Set I, 4

Finding Verbs

HELPING VERBS A verb may be preceded by one, two, or three helpers called "auxiliaries." ONE-WORD VERB Mr. Berton trains circus animals TWO-WORD VERB Did he train our school mascot? THREE-WORD VERB He has been training our school mascots for years FOUR-WORD VERB You should have been told about him long ago.

The helping verbs are in italic type. Occasionally, as in the second example, the parts of verb are separated.

The helping verbs are: (be group) is, be, am, are, was, were, been; (have group) has, have, had; (do group) do, does, did; (others) may, might; can, could; shall, should; will, would; must.

The have verbs, and the do verbs can be either main verbs or helping verbs.


Main Verb Helping Verb

Randy has a rowboat. He has painted it green. Its length is twelve feet. He is burning the name on the bow. He did all the work himself. Did he catch any trout? The boys were quiet all day. They were writing their own comics.


Find the verbs in the following account.


    1. Your eye is a masterpiece of fine workmanship.
    2. Like a motion-picture camera, your eye takes a series of pictures, ten exposures a second, 36,000 an hour.
    3. In a lifetime it takes billions of snapshots with only one film.
    4. It blends these still snapshots rapidly.
    5. Like a movie camera, the eye gives the impression of movement.
    6. Actually the eye switches on and off constantly.
    7. Half your daylight hours you live in complete darkness.
    8. Your mind simply disregards the blank intervals.
    9. Like an expensive camera, your eyes have shutters, lenses, filters, and focusing devices.
    10. The cornea acts as a protective covering for the eye.

    1. The eyelids, with the help of the tear glands, clean the cornea constantly.
    2. The iris is the shutter.
    3. An automatic light meter controls the shutter opening.
    4. In very bright light the opening is very tiny.
    5. At night the shutter opens wide.
    6. The lens too is remarkably adaptable.
    7. It acts as a color filter.
    8. 8. It filters out certain colors at the extremes of the spectrum.
    9. In later years we see fewer blues and violets.
    10. The cells of all parts of the eye are remarkably efficient and highly specialized.