May 11, 2010
 
The KISS Grammar Printable Workbooks

Illustration by Blanche Fisher Wright 
"Helping" Verbs (Modal)

     As you try to identify verb phrases, remember that the following words often function as "helping" verbs and are thus part of the verb phrase.
 
Can and Could They can see the parade  from here.
But Samantha could see it from there.
   
Dare Do they dare go to the cemetery?
 
May and Must Charlie Brown may have seen the Great Pumpkin.
Charlie, you must not kick that football.
 
Might You might see Venus on a clear night.
 
Need They need only ask for help.
 
Ought Bobby ought to practice more if he wants to be a better player.
 
Shall and Should Cinderella shall not go to the ball.
You should read more fairy tales.
 
Will and Would Cinderella, you will go to the ball.
A fairy Godmother would be a big help.

Note that "had better" means the same as "should":
They should weed the garden.
They had better weed the garden.
Thus "better" is considered part of the verb phrase.