Everyone can use a little help sometimes...even verbs. Helping verbs (or the fancy version, “auxiliary verbs”) help to show a verb’s tense or possibility. Words like am, is, are and was add detail to sentences and make the subject’s plans clearer. Confused? Us too. Clear up helping verbs with our worksheets, lesson plans, activities, articles, and so much more.
Students are initially taught that a complete sentence or clause requires a noun, a verb, and to be a complete thought. They will have to move beyond simple complex and compound clauses
, though. Using different categories of verbs, like helper verbs, in conjunction with the main verb, will help them.
Depending on the types of helping verbs, they can extend the meaning of the base verb, help convey the current time setting by creating different verb tenses, or convey different meanings and understandings of the main verb. You can show these different types of helper verbs in action using the resources above, provided by Education.com.
Auxiliary verbs are verbs that add meaning to the main verb. There are three main auxiliary verbs that each have their own many forms:
- To be: am, is, are, was, were, be, been
- To do: do, does, did
- To have: have, has, had
While be, do, and have are their own verbs, when used with another verb, they become auxiliary.
Modal verbs are helping verbs that modify the action or meaning of the main verb. They show the obligation to do, the possibility of, or the necessity of the main verb in the sentence:
Perfect Verb Form
Using the perfect aspect of a helper verb allows the writer to convey whether something is/was/will be in a state of progress. In its progressive form, "had been" is used with the normally present tense -ing form of the main verb to convey the past perfect progressive tense: I had been studying.