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Hi y'all

Consider the following sentence:

"Learning may be easy, if you are learning from a good teacher, but teaching is work."

According to a home study course I'm doing, "are learning" is a verb, but "may be" is not. Apparently, "may" is the verb by itself. Can anyone explain the technical difference between the constructions "are learning" and "may be"?

Thanks

John.
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Yes, whl you're right!

>>"Learning may be easy, if you are learning from a good teacher, but teaching is work."

Verbs in this sentence are:
may, be;
are, learning;
is

may & be; are & learning belong together - they build the predicate of each part of the sentence - in this sentence, "may" and "are" are helping verbs, the first used to express a modus (may= in this sentence equal to can, could) (modal helping verbs are always followed by the infinitive of the full verb); the latter used to form the present progressive tense (followed by the full verb in its present participle form):

Learning may (modal helping verb) be (full verb - infinitive) easy, if you are ('be' as a helping verb to form a progressive tense) learning (full verb - present participle) from a good teacher, but teaching is ('be' as a full verb) work.

Hope I could help you Emotion: smile
Comments  
' may ' is only an auxilliary verb to the best of my knowledge, isn't it ?
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 Pemmican's reply was promoted to an answer.
Yes, thank you - a very helpful reply.

I think the assertion by the lecturer (that "may" alone was the verb) must have been a momentary oversight in speaking before a class. We all make unconscious misstatements occasionally.