Super Grammar: April 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Modal Helping Verb!

The Modal Helping Verb is another faithful sidekick to The Verb, and this helpful Verb Team member has the power to modify the Main Verb in order to help a sentence express possibility, necessity, or expectation.

Here’s an example:
I may spare your planet.

The main verb of this sentence, “spare,” is being assisted by a modal helping verb, “may,” to help it express possibility.

Without the aid of the modal helping verb, “may,” the main verb of this sentence would only be able to express a basic state of action, “I spare.”

But with the modal helping verb’s assistance, the main verb, “spare,” can make the shift into expressing the possibility of the action, “I may spare.”

The chart below is a list of modal helping verbs and how they’re used to help the main verb of a sentence.

Modal Helping Verbs
Help to express possibility
can, could, may, might
Help to express necessity
must, ought
Help to express expectation
will, would, shall, should

The Modal Helping Verb has the power to help The Verb express possibility, necessity, or expectation. 


I can crush you.

can: helping the main verb, "crush," show possibility. 

I must defuse this bomb.

must: helping the main verb, "defuse," show necessity.

I shall protect you.

shall: helping the main verb, "protect," show expectation.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Verb Team!

Hello friends,

Inside Super Grammar you are introduced to the Verb Team, and you learn that this energetic team consists of two members: The Verb and the Primary Helping Verb.

The Verb is the team leader, and she uses her amazing energy to empower sentences with her power of expression. This power allows our sentences to express either a state of action or a state of being. (See pages 60-71 in Super Grammar.)
The Primary Helping Verb is the Verb's sidekick. She faithfully assists the Verb in performing complex tasks within a sentence, such as changing tenses, making positive or negative statements, and asking questions. (See pages 72-75 in Super Grammar.)

After reading about these two sentence-superheroes, you'll quickly come to understand that the members of the Verb Team are key players in our sentences, and that they are constantly working to give our sentences all the power they need to fully and properly express themselves in many different and complex ways.

Now, if that sounds like it's a very big job for just two Verb Team members to handle, well, you're right—it is.

But fear not, citizens, for the Verb Team does have more help!

Her name is the Modal Helping Verb, and we'll be introducing you to her in our very next Super Grammar post.

The Super Grammar Team