Ory's writing notes: The Verb Part 2, Helping and Linking Verbs.

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Helping and Linking Verbs, the next two categories of verbs. While, in my opinion, not as powerful as an action verb, they do serve a purpose.

Helping Verbs (Auxilary verbs): helps the main verb show tense or possibility. They have to be used in a verb phrase.

To be verbs (Am, Is, Are, Was, Were, Be, Being, Been) These are used in progressive tense and passive voice verbs. (I read an interesting thread the other day on Passive Voice [Which I will get to later] on how Was is always passive voice. This is not true as Was can be used as both as a linking verb and helping verb, and even when used as a helping verb, it does not mean it is passive, as it could also be progressive.)

Progressive: I was beating up the bully.
Passive: I was beaten.

To have verbs: (Have, Has, Had, Having) These are used in perfect tense. I am not a huge fan of Perfect Tense, and I will get to why later.

I have Danced. (You are going to see me use the Dance example a lot.)

To Do Verbs (Do, Does, Did, Doing): these don't change the tense of the verb, they just empathize the main verb. (This can be a very powerful tool in terms of Subtext.)

I danced.

I did Dance.

You can just feel the difference between the two sayings.

Conditionals (Modal Auxiliary): Could, Should, Would, Can, Shall, Will, May, Might, Must. These express Possibility, obligation, permission, ability, Necessity, and intention. For me, the Modal Auxiliaries are the most important aspect of helping verbs. They can change your verbs in such a subtle and subtextual way.) I'll use a good example of this all works.

Could = It is the possibility that I will be able to. (I could kill you.)
Should = I have an obligation to do it. (I should kill you.)
Would = It is the possibility under certain conditions. (I would kill you if you lied to me.)
Can = I am able to do it. (I can kill you.)
Shall = Used in 1st person in place of Will (I shall do this, You will do that.) (I shall kill you soon.)
Will = It is my intention in the future. (You will kill me.)
May = I have permission to do it, or it is a possibility. (I may kill you.)
Might = It is a possibility. (I might kill you.)
Must = It is a necessity. (I must kill you. I'm sorry.)

Overall, Conditionals can be very important depending on what subtle meaning you want to give your words.


Linking Verbs: Linking verbs shows a relationship between the subject of the sentence and a noun or adjective. (This is the basis of Figures of Speech, where you link one thing to another.)

Linking verbs can be any of the To Be verbs (Look above for the list) or: Appear, Become, Feel, Grow, Look, Remain, Seem, Smell, Sound, Stay, Taste, Turn. (Notice how this list is all sensation based?)

A Note on To Be Verbs: To Be verbs can be used in Helping verbs, Linking verbs, and State of being (Where or When).

State of being: I am in London.

Helping: I was dancing.

Linking: She is a Bear.

Also, To Be verbs can slow up the pace of your story and make it weaker if overused.

Here is an example: I was dancing. vs. I danced. The first was is a helping verb, the second is an action Verb. In Fantastical Horror, using the first example would be acceptable if you were trying to create possibility. He was dancing, he is still? It creates a sense of possibility and doubt. However, if you just trying to create motion in your imagery, the action verb is the better of the two.

A Note on Appear, Become, Feel, Grow, Look, Remain, Seem, Smell, Sound, Stay, Taste, Turn. These verbs can be used as either Action verbs or Linking Verbs.

I taste Strawberries (Action.)

She taste like Strawberries (Linking)

In conclusion, I'd like to use my opening two sentences and point out all the nouns and verbs as it uses all three categories of verbs. I'll underline all the Nouns, and bold the Verbs.

In a dark vestibule, cockroaches roamed (Action verb) up and down the walls, and in and out of the air vents. I could feel (This is helping verb. It tells that the speaker is able to feel the sound) the sound of a thousand tapping steps between the drywall and the studs; it felt (This is a linking verb, I am linking what the sound feels like to an actual sensation) as if they were crawling (Helping Verb) in between my muscles and bones on my arms, legs, and chest.

There is a lot going on in these two sentences rather than just the verbs and nouns (I am using prepositional phrases to create a sense of motion, and I am using a figure of speech in a literal way to create hesitation in the reader, but I'll get to that stuff later.)

This concludes my notes on the Categories of verbs. The next thing I will be focusing on is the tenses of verbs.
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