Helping Verb Practice Lists

What is a Helping Verb?

Helping verbs, also known as auxiliary verbs, lend a helping hand to the main verb in a sentence.

Helping Verb Practice List

These verbs can assist in:

  1. Forming a question (Does the party start at 9?)
  2. Creating a negative statement (I could not attend the party)
  3. Showing a possibility (They might be at the party)
  4. Dictating verb tense (She has already left for the party)

Helping verb practice lists can be categorized as either primary helping verbs or modal helping verbs.


Helping Verbs Sample List
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What are Primary Helping Verbs?

Primary helping verbs help a main verb, but can also serve as the main verb in a sentence. Primary helping verbs include “be”, “do”, and “have” verbs. A common use of a primary helping verb is the verb “is” in the sentence “She is watching a movie.” In this sentence, “is” helps the main verb “watching”. However “is” can function as a main verb, for example in the sentence “She is happy.” In this instance “is” works as a linking verb.

Primary Helping Verbs

Verb Example
Be He is playing football.
Do Does she work here?
Have I have finished my homework.

What Are Modal Helping Verbs?

Modal helping verbs always help the main verbs and cannot be used alone in a sentence. Some modal helping verbs are “could”,“must”, and “will”. These verbs can express expectation, possibility, necessity, and much more. Therefore, modal helping verbs can be used to form conditional sentences, which are statements that discuss facts or hypotheticals and their consequences. Word study based upon practicing well constructed helping verb practice lists is hugely beneficial for young learners.

Modal Helping Verbs

Verb Expresses Example
could possibility She could dance salsa.
must necessity I must go to work today.
will expectation He will write the report.

The following helping verb list includes both primary and modal helping verbs. VocabularySpellingCity provides additional helping verb practice lists that can be imported and paired with our educational helping verb online games.