A verb phrase consists of a main verb and its helping verbs. It can function as the predicate of a sentence. The predicate tells what the subject does or is. (It tells something about the subject).


John was born in Malindi.

This problem may have contributed to the collapse of the economy.

Without highly – trained workers, many Kenyan companies would be forced to close down.

Sometimes the parts of a verb phrase are separated from each other by words that are not verbs.



He is finally buying a new house.

Salesmen must occasionally travel long distances.

Some words are joined with other words to make contractions.


He hasn’t turned up for the meeting (has + not)

We couldn’t tell what had killed the cow. (could + not)

I’ve ordered them to leave the house. (I + have).

NB: The word not and the contraction n’t are adverbs.

They are never part of a verb or verb phrase.



Write the verb phrase in each of the following sentences.

  1. We should have taken pictures of the wild animals.
  2. You must have seen the posters of the event.
  3. They should have been told to come with flowers to plant in the school compound.
  4. Mr. Muchira would have told some interesting stories.
  5. Scientists must’ve visited the Menengai Crater.
  6. He must have seen some wonderful places.
  7. Many advocates do fear the new Chief Justice.
  8. The scouts have often made camp here.
  9. The bull fighters would sometimes stampede noisily.
  10. I could have read the book if he had allowed me.




  1. Should have taken 6. Must have seen
  2. Must have seen 7. Do fear
  3. Should have been told 8. Have made
  4. Would have told 9. Would stampede
  5. Must’ve visited 10. Could have read


See also:






Author: Mrs. Favour

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *