Sometimes, an adverb interrupts the verb phrase, or appears in between the two verbs. Verb phrases can consist of one to three linking verbs, and action verbs, and sometimes any complements (such as objects or direct objects). (verbal phrase, Walking on the ice, she slipped. Verb phrases form tenses besides present and past tense, including progressive tenses and perfect tenses. 1. (Sidney Greenbaum, The Oxford English Grammar. The most common modal verbs include must, can, will, should, could, and might. Brandon will be graduating from middle school in a few weeks. These simple verb phrases stand alone and use only two piece: helping verbs and main verbs. “Is” (a form of be) is an auxiliary verb that is “helping” the main verb (playing) provide more … They are essential to clear writing and letting your reader know exactly what you’re trying to say. Lauren might have been feeling sad because her dog ran away. 1. Modal verbs are used to show necessity, ability, or possibility. “Coming” is the main verb, while “is” the helping verb. This sentence contains two verbs: “did” and “finish.”. Verbal phrases can act like adverbs or adjectives. The phrase would include the verbal (participle, gerund or infinitive) and any modifiers, complements or objects. This is the easiest way to see basic verb phrases:Could + Swim = could swim [could is the helping verb and swim is the main verb, forming the verb phrase could swim]May + Cry = may cry [may is the helping verb; cry is the main verb]Should + Run = should runCould Have + Listened = could have listenedHere are two examples of helping verbs used in complete sentences:The dog has fetched the ball. (verb is, Texting on his phone, the man swerved into a ditch. In this case, the verb phrase consists of the main verb plus any auxiliary, or helping, verbs. “Had” is an auxiliary verb that “helps” the main verb (washed) provide more information about when the action occurred. My grandfather could grill the best steaks. 1. The speaker of this sentence wants to emphasize (make it very clear) that his homework is finished. All Rights Reserved, Teacher writing report as verb phrase examples, Verb Phrase Examples and How to Spot Them, He appears on screen as an actor. In [2a] had thanked is the verb phrase, and thanked is the main verb. However, they do not function as the action in your sentence. The auxiliary verb “did” is “helping” the main verb (finish) add emphasis. The multiple verbs in a verb phrase work together to describe the action in a sentence. The verb can be an action verb (run, sing, play, climb) or a linking verb (seem, look, forms of be) that connects the sentence’s subject to more information about the subject. Once you’ve mastered verb phrases in your grammar journey, try out more complicated verb forms. [2b] I thanked them for the gift. Her favorite activity is reading about history.Here “is reading” is a verb phrase, and “about history” is a subject compliment. Take a look at what verb phrases are, and then view some verb phrase examples. A verb phrase can be the predicate of the clause or sentence. Past Tense Verb: walked. 1. I might go to the birthday party this weekend. This sentence uses two verbs: “is” and “playing.”, In this case, the main verb is “playing.”. Following are some verb phrase examples where the verb phrase is the predicate of a sentence. In total, a verb phrase can contain up to four verbs. (verb phrase was texting functions as the action) Texting on his phone, the man swerved into a ditch. “Is” (a form of be) is an auxiliary verb that is “helping” the main verb (playing) provide more information about when the action occurred. Sometimes, the main verb needs help forming different moods or tenses, or it needs to provide additional information about when the action was completed. Mary is going with me to school.“Is coming” is a verb phrase. A list of phrasal verbs is helpful for both native and non-native speakers who have a harder time sorting out these specific verb forms.