Auxiliary Verbs – Helping Verbs | Examples & Grammar Usage

Learn how to use Auxiliary Verbs in English with examples.

What are Auxiliary Verbs?

An auxiliary verb is a verb that adds functional or grammatical meaning to the clause in which it appears, such as to express tense, aspect, modality, voice, emphasis, etc. An auxiliary verb is most generally understood as a verb that “helps” another verb by adding grammatical information to it.

Certain auxiliaries have contracted forms, such as ‘d and ‘ll for had/ would and will/ shall.

The Verb DO

Forms of the verb do (do, does, did), when used with other verbs to enable the formation of questions, negation, emphasis, etc.

Examples:

  • Simple Present Tense:

He does not play volleyball.

  • Simple Past Tense:

He did not play volleyball.

  • Simple Present Tense:

Does he play volleyball?

  • Simple Past Tense:

Did he play volleyball?

The Verb HAVE

Forms of the verb have, when used to express perfect aspect.

Examples:

  • Present Perfect Simple Tense:

He has played volleyball.

  • Past Perfect Simple Tense:

He had played volleyball.

  • Present Perfect Progressive Tense:

He has been playing volleyball.

  • Past Perfect Progressive Tense:

He had been playing volleyball.

When used to express passive voice. Note that have is an irregular verb.

Example:

The house has/had been built.

The Verb BE

We use this verb for compound tenses and the passive voice. Note that “be” is an irregular verb.

Examples:

They are teachers.

This was a very interesting experience to them.

When used to express progressive aspect.

Examples:

  • Present Progressive Tense:

He is watching TV.

  • Past Progressive Tense:

He was watching TV.

  • Present Perfect Progressive:

He has been watching TV.

  • Past Perfect Progressive:

He had been watching TV.

When used to express passive voice.

Example:

A letter will be written.

The Verb WILL

Forms of the verb will, when used form the future tenses.

Examples:

He will not play volleyball.

Auxiliary Verbs | Picture

Auxiliary Verbs

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