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Auxiliary Verb
 

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are used together with a main verb to give grammatical information and therefore add extra meaning to a sentence, which is not given by the main verb.

Be, Do and Have are auxiliary verbs, they are irregular verbs and can be used as main verbs.

Modal verbs are also auxiliary verbs, but will be treated separately, these are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would..

To be

Be is the most common verb in the English language. It can be used as an auxiliary and a main verb. It is used a lot in its other forms.

Present tense form=am/is/are.

Past tense form=was/were.

Uses

Am/Is/Are

Question Positive Statement Negative Statement
Singular    
Am I? I am (I'm) I am not (I'm not)
Are you? You are (You're) You are not (You're not/You aren't)
Is he/she/it? He/she/it is (He's/She's/It's) He/she/it is not (He/she/it isn't// He/she/it's not)
Plural    
Are we? We are (We're) We are not (We aren't/We're not)
Are you? You are (You're) You are not (You aren't/You're not)
Are they? They are (They're) They are not (They aren't/They're not)

Examples

Am/Are Is
Question - ? "Am I disturbing you?" "Is this your coat"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes you are." "Yes it is"
Negative Answer - No "No you're not." "No it isn't"

!Note

The auxiliary verb 'be' can be followed either by the -ed form or by the -ing form.


To do

The verb do is one of the most common verbs in English. It can be used as an auxiliary and a main verb. It is often used in questions.

Uses

Do / Does
Question Positive Statement (spoken) Negative Statement (spoken)
Singular    
Do I? I do I do not (I don't)
Do you? You do You do not (You don't)
Does he/she/it? He/she/it does He/she/it does not (He/she/it doesn't)
Plural    
Do we? We do We do not (We don't)
Do you? You do You do not (You don't)
Do they? They do They do not (They don't)

Examples

Do Does
Question - ? "Do you always take the bus to work?" "Does she ever do her homework on time?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes I do." "Yes she does."
Negative Answer - No "No I don't." "No she doesn't."

!Note

The auxiliary verb 'do' is always followed by the base form (infinitive).


To have

Have is one of the most common verbs in the English language. See Tenses.

Have is used in a variety of ways.

Uses

Have/Has
Question
Positive Statement (spoken)
Negative Statement (spoken)
Singular    
Have I? I have (I've) I have not (I haven't/I've not)
Have you? You have (You've) You have not (You haven't/You've not)
Has he/she/it? He/she/it has (He/she/it 's) He/she/it has not (He/she/it hasn't)
Plural    
Have we? We have (We've) We have not (We haven't/We've not)
Have you? You have (You've) You have not (You haven't/You've not)
Have they? They have (They've) They have not (They haven't/They've not)

Have is often used to indicate possession (I have) or (I have got).

Examples

Have
Have got
Question - ? "Do you have a car?" or "Have you a car?" "Have you got a car?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes I have a car." "Yes I've got a car."
Negative Answer - No "No I don't have a car." "No I haven't got a car."

Have is also used to indicate necessity (I have to) or (I have got to).

Have to Have got to
Question - ? "Do you have to leave early?" "Have you got to leave early?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes I have to." or "Yes I do" "Yes I've got to."
Negative Answer - No "No I don't have to." "No I haven't got to."

Have is used to show an action.

Question - ? "Have you washed your face?"
Positive Answer - Yes " Yes I have."
Negative Answer - No " No I haven't."

!Note

When showing an action the auxiliary verb 'have' is always followed by the past participle form.

Helping verbs or auxiliary verbs such as will, shall, may, might, can, could, must, ought to, should, would, used to, need are used in conjunction with main verbs to express shades of time and mood. The combination of helping verbs with main verbs creates what are called verb phrases or verb strings.

 
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