In this example, we see two verbs in bold: “had” and “washed.”. These simple verb phrases stand alone and use only two piece: helping verbs and main verbs. Mary is going with me to school.“Is coming” is a verb phrase. A verb phrase is the portion of a sentence that contains both the verb and either a direct or indirect object (the verb's dependents). It functions as the verb in a sentence, even when it has more than one word. [2c] I thank them for the gift. A verb phrase is a main verb and its helpers or modifiers. (verbal phrase, Walking on the ice, she slipped. Following are some verb phrase examples where the verb phrase is the predicate of a sentence. 1. Brandon will be graduating from middle school in a few weeks. 1. Mikayla would have been allowed to attend the party if her grades were better. (verb phrase was texting functions as the action) Texting on his phone, the man swerved into a ditch. A verb phrase can be the predicate of the clause or sentence. 1. In order to be complete, every sentence needs at least one verb. (verbal phrase. Modal verbs are a special type of auxiliary verb that can also form part of a verb phrase. When combined with linking verbs, such as is, must, will, and has, they form verb phrases. The most common modal verbs include must, can, will, should, could, and might. Verbal phrases can act like adverbs or adjectives. “Had” is an auxiliary verb that “helps” the main verb (washed) provide more information about when the action occurred. 1. When multiple verbs work together to describe the action in a sentence, these verbs form a verb phrase. Verb phrases form tenses besides present and past tense, including progressive tenses and perfect tenses. Verbs are words that demonstrate an action, such as sing, dance, smell, talk, and eat. The phrase would include the verbal (participle, gerund or infinitive) and any modifiers, complements or objects. I might go to the birthday party this weekend. Examples of Verb Phrase I was singing a modern song yesterday. (Sidney Greenbaum, The Oxford English Grammar. Oxford University Press, 1996) The multiple verbs in a verb phrase work together to describe the action in a sentence. Present Perfect Verb: have walked. However, they do not function as the action in your sentence. “Is” (a form of be) is an auxiliary verb that is “helping” the main verb (playing) provide more information about when the action occurred. “Coming” is the main verb, while “is” the helping verb. Lauren might have been feeling sad because her dog ran away. Examples of verb phrases versus verbal phrases include: All of these different verbal phrases provide important useful information for the reader about the action in the sentence. “Is” (a form of be) is an auxiliary verb that is “helping” the main verb (playing) provide more … Take a look at what verb phrases are, and then view some verb phrase examples. My grandfather could grill the best steaks. 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. Her favorite activity is reading about history.Here “is reading” is a verb phrase, and “about history” is a subject compliment. We had washed our hands before sitting at the dinner table. Present Perfect Progressive Verb: have been walking. Verb phrases are great additions to sentences when you need to make your action more precise. The speaker of this sentence wants to emphasize (make it very clear) that his homework is finished. This sentence uses two verbs: “is” and “playing.”, In this case, the main verb is “playing.”. Modal verbs are used to show necessity, ability, or possibility. The adverb “not” is placed between the two verbs. Examples of verb phrases versus verbal phrases include: The man was texting on his phone. This sentence contains the main verb “try” and the modal verb “should.”, In this example, we see the main verb “grill” and the modal verb “could.”, This sentence includes the main verb “go” and the modal verb “might.”, We also see the modal verb “might” and the auxiliary verbs “have” and “been.”, This sentence contains the main verb “going” and the auxiliary verb “is.”. That’s the verb and verb phrase’s job! The adverb is not considered part of the verb phrase. The phrase can be replaced by the one word thanked, in which case thanked is past tense and its corresponding present is thank. Verb phrases help to make your text more informative and meaningful. When verb phrases function as anything other than verbs, they’re verbal phrases. 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. Sometimes, the main verb needs help forming different moods or tenses, or it needs to provide additional information about when the action was completed. 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. Past Tense Verb: walked. 1. (verbal phrase, As the cat watched, the two puppies fought over a bone. They are essential to clear writing and letting your reader know exactly what you’re trying to say. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. Josiah can spell almost any word in the dictionary. In this case, the verb phrase consists of the main verb plus any auxiliary, or helping, verbs. (verbal phrase texting on his phone functions as an adjective; This sentence contains two verbs: “did” and “finish.”. Sara might need our help for her car.“Might need” is a verb phrase. [2b] I thanked them for the gift. When this happens, writers also use an auxiliary verb, or “helping verb.” Auxiliary verbs include forms of be, have, and do. (verb is, Texting on his phone, the man swerved into a ditch. The auxiliary verb “did” is “helping” the main verb (finish) add emphasis. Present Progressive Verb: am walking. In total, a verb phrase can contain up to four verbs. They also demonstrate the sentence’s mood, intention and other information. Verb phrases can consist of one to three linking verbs, and action verbs, and sometimes any complements (such as objects or direct objects). Despite his knee injury, he did go to gym.Here “did go” is a verb phrase. Once you’ve mastered verb phrases in your grammar journey, try out more complicated verb forms. However, the adverb “not” is not considered part of the, In this sentence, the main verb is “graduating.”, The sentence also includes the verb “will” and the auxiliary verb “be.”, This sentence contains the main verb “spell.”, The main verb in the bold part of the sentence is “allowed.”, The bolded part of the sentence also uses the modal verb “would” and the auxiliary verbs “have” and “been.”. A verb phrase is the part of a sentence that contains a main verb and all of its “helpers,” or auxiliary verbs. Definition of Verb Phrase A Verb Phrase conducts the task of the verb. Sometimes, an adverb interrupts the verb phrase, or appears in between the two verbs. Examples of Verb Phrase: Let's look at some examples of verbs and verb phrases that vary based on tense: Present Tense Verb: walk. 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.