Auxiliary verbs

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

An auxiliary verb is one which helps other verbs to make tenses, passive forms etc. There are two groups - primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries.

Primary auxiliaries

Be, do, have and their various forms are called primary auxiliaries.

Be is used with other verbs to make progressive and passive verbs forms.

Do is used to make questions, negatives and emphatic forms of non-auxiliary verbs.

Have is used to make perfect verbs forms.

Primary auxiliaries merely help to express statements of fact.

Note that be, do and have can also function as principal verbs. They are called auxiliaries only when they help other verbs to form their tenses and moods.

Sections in this article

Primary Auxiliaries
Be as an ordinary verb
Be as an auxiliary verb
Be: structures
Do
Have
Have: structures