Helping Verbs

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

Helping Verbs are important as structural verbs.

Helping Verbs

Rules Applicable to all Helping Verbs

  • 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 Helping Verbs

Auxiliary Verbs or helping verbs are of two types:

Primary Helping VerbsBe Verb: is, am, are, was, were, been, being
Have Verb: have, has, had, having
Do Verb: do, does, did
Modal Helping Verbscan, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, dare, need, used to, ought to

The Primary Helping Verbs are, Do verbs, Have verbs, and Be verbs.


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 a 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)


TYPE 1: To make a Passive Voice

The work had been done. (Passive Voice)

TYPE 2: To make the 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)


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 authorise you.
  • He did help you, and you should not deny that.

The Modal Helping Verbs 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.

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?
Bimal would read twelve hours a day.
Would you please lend me a rupee?
Would you please tell me the time?
Shall I do the work?
I hope I shall complete the project within a week.
seeking advice
You should walk a mile in the morning.
Should we go for a walk?
I should be glad to see you.
We should not laugh at a lame man.
Should I put a little more sugar in your tea?
The boy can speak English fluently.
We can hold a condolence meeting for his death this Sunday.
He could do the sum.
Could you help me to solve the problem?
He may come here today.
May I come in?
May I get you a cup of tea?
His statement might be true.
You might just as well go.
strong probability
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
negative force
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?
You need not (needn’t) come here.
Need he go there?
Need he go?
You need not apply.
Bijan need not go there.
We need not do this work.
You need not trouble yourself.
Rumpita need not come here anymore.
You need not have waited so long.
Rohit need not worry.
You need not have bothered so much about this trivial matter.
I need not have bought it.
Used tohabitual action in the pastMy father used to teach me English.
He used to play football when he was at school.
I used to live here when I was a boy.
He used to walk every morning when he was in Kolkata.
I used to go to school by tramcars.
In our childhood, we used to sing religious hymns in the morning.
Raghu used to wake us every morning.
I used to do physical exercise in my boyhood.
When at school I used to do sums every day.
When living in the village, we used to bathe in the tank.
Ought toobligation
strong likelihood
You ought to work hard.
The lawyer ought to be able to help you.
We ought to obey our parents.
We ought not to laugh at a lame man.

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