While reading some books, I came across this phrase.

before Nate grows tired of walking in circles with me

And here's the whole paragraph.

I break for the oak tree, dragging Nate behind me. I find an acorn, scoop it into my mouth, and run to the stash next to the garage. I place the acorn in the pile and run back to the tree. I grab another acorn; I bring it back to the stash. I place my third acorn in the pile before Nate grows tired of walking in circles with me. He leads me inside.

I realized that this means getting tired. But why is grow used to mean get here?

I heard get + adjective and be or become + adjective are only possible forms like this. Can any other such word have this form?


Grow is a linking verb here. Linking verbs often appear to be modified by an adjective, called the predicative complement, instead of an adverb. The adjective actually modifies the subject of the sentence.

Nate grows tired.

Here, tired describes Nate's state. By contrast, in Nate grew by six inches, by six inches answers the question How much?, so it is an adverb.

There is a myriad of linking verbs. For example,

Linking verb Example with tired
become Nate becomes tired
seem Nate seems tired
feel Nate feels tired
remain Nate remains tired

As you can see, the structure works with each of them. Therefore, be, get, and grow are not the only such words. Broadly, the structure is subject + linking verb + complement.

Here is the definition of grow tired, where grow is a linking verb.

to gradually become tired

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