Main & Helping Verbs
Main Verbs- Express action or being in a sentence.
Helping Verbs- Work with the main verb but do not show action.
Verb Phrase- A verb that is made up of more than one word.
Example: The large door has been locked for several days.
Common Helping Verbs
Note: Sometimes the helping verb in on sentence is the main verb in another.
I did my school work.
I did wait for you today.
Bob has it.
Bob has taken that class before.
Direct Objects are words that tell who or what receives the action.
- found after the main action verb.
Ex: The museum guide described the pyramids.
- In some sentences the direct object is compound.
Ex: Jason enjoyed the soup and bread at dinner.
Note: To find the direct object, find the main verb and ask who or what receives the action. The direct object will be directly after the verb - either it's a noun/pronoun or an article (the, a, an). Prepositional phrases are NOT direct objects. They usually answer the question where.
Preposition - the word that shows the relationship between a noun and a pronoun and some other words in a sentence.
Common Prepositions above as beyond into about at by near across before down of after behind during over against beneath for past along besides from through around between in to under up below toward until with on
Transitive & Intransitive Verbs
Transitive verb - has a direct object, or a receiver of the action.
Ex: Carter opened the coffin.
The mummy amazed him.
Intransitive verb - has no direct object.
Ex: The other men watched silently.
The coffin sparkled in the light.
Being Verbs & Linking Verbs
Being Verb - shows a state of being / does not show action, instead it shows what the subject is about or is like.
Linking Verb - a word that links the subject to the predicate to tell more about it.
Ex: Mr. Waters feels happy. (The word feels is the being verb. It does not show action, but explains how Mr. Waters is at the time.)
Ex: He had been a teacher for over twenty years. (The verb phrase is had been. It does not show action, but links the subject, 'He', to the predicate, 'teacher'.)
Predicate Noun - renames or identifies the subject
Ex: Mrs. Horvath is our teacher. (Mrs. Horvath = teacher)
Predicate Adjective - describes the subject.
Ex: Mrs. Horvath was happy today. (Mrs. Horvath = happy)
Linking Verbs can include helping verbs.
Ex: will become, has appeared
Being Verbs can be used as helping verbs.
Ex: was moved, were studying
Some verbs can be either linking verbs or action verbs.
Ex: Action - Mrs. Horvath looked at the student mural.
Linking - The design looked colorful and creative.
Simple Verb Tenses
Tense- tells when the action or the state of being takes place
Present Tense- happening now
Past Tense- already happened
- Usually formed by adding -ed
Future Tense- going to happen
-Usually formed with the helping verb will or shall
Rules for Forming Verb Tenses
When the subject is singular
Add –s to most verbs
Ex: run – Luis runs
To make a verb that ends in s, x, z, ch, or sh singular
Ex: watch – He watches
To make a verb that ends in a consonant and y singular
Change the y to an i and add –es
Ex: cry – Aki cries
When the subject is plural
Do not change the form of the verb
Ex: hurry – They hurry
For most verbs
Ex: talk -- talked
When a short verb ends in a consonant
Double the consonant and add – ed
Ex: bat -- batted
When a verb ends in e
Drop the e and add –ed
Ex: hope -- hoped
When a verb ends in a consonant and y
Change the y to i and add –ed
Ex: try -- tried
Use the basic form of the verb
Add the helping verb will or shall
Ex: hop – will hop
fly – shall fly
- Principal Parts of a verb are not verb tenses themselves, but simply the basic parts that we use to form all different tenses.
- All the tenses of a verb come from 4 basic forms or principal parts of the verb.
- Present and past participles are always used with a helping verb.
Principal Parts of Verbs
- Present Participle – uses is and –ing
- Past Participle – uses has and -ed
- Perfect Tenses – formed with the helping verb have and a past participle (-ed)
- Forms of have: has, had, will have
- Present Perfect Tense– action that took place at an indefinite time in the past, the action may still be going on
Ex: The band has played two songs.
- Past Perfect Tense– action in the past that was completed before another action took place
Ex: The band had played two songs before you arrived.
- Future Perfect Tense– action that will be completed before another action in the future
Ex: The band will have played many more songs before the
A verb and its subject must agree in number.
The horse eats oats. (Subject? Singular/Plural? Verb?)
- Singular subject = singular verb
Ex: The dog plays.
- Plural subject = plural verb
Ex: The dogs play.
- Compound subjects joined by ‘and’ = plural verb
Ex: The dog and cat play.
- Singular verbs in present tense = end in –s or –es
Ex: The girls dance.
- Unless the singular subject is ‘I’ or ‘you‘ = does not end in –s or –es
Ex: I dance.
Agreement with the Verb ‘be’
Verb – present
Verb - past
I am well today.
I was sick yesterday.
he, she, it, and all singular nouns
The cat is playful.
She was hungry.
we, you, they, and all plural nouns
We are cousins.
They were teammates.
Neither French fries nor a salad sounds good. (Subject?)
Either a dollar or quarters work in the pinball machine.
- If a compound subject is joined by:
- make the verb agree with the subject that is closer to it.
Ex: Books or magazines were always on the table.
- Use a singular verb if both parts of a compound subject are singular. If one part is singular and one part is plural, make the verb agree with the subject that is closer to it.
Ex: One boy and two girls jump in the pool.
Neither Angelica nor her friends like swim.
Either the dogs or the cat belongs to her.
- Sentences that begin with ‘here’ or ‘there’ = find the subject and make the verb agree with it.
Ex: Here is the index. (What is here?)
There are the missing birthday cards. (What is
- Contraction = formed by combining two words and shortening one of them. An apostrophe (‘) will take the place of the letter or letters left out.
- An apostrophe and s (‘s) can stand for is or has.
- Only the part of the contraction that is a verb is part of a verb phrase. The word not and the contracted form n’t are never part of a verb phrase.
Ex: He’ll mix the soup carefully. (verb phrase = will
Contractions Formed with not
Isn’t (is not)
aren’t (are not)
couldn’t (could not)
wasn’t (was not)
shouldn’t (should not)
weren’t (were not)
wouldn’t (would not)
won’t (will not)
doesn’t (does not)
don’t (do not)
hasn’t (has not)
didn’t (did not)
haven’t (have not)