You are on page 1of 28

Auxiliary verbs

What are auxiliary verbs?


Basically, auxiliary verbs are function words, a type of closed class which
is constituted of words that have a grammatical function as opposed
to content words, which are an open class of lexical words. An auxiliary
verb is used to add functional or grammatical content to the information
expressed by another verb, considered to be the main verb. Auxiliary
verbs are also called helping verbs
Examples:

I am writing a book.

He has done the work.

We will be there in a minute.

Would you help me with this homework?

Can you open the door?

Did you visit New York last holiday?

Do you like chocolate?

They must get there on time.

List of auxiliary verbs


This is a list of English auxiliary verbs:

be (am, are, is, was, were, being),

can,

could,

do (did, does, doing),

have (had, has, having),

may,

might,

must,

shall,

should,

will,

would

Auxiliary verbs are the verbs which help the main verb and give extra
meaning to it. For example:
"I have studied English for three years."
The auxiliary verb have changes the tense of the sentence to present
perfect, so we know the activity is ongoing.
"I studied English for three years."
In this case there is no auxiliary verb and the sentence is therefore past
simple, which means the activity has finished. So auxiliary verbs are very
important for understanding the meaning of a sentence!
In the following sentences, which auxiliary verb do you need to use? How
many did you get correct??
Today's lesson is by Caroline.
Link: What are Auxiliary verbs?

1. I ___ going to the beach later.

is
have
am

2. ___ you have a pen I can borrow?

Have
Do
Will

3. ___ you got ballet tomorrow?

Can
Do
Have

4. I ___ cook three different types of cheesecake.

can
have
am

5. She ___ back yet. We will have to wait for her.

hasn't
isn't
is

6. ___ you ever been to South Africa?

Did
Have
Were

7. I really ___ visit my Grandfather.

might
can
must

8. I ___ do my homework later.

have
am
will

9. ___ you allergic to anything?

Do
Have
Are

10. I ___ tidy my room, but I don't want to.

have
should
am

Bookmark/Search this post with:

Login or register to post comments

Comments
Wed, 06/16/2010 - 08:57 Ahmed Rio
Eng. Ahmed Gharouda
Thanks indeed for lesson I have made just one mistake and it was number
5 , but I need your help in past perfect and present perfect and when we
can use them in whole paragraph not just how I can make a sentences and
what's the rule but I need to know how I full the paragraph with it.
that's all for now.
please help .... thanks

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:31 bayan2


Hey! How it can be " have
Hey! How it can be " have got" for "tomorrow"?
Is it something wrong with me or...?

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:43 papasforever


I agree with you.Because
I agree with you.Because have got shows that something has started in
the past and either it has just finished in the present or it is still
continued.
The correct one would be something like are you having ballet tomorrow
or do you have ballet tomorrow (if we use present simple with the
scheduled meaning)

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:47 Chris McCarthy


Bayan2
"Have you got..?" has the same meaning as "Do you have..?". Don't think
that 'got' makes the sentence past tense.
Chris

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:41 papasforever


Isn't 'have you got' form
Isn't 'have you got' form usually used for expressing possession?

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 14:47 Chris McCarthy


Yes, as in, "Have you got a
Yes, as in, "Have you got a pet?" or "Do you have a pet?"
Chris

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:40 papasforever


all correct
Thank you for the lesson,although you forgot to mention that sometimes
auxiliary verbs can emphasize the meaning of the sentence.
For example;
I play the piano
I do play the piano (the auxiliary verb do emphasizes the meaning of the
sentence)

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/16/2010 - 13:40 ynastia


Auxiliary Verbs
I got all correct! Thank you, Caroline!

Login or register to post comments

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 05:26 altaf


to decide 'is' or 'has'
Regarding sentence 5,Could you please explain
about the difference
She isn't back yet.We will have to wait for her.
She hasn't back yet. We will have to wait for her.
The situations of these sentences are likely to be used.
Is it wrong to use hasn't in that sentence.

Login or register to post comments

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 06:47 Chris McCarthy


"She isn't back yet" is
"She isn't back yet" is correct. It means that at this point, 'she' has not
returned from where she went. She is expected to return.
"She hasn't back yet." in this form is not good grammar. To make this
sentence correct we must include the verb 'come': "She hasn't come back
yet."
'Come back' is a phrasal verb, meaning 'return'.
"She isn't back yet" and She hasn't come back yet" both have the same
meaning.
Chris

Login or register to post comments

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 05:33 altaf


Thanks Chris
Oh! It's a clear explanation.
I knew Chris would clear my doubt with ease.
Right now,lam happy that I've learnt an usage.

Login or register to post comments

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 08:28 hameedullah.hakim


Fluently learning writing and speaking English language request

I really appreciate your hard working and excellent techniques for


teaching online the most popular and lovely (English) language, please
send me some information regarding writing paragraph and letter, and
guild me how to speak English so fluently
Thank you
I really need them very soon

Login or register to post comments

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 09:24 papasforever


I second this request,if
I second this request,if it's possible.
Or actually,why don't you start the creation of some proficiency (ex ECPE)
style notes regarding vocabulary,grammar,reading,etc?

Login or register to post comments

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 21:03 Yura


Auxiliary Verbs
It was not difficult for me - only one mistake # 9 - but I think it was lack of
attention
Thank you for the Lesson!!!

Login or register to post comments

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 12:57 snjezanakov


auxiliary verbs
only two mistake, wonderful, it is very useful.
sneki

Login or register to post comments

Fri, 06/18/2010 - 15:32 Bamboocha


Just two mistakes. It looks
Just two mistakes. It looks simple but I drewn blank in 5 and 9.

Login or register to post comments

Wed, 06/30/2010 - 13:05 faili


Only number 5 wrong
I got wrong on number 5 but Chris had explain it. <- is this right
sentence?

What's an auxiliary verb?


Besides acting as the main verb of a sentence, verbs are also helpful in a number of
other ways, which are not so obvious. There are also auxiliary or 'helping' verbs that
are used in a variety of ways. The main auxiliary verbs are be, have and do.
They are used with main verbs to make specific tenses:

He is coming. present continuous

She wasn't driving. past continuous

We haven't seen an eclipse before. present perfect

She had dropped her keys. past perfect

The verb be + a past participle is also used to make passive forms:

The road is mended once a year.

The engines are made in Germany.

The votes are being counted in the hall.

The whales had been driven onto the shore.

The auxiliary verbs are used to make questions:

Do you want a drink?

Don't you like opera?

Have you finished the work yet?

Which train do you think you'll catch?

Auxiliary verbs are used to make exclamations:

Wasn't she awful!

Haven't you grown!

Didn't they do well!

Isn't it freezing!

To make questions tags:

We're very happy, aren't we?

It's cold, isn't it?

You don't like fish, do you?

You haven't had a happy childhood, have you?

Note that the verb to be is the most common verb in English and it is the only one
that can operate as both a main verb and an auxiliary verb. It doesn't need any
additional help to make questions or negatives.

I am very happy.

Am I very happy?

I'm not very happy.

Compare this with the verbs do and have which need additional help to make
questions and negatives.

I have a very large nose. I don't have a very large nose.

I do my piano practice at 6 o'clock. I don't do my piano practice.

What's a modal auxiliary verb?


They are also 'helping' verbs because they are used to express a range of
meanings, such as certainty, probability, possibility, suggestion, permission,
instructions, requests, obligations, necessity, ability and so on. The main modal
auxiliary verbs are:

can, could, may, might

shall, should, will, would

must, ought, to

also need to be able to, have (got) to

The main types of use of modal auxiliary verbs


certainty / probability (must, will, ought to, can't, should)

He must be feeling very unhappy at the moment.

She ought to forget him, and move on.

possibility (may, might, could, can)

She might arrive on the 5 o'clock train.

They may come on Sunday, but I'm not sure.

suggestion (may, could, shall, might)

Shall we start again?

You may want to read over your essay again.

permission (may, can, could)

Can I connect this wire now?

You may begin the examination.

instructions and requests (would, will, can, could)

Can you explain that in words of one syllable?

Could you close the door, please?

obligations / necessity (must, have to, have got to)

I must send my mother a card on her birthday.

I've got to re-write this essay.

ability (can, could, be able to)

I couldn't stop laughing!

He won't be able to shift that stone.

Does / Is / Has?
A: My sister
B: What
A: She
B: Where
A: She
B:

very clever.
she do?
a teacher in a primary school.
she live?
a lovely house in the country.

she married?

A: Yes. Her husband's name


B:

Ray.

she have any children?

A: Yes. A girl called Mary. She

Be / other auxiliaries

eight years old. She

a lot of friends.

. Where

the hat?

2. Where

the shoes?

3. They

on the floor.

4. Where
5. I
6.

7. She
8. We

you live?
Australian.
I open the window, please?

at school.
in the kitchen.

'do', 'have' or 'be' ?


1. What

you do ?

2. When

Bryan got his new console ?

3. How
4. What gift
5. Who

you know my secret ?


you got ?
the killer ?

6. How long

you been here for ?

7. How many children


8. Where
9. Why

they got ?

I?
you always hurt me?

10. How many books

you buy in a year ?

'do', 'have' or 'be' ?


Complete with the right auxiliary.

English exercise "'do', 'have' or 'be' ?" created by anonyme with The test
builder
Click here to see the current stats of this English test [Save] [Load] [?]
1. What

you do ?

2. When

Bryan got his new console ?

3. How
4. What gift
5. Who
6. How long

you know my secret ?


you got ?
the killer ?
you been here for ?

7. How many children

they got ?

8. Where
9. Why

I?
you always hurt me?

10. How many books

you buy in a year ?

1. ________ he as mean as people say?


Is
Does
Has

2. ________ he know how to cook well?


Has
Does
Is

3. ________ you upset?


Do
Are
Have

4. ________ you told her yet?


Do

Are
Have

5. ________ they ever been here before?


Do
Have
Are

6. ________ that a good movie?


Does
Has
Is

7. ________ she in love with Marco?


Is
Has
Does

8. ________ you stopped smoking?


Have
Do

Are

9. ________ you play tennis on weekends?


Are
Do
Have

10. ________ your grandmother 80 years old?


Has
Does
Is

1. What ___ you done to the microwave? It's broken!

Did
Have
Were

2. I ___ not going to ballet today, I'm exhausted.

Am
Have
Did

3. My best friend from Cape Town ___ sent me a letter.

Did
Has
Is

4. I ___ need to go to university today, my professor cancelled the


class.

Haven't
Does
Don't

5. I ___ really enjoying my Spanish classes.

Are
Have
Am

6. ___ you see The X-Factor last night?

Am
Did
Have

7. She ___ not know how to swim.

Does
Is
Has

8. ___ you ever eaten crocodile?

Did
Have
Are

9. Her plane ___ just arrived.

Is
Has
Does

10. ___ you know the way to the closest supermarket?

Have
Do
Are

Are you married?


Yes, I do.
Yes, I am.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?


I have two sons.
I have two brothers.

Is he your nephew?
No, he isn't.
No, he don't.

What does your wife do?


She's a housewife.
Yes, she is.

Do you live with your family?


No, I'm not.
No, I don't.

Do you have a daughter?


Yes, I do.
Yes, she is.

Is this your father?


Yes, he is.
Yes, I am.

Where is your uncle?


He's with my aunt.
He's not.

Do you have a dog?


Yes, we do.
No, he doesn't.

Does your mother work?


No, she's a housewife.
Yes, she is.

Fill in with: Be, have , do.

English exercise "Ask a question" created by anonyme with The test


builder
Click here to see the current stats of this English test [Save] [Load] [?]
1. Where

your grandparents live? In Wales.

2. Where

they from ? The United Kingdom.

3. Where

they come from ? The United Kingdom.

4. Where

Jim from ?

5. Where

he live ?

6. How old
7. How

he ? 13.
he go to school ? By bus.

8. How many brothers and sisters


9. When
10. Where
11. What colour
12. When

he got ?

his parents drive him home from school ? On Fridays.


he meet his schoolfriends ?
his uniform ? Dark blue.
he born ? In 1992.

complete with auxiliaries and pronouns

1. Are you interested in languages? Yes,


2. Does Mary like going to reataurants? No,
3. Do you and your friends often travel abroad together?
No,
.
4. Is MIchael really your best friend? Of course
5. Has Manolo got 'Juanes's' last CD? Yes,
6. Can I go out for a while? NO,

. Wait til the end of

the class.
7. Mary and her friend passed the the exam but

8. A lot of people in the world eat every day, but there are
more people who
9. Were you near when the accident happened? No, we
10. We weren't living in Germany during that time, but
Paco
and told us everything.
11. Are you going to classes this year? NO,

not

12. She forgot to bring her skis but we


13. Does Tricia enjoy dancing? Yes, she
14. Is Dymitry Spanish? Yes,
Ukranian.

, but we
but his father is

15. Cheng and I are good friends but

go out

together.

1. Tellme,
you coming to
the party?
2. They
finished the job.

3. What
you do every
Sunday?
4. I
like to watch TV. There
is a good film on.
5. She
not want to stay at
home. She wants to go out with her friends.
6. He
called me twice this
morning.
7. What
she do in her free
time?

8. Where
they go
yesterday?
9. She
always wanted to
meet him.
10.

What
they doing

when you came in?


11.

1. What

you been doing?


2. Why

come to the party yesterday?


3. I
like his
jokes. They made me sick.
4. Mercedes cars
made in Germany.

5. I am mad about fish but I


like roast chicken.

6. America

discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492.


7. They

met her in Paris.


8. Where

going when I met you?


9. Is it true that you
making a trip to Africa next week?

10.

She
come yet; we're still waiting for her.

Exercises: Can, Could, Be able to


Fill in the correct form of can, could or be able to as in the examples.
1. Ben could not help his little brother with his homework yesterday.
2. Can I call you later tonight?
1. _______ Tony run long distances when he was a boy?
2. ______ you please call a tow truck for me? My car broke down. (polite)
3. The students _______ to buy their textbooks today. The bookstore is
all out of them.
4. ______ you teach me how to fix my computer? Youre so good at it.

5. ______ you ______ reach the customer if you call him at 4:00 his time?
Answers:
1. Could
2. Could
3. arent able
4. Can
5. Will/be able to
ONLINE ENGLISH GRAMMAR QUIZ
topic: English auxiliary verbs (to be, to do, to have) 3 | level:
Intermediate/Advanced

Fill in each blank space with the correct auxiliary verb:

1. ________ the teacher explain this properly?


Did
Was
Had

2. ________ the professor angry?


Did
Was
Had

3. ________ you spoken to him before he called you?


Had
Did
Were

4. If you ________ told me, I would have never found out.


didn't
weren't
hadn't

5. ________ they seeing each other?


Did
Had
Were

6. ________ they continue seeing each other?


Did
Had
Were

7. ________ you learn anything?


Hadn't
Didn't
Weren't

8. ________ he in my American History class?


Didn't
Wasn't
Hadn't

9. I realized that I ________ learned a thing (= anything).


didn't
wasn't
hadn't

10. ________ your sister living in Paris for a while?


Hadn't
Wasn't
Didn't