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Grammar Books

Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs

Auxiliary means functioning in a supporting capacity, and that is exactly what these auxiliary verbs do, which is why they are also known as helping verbs. They are used together with a main verb to give grammatical information and therefore add extra meaning to a sentence; information that is not given by the main verb.

They are used to form the passive voice.

They are used to form the continuous tense.

They are used to form the perfect tense.

Be, Do and Have are auxiliary verbs, they are irregular verbs and can be used as main verbs. The verbs 'to be' and 'to have' are the most commonly used auxiliary verbs and work alongside the main verbs in any statement.

Modal verbs are also auxiliary verbs, but will be treated separately, these are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would, they differ from the others in that they can never function as a main verb.

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.

Base form = be

Present form = am/is/are

Past form = was/were

Present Participle / Gerund = being

Past Participle = been

More on the Verb To Be
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.

Base form = do

Present form = do/does

Past form = did

Present Participle / Gerund = doing

Past Participle = done

More on the Verb To Do
!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.

Base form = have

Present form = have / has

Past form = had

Present Participle / Gerund = having

Past Participle = had

More on the Verb To Have

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