A Quick Look at Helping Verbs

A Quick Look at Helping Verbs

Helping verbs, also called auxiliary verbs, “help” other verbs form different tenses and moods. The helping verb combines with a main verb to form a verb phrase that provides more information about time and mood.

The most common helping verbs are forms of be, have, and do.

In this example, “am” is used as a helping verb. “Am” combines with the main verb “eating.” Together, these verbs form the present progressive tense, which indicates an ongoing action happening in the present.

Sometimes, a verb phrase requires multiple helping verbs.

In this example, two helping verbs (“will” and “have”) are used to from the future perfect tense, which indicates that an action will have been completed at some point in the future.

To learn more about helping verbs, review WriteLab’s Guide.


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