Sometimes a verb can be more than one word. When a verb is more than one word, it is called a verb phrase. Verb phrases can be two, three, or four words. Verb phrases are made by using auxiliary or helping verbs.
Instructions: What are the verb phrases in these sentences?
1. You are going to Seattle.
2. You have been resting too much.
3. We must be early.
4. I will be finished shortly.
--For answers scroll down.
1. are going
2. have been resting
3. must be
4. will be finished
These sentences all have what are called auxiliary or helping verbs. I will refer to them as helping verbs. There are twenty-three (23) helping verbs that should be memorized since they are used so often. If you will memorize them, it will make knowing and understanding verbs much easier. They are usually grouped in the following five groups:
Group 1: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been
Group 2: has, have, had
Group 3: do, does, did
Group 4: shall, will, should, would
Group 5: may, might, must, can, could