Please Note…

This page contains just one section of the FREE 47-page Giant Verb List PDF found here. The PDF version contains the Giant Verb List, the Giant Irregular Verb List, a Helping Verbs List, and a Linking Verbs List. Also, if you teach beginning writers or struggling writers, be sure to check out Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay on the homepage. I hope you find the verb list to be a valuable resource and tweet it, Pin-It, and tell others about it!

Two Version of the Same List:

1.  The Venn Diagram (above)
2.  The Two-Column Memorization List (below)

The Two-Column Memorization List

The following two-column list is divided up in order to help with easy memorization. Also, notice that the first eight words on both lists are the same exact words.

Helping Verbs
(Also called auxiliary verbs)
Linking Verbs
(Also called state of being verbs)
List of Helping Verbs
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The Simplest Fact in all of Grammar: There are just 23 helping verbs. Memorize them.

** Please see the irregular verb section in the FREE 47-page Giant Verb List PDF in order to understand the verb column system I use for making sense of verb suffixes, verb inflections, and verb tenses.
List of Linking Verbs
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Most lists of linking verbs contain around 20 words. However, some lists contain a variety of common verb phrases (helping verb + verb).

Here are a few common linking-verb verb phrases:

22. can be 23. could be 24. had been 25. has been 26. have been 27. may be 28. might be 29. might have been 30. should be 31. will be AND MORE!

Overlap between Helping Verbs and Linking Verbs

Can you tell how a word functions in a sentence just by looking at it? No. Let’s take a look at two sentences:

1.  The damaged board fell from the fence. (board = noun)
2.  We board the plane at 2:20 PM.  (board = verb)

Not only do these two words have different meanings, but they also function as different parts of speech. This concept is very important to understand when learning linking verbs and helping verbs. Let’s take a look at three sentences:

1.  Sue is happy. (is = linking verb)
2.  Sue is riding her bike. (is = helping verb)
3.  Sue is happy when she is riding her bike. (1st is = linking verb; 2nd is = helping verb)

As the Venn diagram visually illustrates and the Two-Column List clearly indicates, the first eight words on each list are the same words—the eight forms of BE or to be. Although these eight words look alike in a sentence, they do not function the same way. Put simply, when the words are used differently, they are different words.

Helping Verbs:  IS, AM, ARE, WAS, WERE, BE, BEEN, BEING

Linking Verbs: IS, AM, ARE, WAS, WERE, BE, BEEN, BEING

You will notice that all of the linking verbs are on the Giant Verb List or the Giant Irregular Verb List PDF. Why? Because linking verbs are main verbs. In contrast, none of the helping verbs are on the Giant Verb List or the Giant Irregular Verb List. Why? Because helping verbs are not main verbs. Once again, if the word is used as a helping verb, it is a helping verb (i.e., it is not a main verb, and it is not on the lists). However, if the word is used as a linking verb, it is a linking verb (i.e., it is a main verb, and it is on the lists). As I always say, it doesn’t matter how the word looks; it matters how the word acts.

Helping Verbs:  HAVE, HAS, HAD

Irregular Verbs: HAVE, HAS, HAD

Another confusing area of overlap is with HAVE, HAS, HAD. As the helping verb list indicates, HAVE, HAS, HAD are all helping verbs. However, HAVE is also an irregular verb (i.e., irregular main verb) with both HAS and HAD serving as inflections. Let’s take a look at three sentences:

1.  Sue has a bike. (has = main verb)
2.  Sue has been riding her bike. (has = helping verb)
3.  Sue has a bike and has been riding it all day. (1st has = main verb; 2nd has = helping verb)

Two Sentences with a One-Letter Difference

Let’s take a look at one final example. Surprisingly, everything in these two sentences is the same except for one letter. However, as you can see, that one letter changes the way that one word acts, which changes everything.

 

1.
- Helping Verb = has
- Main Verb = broken
- Complete Verb or Verb Phrase = has broken
2.
- Linking Verb = was
- Main Verb = was
- (Note: It's the same was!)
1. The window has broken.2. The window was broken.
Thewindowhasbroken.Thewindowwasbroken.
articlenounhelping verbmain verb
(past participle)
articlenounmain verb
(linking verb)
adjective
(predicate adjective)

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