We divide verbs into two broad classifications:
1. Helping Verbs
Imagine that a stranger walks into your room and says:
- I can.
- People must.
- The Earth will.
Do you understand anything? Has this person communicated anything to you? Probably not! That's because these verbs are
helping verbs and have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the grammatical structure of the sentence, but
they do not tell us very much alone. We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. They "help" the main verb. (The sentences
in the above examples are therefore incomplete. They need at least a main verb to complete them.) There are only about 15
2. Main Verbs
Now imagine that the same stranger walks into your room and says:
- I teach.
- People eat.
- The Earth rotates.
Do you understand something? Has this person communicated something to you? Probably yes! Not a lot, but something. That's
because these verbs are main verbs and have meaning on their own. They tell us something. Of course, there are thousands
of main verbs.