3 Things to Know About Verb Phrase Structure
1) The verb element in a sentence comprises of one or more words that make up the verb phrase. For example:
I SAW a cat.
I HAVEN'T SEEN anything.
DID I SEE that?
I SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SEEING her.
2) The verb phrase consists of at least one main verb and can have up to four auxiliary verbs. For example:
b) is kissing.
c) has been kissing.
d) must have been kissing.
e) must have been being kissed. (This is rare).
3) Three types of verb can occur with the verb phrase.
a) Full - Or lexical - These have a clearly statable meaning and act as main verbs:
run, jump, go, look, want, think, find.
b) Modal auxiliary - These express a range of judgments about the events and can only be used as auxiliary verbs:
will, shall, may, might, can, could.
c) Primary - These can be either main or auxiliary verbs and there are three of them - BE, HAVE, DO. For example:
They ARE happy.
She HAS a dog.
They DO sums.
They ARE going.
She HAS seen it.
DO they go?
There are certain other verbs that do not fall clearly into these types.