Grammar: What are the helping verbs?

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auxilliary verbs and helping verbs english grammar

Hi Ajarn Ken,

What are the helping verbs and how are they used in English? Can you explain this clearly to me?

Thanks!! 

Mimi from Phillipines


Hi Mimi

Main verbs are often supported by helping verbs or sometimes called auxiliary verbs. These verbs help to form verb phrases.

The primary or main auxiliary verbs are:

  • be
  • have
  • do

Look at the following examples:

  • I’m warning you now. Give me that book. (Using the auxiliary verb be.)
  • Chloe has gone to bed now. (Using the auxiliary verb has / have.)
  • Do you want to play squash on Thursday? (Using the auxiliary verb do.)

Be careful as sometimes these verbs are used as main verbs.

For example:

  • I’m Mark.
  • Amy has the ball.
  • I do crosswords.

Hope this answers your question! Thanks for your email!

Ajarn Ken

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