Auxiliary verb

Definition: 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 Past tense form
am/is/are
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. 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.


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