Helping verbs are sometimes referred to as auxiliary verb because they push the main verb along.

Sometimes a single action word (verb) does not have enough push by itself to make an impact on the audience it is trying to get a message across to. This is where the good ole’ helping verb comes in. A helping verb extends the meaning of a sentence a great deal. Helping verbs can extend expression in all times, amounts, and variety of actions occur in all kinds of different directions. These types of verbs can complicate things or make them easier, depending on the situation that they are used in. It entirely is at the discretion of the author and what they choose to do with it. There are three primary help verbs. These words include be, do, and have. These words can also be used as the main verb of a sentence. There are variations and plays off these words based on the tense structure that the sentence calls for. The word "be" can have two variations that can present as the word "is" in the continuous tense and as the word "are" in the passive tense.

These worksheets take students through a wide array of word usage. We start by working on simple word placement with sentences. We progress on to rewriting and editing sentences. The worksheets progress on to constructing well thought out sentences that exhibit solid syntax and adheres to grammar rules. Students will quickly learn that the most problematic use of this words comes with using the correct verb tense. Reading these sentences aloud can be used as a confirming practice.

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Printable Helping Verbs Worksheets

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Helpers Worksheet


A main verb shows the action or the state of being in a sentence. A helping verb works with the main verb to show when the action or state of being occurs (in the past, present or future).

Rewrite the Sentences Worksheet

Rewrite the Sentences

Rewrite each sentence below, adding a word so that the action happened in the past. Alter the main verb as necessary.

Using Helping Verbs Worksheet

Using Helping Verbs

Read each sentence below. Circle whether or not the word is used correct.

Choose the Word Worksheet

Choose the Correct Word

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

Verbs that Help Worksheet

Verbs that Help

Rewrite each sentence, adding word so that the sentence makes sense.

Lend a Hand Worksheet

Verbs That Lend a Hand

Read each sentence below. Circle the correct word to go in the blank.

Is It Right Worksheet

Is It Right?

Each of the following sentences uses a helping verb. Read each sentence. If it is used correctly, write correct on the line. If the sentence is incorrect, write the correct word on the line.

Choosing Words Worksheet

Choosing Words

Complete each sentence by writing a new word on the line.

Rewriting Sentences Worksheet

Rewriting Sentences

Rewrite each sentence using a word to show that the action takes place in the past, present or future, as indicated in parenthesis.

Circle It Up Worksheet

Circle It Up!

Read each sentence below. Circle the correct word to complete the sentence.

Choose To Correct Worksheet

Choose To Correct

What word would finish off this sentence nicely? Be creative with your choice.

Underline Twice Worksheet

Underline Twice

For each sentence below, underline the verb once. Underline the helping verb twice.

Complete Package Worksheet

The Complete Package

Complete each sentence below by putting a new word in there.

Where Does It Start Worksheet

Where Does It Start?

Complete each sentence to the best of your ability.

Usage Worksheet

The Words: May, Might, Must, Can, Could

Which of these words fits each sentence best?

What are Helping Verbs?

Helping verbs are verbs that help express the timing or manner of action. They are often used with main verb form to show how an action is done. They can be present, past, or future tense and include other terms such as "be," "have," and "do." Knowing how to use terms properly and the reasoning behind it is important for making your writing clear and concise.

Most people know that verbs describe actions or states of being. These important little words can single-handedly change the meaning of a sentence.

There are 23 helping verbs in English: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, have, has, had, do, does, did, shall, will, would, may, might, must, can, could, and should.

While this may seem like a lot of verbs to remember, many are similar in meaning. For example, the helping verbs shall and will both indicate future tense. And the terms may and might both express possibility.

Types of Helping Verbs

There are two types: primary and auxiliary. The main difference between the two is that primary helping verbs cannot stand alone, while auxiliary forms can.


Primary helping verbs include forms of the verb "to be" (am, is, are, was, were), as well as the modal verbs (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would). These verbs are used to create the tense of a sentence. For example:

1. I am writing a paper.
2. She is going to the store.
3. They were eating dinner when I arrived.


Auxiliary helping verbs include forms of the verb "to do" (do, does), as well as the modal verbs (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would). These verbs are used to express ability or possibility. For example:

1. He could run faster than me.
2. We may go to the park later.
3. They might be at the library.

How to Identify Them

First, it may be helpful to think of these parts of speech as the "helping hands" of a sentence. Just as we use our hands to help us do things like write or pick up objects, helping verbs help us create complete thoughts in language.

Another way to help identify them is to think about them as the words that tell us when something happened. For example, the helping verb "was" can say that something happened in the past. Similarly, the helping verb "will" can tell us that something will happen in the future. By understanding how these words work, kids can better understand how to use them in their writing.

Finally, it can be helpful for kids to make a list of the most commonly used terms that are classified as this part of speech. This way, they can refer to it when unsure which verb to use. Some of the most common helping verbs include "is," "are," "was," and "were." By becoming familiar with these words, kids can start to use them correctly in their writing.

Wrapping Up

They come before the main verb in a sentence and provide additional information about the action or state of being. In some cases, they can even change the meaning of the main verb.