The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks August 1, 2013

Illustration by Kate Greenaway
“Helping” Verbs

     Some verbs help” other verbs express differences in time or emphasis. The results are "verb phrases." For examples:

Past Present Future
They were playing.

Bobby was playing.
Bobby had been playing.
Bobby did play.
Bobby has played.
Bobby was going to play.

I am playing.
We are playing.

You are playing.

Bobby is playing.
Bobby does play.

I will have to play.

You will play.

Bobby will play.
Bobby will be playing.
Bobby will have been playing.

These helpers are usually forms of the verbs:

be: is, are, was, were, am, be, being, been
have:  have, has, had
do: do, does, did, done

Note that "will," "going to," and "used to" are also used as parts of a verb phrase:

Sam will play tomorrow.
They were going to play baseball.
Toni also used to play baseball.
When you underline verbs, be sure to underline all the helping verbs in the verb phrase.