Types of verbs: Main, auxiliary and linking

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Unit 1

Main and auxilliary verbs


Welcome to the course on verbs! The course consits of three modules.You will be learning a lot of things about verbs and their uses in these modules.The first module will be treating different types of verbs. The first unit of this module will teach you what verbs are. The unit will also teach you two types of verbs,namely, main and auxilliary verbs.

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At the end of this lesson you will be able to:
  • define verbs
  • name and describe main and auxilliary verbs
  • use main and auxilliary verbs in sentences

Lesson Content

Definition of verbs

Verbs are the words you use to get others to perform some actions or carry out some activities and vice versa. You use verbs too to describe to others what you are doing and vice versa.One can say that verbs are the vihicle or means by which a language is transmitted from one person to others. They are therefore called action words or doing words. Can you list five action words in you language? I believe that you can.In this unit we will be learning about main and auxilliary verbs in English language.

Main verbs

Main verbs are those verbs that can stand on their own in sentences. They do not need the help of another verb to make a sentence meaningful. They are also called lexical verbs. Here are some examples: cook, buy,love,eat etc.Can you name some other examples of lexical verbs? Can you make sentences with these verbs? Here are some examples of sentences made with the above lexical verbs.

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I cook everyday;we love fufu and okro soup


  • List five lexical verbs
  • Make a sentence with each of them

Auxilliary verbs

These are verbs that are used with other verbs to make meaningful sentences. They are also called helping verbs. Here are some examples: will,shall,may,can,has,have etc. Here are some examples of sentences made with the above auxilliary verbs.

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He will come today.;I shall see him again.;We have cleaned the house.


Make a sentence with each of these words: may,can,has.

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In this unit you learnt what verbs are. You also learnt about two types of verbs: main and auxilliary verbs and how these could be used in sentences.You will learn more about types of verbs in the next unit. I hope you have enjoyed this lesson

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Underline the main and auxilliary verbs in these sentences

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Do the exercise on Lesson 2 p.10 of Oluikpe et al(2001)Effective English for Junior Secondary School