The Helping (Auxiliary) Verbs
Definition of Auxiliary Verb: A verb that helps to form other verbs.
The words in the purple cells are a special kind of auxiliary verb called a modal auxiliary.
Some usage problems:
Had of. Illiterate for had
ILLITERATE: I wish I had of gone.
RIGHT: I wish I had gone.
Had ought. Illiterate combination
WRONG: He hadn't of ought to have gone.
RIGHT: He ought not to have gone.
WRONG: He ought to go, had he not?
RIGHT: He ought to go, ought he not?
Have got. Colloquial and redundant.
COLLOQUIAL: I have got ten dollars.
STANDARD: I have ten dollars.
Can, may Can means to be able; may means to have permission.
RIGHT: Mary can (is able to) drive the car.
RIGHT: May I drive the car?
Should of. Illiterate corruption of should have.
We play a silly game at our house that involves the helping verbs. Sometimes one of the kids will ask a one-word question such as, 'when' or 'why'. I reply to my child's one word question with a helping verb that is not one of the 'be' verbs and that starts the game. The child then has to say a helping verb (not a 'be' verb). Then I have to say a helping verb. There is an even number of auxiliary verbs and because of that your child will always win once he/she has memorized them.
This game originated because many questions begin with an auxiliary verb. Ask your kids if they can start a sentence with an auxiliary verb that is not a question.
The rules: No helping verb can be said twice and the one who can't think of a helping verb loses. The winner only wins if he/she can recite the be verbs.