LEARN A WORD A DAY

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Verb Forms: Helping Verbs

Forms of Helping Verbs

All helping verbs are used with a main verb (either expressed or understood*). There are 2 groups of helping verbs:
  • Primary helping verbs, used mainly to change the tense or voice of the main verb, and in making questions and negatives.
  • Modal helping verbs, used to change the "mood" of the main verb.

Study the table below. It shows the principal forms and uses of helping verbs, and explains the differences between primary and modal helping verbs.

* Sometimes we make a sentence that has a helping verb and seems to have no main verb. In fact, the main verb is "understood". Look at the following examples:

  • Question: Can you speak English? (The main verb speak is "expressed".)
  • Answer: Yes, I can. (The main verb speak is not expressed. It is "understood" from the context. We understand: Yes, I can speak English.

But if somebody walked into the room and said "Hello. I can", we would understand nothing!

Helping Verbs
PrimaryModal
do(to make simple tenses, and questions and negatives)cancould
be(to make continuous tenses, and the passive voice)maymight
have(to make perfect tenses)willwould

shallshould
must
ought (to)
"Do", "be" and "have" as helping verbs have exactly the same forms as when they are main verbs (except that as helping verbs they are never used in infinitive forms).Modal helping verbs are invariable. They always have the same form.
Primary helping verbs are followed by the main verb in a particular form:
  • do + V1 (base verb)
  • be + -ing (present participle)
  • have + V3 (past participle)
"Ought" is followed by the main verb in infinitive form. Other modal helping verbs are followed by the main verb in its base form (V1).
  • ought + to... (infinitive)
  • other modals + V1 (base verb)
"Do", "be" and "have" can also function as main verbs.Modal helping verbs cannot function as main verbs.


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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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