, It will never be an STVO?

He wears shorts.  STVO
He is wearing shorts. SIV An I correct that it will become an intransitive verb? Shorts will not be an object?

Just confused.

Thank you again for your continuous help.



there can be a STVO even if there is a helping verb.

For ex:

I (S) am (LV) eating (TV) an apple (O).
He (S) was (LV) writing (TV) a letter (O).
Mary (S) has (LV) closed (TV) the book (O).

Back to the two sentences you inquired about:

He(S) wears (TV) shorts (O).

He (S) is (LV) wearing (TV) shorts (O).

The main verb is still "to wear" and it is a transitive verb. It requires at least a direct object - (in this case) shorts - to complete its meaning.  "Is" here is a helping verb and it is followed by an action verb.

Hope this clarifies things for you, but by all means feel free to follow up if you still need help.

Looking forward to more questions from you.

Best regards,

English as a Second Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.