A helping verb is a verb that helps another verb in a sentence by showing tense [when an action happened or will happen], mood [whether the thing actually happened / will happen, or is a suggestion or possibility], or voice [who or what is doing the action].
- In the sentence “She is eating lunch,” the helping verb “is” shows the present tense.
- In the sentence “They could have won,” the helping verb “could” shows an alternative possibility for an action that has already happened.
- In the sentence “He should study for the test,” the helping verb “should” shows a suggestion.
Very Simple Definition:
A helping verb is a word that helps another word show when something is happening, or whether it’s actually happening or is just a suggestion or possibility.
- “She is eating lunch.” (shows happening now)
- “They could win.” (shows a possibility)
- “He should study for the test.” (shows a suggestion)