The verb phrase in English has the following forms:

1) a main verb:

 

  Verb  
We
I
Everybody
We
are
like
saw.
laughed.

here.
it
the accident
 

 


The verb may be in the present tense (are, like) or the past tense (saw, laughed). A verb phrase with only a main verb expresses simple aspect

2) an auxiliary verb ("be") and a main verb in –ing form:

 

  Auxiliary "be" Verb (-ing)
Everybody
We
is
were
watching
laughing

 

A verb phrase with "be" and –ing expresses continuous aspect.

3) an auxiliary verb ("have") and a main verb with past participle:

 

  Auxiliary "have" Verb (past participle)  
They
Everybody
He
have
has
had
enjoyed
worked
finished
themselves.
hard.
work.

 


A verb with "have" and the past participle expresses perfect aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect, and a verb with had expresses past perfect.

4) an auxiliary verb ("have" + "been") and a main verb in the –ing form:

 

  Auxiliary "have" + "been" Verb (-ing)  
Everybody
He
has been
had been
working
singing
hard
 

 

A verb with "have" and "been" and the present participle expresses perfect continuous aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect continuous, and a verb with had expresses past perfect continuous.

5) a modal verb (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would) and a main verb:

 

  Modal Verb Main verb
They
He
will
might
come.
come.

 

 

6) We can use modal verbs with the auxiliaries "be", "have", and "have been":

 

  Modal Auxiliary  Verb
They
He
She
will
might
must
be
have
have been
listening
arrived
listening

 

Activities

Identify the verb phrase

Identify the main verb

Identify the auxiliary verb

Identify the modal verb

Active and passive:

Transitive verbs have a passive form as well as an active form:

The hunter killed the lion. (active) <> The lion was killed by the hunter. (passive)

Someone has cleaned the windows <> The windows have been cleaned.

The passive forms are made up of the verb "be" with a past participle:

 

  "be" Past participle  
English
The windows
Lunch
The work
They
is
have been
was being
will be
might have been
spoken
cleaned
served
finished
invited

 all over the world


soon
to the party

Decide if the verbs are active or passive

 

Section: 

Comments

This is just to point out a spelling mistake found under'"be" past participle' namely ,'They-might have been-invited-to the part' Here the 'y' of 'party' is missing.

Hello Ramachandran Vatakara,

Thank you very much for flagging this for us. We check our materials very carefully but mistakes sometimes get through and it's great that we have such observant users on the site.

I have updated the page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Teacher,

In the below sentence, is Let the main verb?

"Let's go to the beach".

Thanks
Harini

Hello harini,

Yes, I would say that 'let' is the main verb here and 'go' is an infinitive form.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question about the use of was vs is. Before each commercial of a given, a local TV station will state a message that says "This program is brought to you by (name of sponsor)". But, after the program, the same message is still stated. Is that still correct? Shouldn't it be "was brought", instead? And, why do other states "is being brought"? Thanks.

Marvinner the used tense for the TV ad is correct. the differnce between the present continuous and the present simple is that the present simple is used to give pure information valid at the time of speaking. it is an objective information. For example. when someone is alive. we say " HE LIVES IN LONDON" but once he is dead, we no longer say HE LIVES IN LONDON but HE LIVED IN LONDON because the relation between HE and LIVE IN LONDON is no longer valid. whereas the present continuous is used to explicit to justify, to comment on a fact. it is a sujective information located with respect to the speaker. he is is the only one who can guarrantee the truth of his utterance. the present continuous is always used to make clear a hidden reason. For example: "I am dying" only the speaker can tell you the reason why he says it. so when I say " this program is brought to you by...........", here I am just giving pure information. what I am saying is true at the very moment I say it, for without that sponsor you wouldn't be watching that TV program at that time and that the name of the sponsor is written on the TV screen. The ad uses the same message at the end because the information it states is still valid at that time. using the present continuous would mean explaining or justifying something that is not clear in the mind of your audience.

Hello Marvininer,

We don't generally comment on other websites or books, including TV adverts, but here I can say that I agree with you. Really, they should say 'has been brought' or 'was brought' afterward the programme, though I suppose one could argue that since the program is shown at a regular time each week, 'is brought' is also possibly correct. 'is being brought' is a present continuous form in the passive voice.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

By the way Kirk, I meant your analysis not "your answer"

Your answer is correct Kirk. because it's another thing when you do an advert. They are keeping broadcasting for this program weekly, so, it still brought by the advertiser. I hope my reply has no errors in grammar. hhhhh

Hi teacher, I do not understand the answer in the last task

- I (had been proceeding) in an easterly direction ...

And the proper answer of "had been proceeding" is active.
Can you explain more for me, please?

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