Definition and Examples of Helping Verbs
A helping verb is a verb that is placed before the main verb in a sentence. Along with the helping verb and the main verb make a verb phrase. (A helping verb is known as an auxiliary verb.)
A helping verb stands in front of the main verb. For instance, in the sentence, “Shyla can ride her sister’s bike,” the helping verb can stand in front of the ride, which is the main verb.
More than one helping verb can be utilized in a sentence. For instance, in the sentence, “Shyla could have gone to school,” there are two helping verbs: gone and have.
Sometimes a word separates the helping verb from the main verb. For instance, in the sentence, “Shyla does not want a new bike,” the negative particle does not come in the middle of the helping verb and the main verb, want.
Helping Verbs in English
- am, is, are
- was, were
- be, been, being
- do, does, did
- have, has, had
- may, can, must, might
- shall, will
- should, would, could