Helping Verb Meaning

Helping Verb Meaning: Helping Verbs are the verbs that merely help principal verbs in the formation of various verb forms. Helping Verbs are important as structural verbs.

Helping Verbs

Rules Applicable to all Helping Verbs

  • The negative is formed by putting not after auxiliary. Examples: I can not, They do not, I must not.
  • The interrogative is formed by inverting the subject and verb. Examples: Can he? May we? Maust I?

Types of Helping Verbs

Auxiliary Verbs or helping verbs are of two types:

PRIMARY AUXILIARIESBe Verb: is, am, are, was, were, been, being
Have Verb: have, has, had, having
Do Verb: do, does, did
MODAL AUXILIARIEScan, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, dare, need, used to, ought to

Helping Verb Meaning With Examples

Verbs that modify other verbs and take part in the formation of numerous grammatical constructions, but carry very little meaning themselves are called Primary Helping Verbs.  The Primary Helping Verbs are, do, have, be.


TYPE 1: To make Passive Voice

  • It will be done in a short time. (Passive Voice)
  • The work is being done. (Passive Voice)
  • The sum has been worked out. (Passive Voice)

TYPE 2: To make a Present Progressive

  • The girl is dancing. (Present Progressive)
  • I am doing the sum. (Present Progressive)
  • They are playing football. (Present Progressive)

TYPE 3: To make Past Progressive

  • He was sleeping at night. (Past Progressive)
  • The boys were reading in the class. (Past Progressive)


TYPE 1: To make Passive Voice

The work had been done. (Passive Voice)

TYPE 2: To make Present Perfect

I have done the work. (Present Perfect)
He has gone, to school. (Present Perfect)

TYPE 3: To make Past Perfect

They had collected a picture. (Past Perfect)

TYPE 4: To form Nominative Absolute

The sun having risen, darkness disappeared. (Nominative Absolute)


TYPE 1: To make an Interrogative sentence

  • Do you study in class X?
  • Does he take tea?
  • Did she write a letter?

TYPE 2: To make a Negative sentence

  • I do not like him.
  • He does not go to school.
  • They did not play football yesterday.

Shortened forms of ‘do’ auxiliaries :

do notdon’tI don’t do this work.
does notdoesn’tHe doesn’t do this work.
did notdidn’tHe didn’t do that work.

TYPE 3: To give stress on a statement

  • I do hereby authorise you.
  • He did help you, and you should not deny that.

The Modal Helping Verbs are can, may, shall, will, must, ought to, used to, need, dare. They do not have-s’ forms or -ed participles. Can, may, shall, will, have special past forms (could, might, should, would), but the remainder (such as must) do not.

Will you go to school?
It will rain today.
You will not keep late hours at night before the exam.
WouldrequestingWould you give me a pen?
Shall I do the work?
I hope I shall complete the project within a week.
seeking advice
You should walk a mile in the morning.
Should we go for a walk?
The boy can speak English fluently.
We can hold a condolence meeting for his death this Sunday.
He could do the sum.
Could you help me to solve the problem?
He may come here today.
May I come in?
May I get you a cup of tea?
His statement might be true.
You might just as well go.
strong probability
You must obey your teacher.
Man must die one day.
You must be tired after a long journey.
We must not waste our time.
Darehave the courage
negative force
He dare not say so. (not dares’)
I dare you to prove that you’ve said so.
He dare not follow you.
Who dares to enter the room?
You need not (needn’t) come here.
Need he go there?
Used tohabitual action in the pastMy father used to teach me English.
Ought toobligation
strong likelihood
You ought to work hard.
The lawyer ought to be able to help you.

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