Auxiliary Verbs in English

Auxiliary Verbs in English are the verbs that merely help principal verbs in the formation of various verb forms.

Auxiliary verbs in English are important as structural verbs.

Types of Auxiliary Verbs

Rules Applicable to all Auxiliary Verbs in English


  • The negative is formed by putting not after auxiliary. Examples: I can not, They do not, I must not.
  • The interrogative is formed by inverting the subject and verb. Examples: Can he? May we? Maust I?

Types of Auxiliary Verbs in English


Auxiliary Verbs in English are of two types:

PRIMARY AUXILIARIESBe Verb: is, am, are, was, were, been, being
Have Verb: have, has, had, having
Do Verb: do, does, did
MODAL AUXILIARIEScan, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, dare, need, used to, ought to


The Primary Auxiliary verbs in English are, do, have, be.

TO BE

TYPE 1: To make a Passive Voice

  • It will be done in a short time. (Passive Voice)
  • The work is being done. (Passive Voice)
  • The sum has been worked out. (Passive Voice)

TYPE 2: To make Present Progressive

  • The girl is dancing. (Present Progressive)
  • I am doing the sum. (Present Progressive)
  • They are playing football. (Present Progressive)

TYPE 3: To make Past Progressive

  • He was sleeping at night. (Past Progressive)
  • The boys were reading in the class. (Past Progressive)

TO HAVE

TYPE 1: To make a Passive Voice

The work had been done. (Passive Voice)

TYPE 2: To make Present Perfect

I have done the work. (Present Perfect)
He has gone, to school. (Present Perfect)

TYPE 3: To make Past Perfect

They had collected a picture. (Past Perfect)

TYPE 4: To form Nominative Absolute

The sun having risen, the darkness disappeared. (Nominative Absolute)

TO DO

TYPE 1: To make an Interrogative sentence

  • Do you study in class X?
  • Does he take tea?
  • Did she write a letter?

TYPE 2: To make a Negative sentence

  • I do not like him.
  • He does not go to school.
  • They did not play football yesterday.

Shortened forms of ‘do’ auxiliaries :

do notdon’tI don’t do this work.
does notdoesn’tHe doesn’t do this work.
did notdidn’tHe didn’t do that work.

TYPE 3: To give stress on a statement

  • I do hereby authorize you.
  • He did help you, and you should not deny that.


Modal Auxiliary Verbs in English are can, may, shall, will, must, ought to, used to, need, and dare. They do not have-s’ forms or -ed participles. Can, may, shall, will, have special past forms (could, might, should, would), but the remainder (such as must) do not.

MODALSFUNCTIONSEXAMPLES
Willasking
possibility
suggestion
Will you go to school?
It will rain today.
You will not keep late hours at night before the exam.
WouldrequestingWould you give me a pen?
Shallasking
possibility
Shall I do the work?
I hope I shall complete the project within a week.
Shouldsuggest
seeking advice
You should walk a mile in the morning.
Should we go for a walk?
Canability
possibility
The boy can speak English fluently.
We can hold a condolence meeting for his death this Sunday.
Couldability
requesting
He could do the sum.
Could you help me to solve the problem?
Maypossibility
permission
offering
He may come here today.
May I come in?
May I get you a cup of tea?
Mightpossibility
suggestion
His statement might be true.
You might just as well go.
Mustobligation
certainty
strong probability
prohibition
You must obey your teacher.
Man must die one day.
You must be tired after a long journey.
We must not waste our time.
Darehave the courage
challenge
negative force
interrogation
He dare not say so. (not dares’)
I dare you to prove that you’ve said so.
He dare not follow you.
Who dares to enter the room?
Needprohibition
interrogation
You need not (needn’t) come here.
Need he go there?
Used tohabitual action in the pastMy father used to teach me English.
Ought toobligation
strong likelihood
You ought to work hard.
The lawyer ought to be able to help you.

You Asked, We Listened – List of All Grammar Chapters Updated 😍😍


Also, Read


Main Verbs and Helping Verbs

Main and Helping Verbs

24 Auxiliary Verbs List

24 Auxiliary Verbs List

Illative Conjunctions

Illative Conjunctions

Examples of Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

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