Helping Verbs: Definition, Types and Some Useful Examples

In this article, we are going to take a look at the definition, types, and example sentences of helping verbs in English grammar.

Helping Verbs

What Is A Helping Verb?

When we talk about the auxiliary verb, we mean that this is a verb that is used before the main verb when we put together a sentence. When an auxiliary and the main verb are together they form what is known as a verb phrase. When we talk about an auxiliary verb, it is about placing it in the main one, for example:

“Gaby can ride her brother’s bike”

As we can see, the auxiliary verb “can” is placed before the verb “ride”, which on this occasion would be the main verb. Sometimes a word can separate our auxiliary verb from the main verb. For example:

“Gaby doesn’t want a new bike”

The negative word is not going to come between the auxiliary verb “does” and the main verb “wants”.

Types of Helping Verbs

Auxiliary Verbs

These auxiliary verbs add meaning to a sentence that is used and called auxiliary verbs, you must bear in mind that the terms auxiliary verb and the helping verb are usually interchangeable. These are normally used when we want to express or emphasize something, common auxiliary verbs have many forms:

  • To be: am, is, are, was, were, be, been
  • To have: have, has, had
  • To do: do, does, did

Modal Verbs

These verbs help to carry out specific tasks or also to further modify the action that is being carried out or only the meaning of the main verb, they also help to show some obligation, possibility, or need in the sentence, some of them are:

  • can
  • could
  • may
  • might
  • will
  • would
  • shall
  • should
  • must
  • ought to

Progressive and Perfect Looks

These different auxiliary verbs are used for different actions in sentences, one of the main objectives of this auxiliary verb is to place an action in the sentence in some particular aspect of time, these two main aspects have a role in auxiliary verb issues and we talk of the progressive aspect and the perfect one.

When the main verb of any sentence ends in -ing, the progressive aspect must be used. We use this aspect when we want to convey the notion that the action is occurring continuously.

Examples of Helping Verbs

Here we leave you some sentences with examples of helping verbs, taking into account the aforementioned:

  • I am having another cone of ice cream.
  • She is making dinner for her family now.
  • I do not know the number.
  • I have been walking for over an hour.
  • He was given the grand prize.
  • I may marry you soon.
  • Mary can name all the presidents.
  • You should go to school and study.
  • When it’s your time, you must sleep.
  • I may be late for the date.
  • Would you mind if I stayed here for a moment?
  • I am renting my house to my neighbor.
  • Stephen is starting a new personal business.
  • Chris and Bernadette are moving to New York.
  • It was raining when we got to Washington.
  • The presidential candidates were debating in Houston.
  • I had been dreaming about Denis when you called.

Helping Verbs | Infographic

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4 months ago

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