Writers use verb phrases to convey the meaning of an action and the time in which the action occurs. Verb phrases consist of two or more words in a sentence. The main verb is a regular verb, like dance or talk, which shows the action performed by the subject of a sentence. In a verb phrase, the main verb is preceded by one or more helping verbs, such as is, was, have or might.

Verb Phrases in Writing

To check for verb phrases in writing, you look for a common helping verb and one main action verb following it. The verb phrase may include more than one helping verb. Examples of verb phrases include: is riding, was talking, might call, should have been walking, have played hard, might have taken and will bake.