Auxiliary verbs

Auxiliary verbs

Listen to this podcast and learn auxiliary verbs!


Voiced by: Gregory Thainer

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Hello, my dear listeners!

Do you know what I want to tell you about? You have probably already heard about it. Did your teacher tell you about auxiliary verbs? Are you listening to me?
Do, have, did, are… what are they? Yep, you're right. They are auxiliary verbs. And that's exactly what I'm gonna tell you about right now. Auxiliary basically means “helping”. That's what auxiliary verbs are for – to help us make different sentences.
We use auxiliary verbs for many different things – to form negative sentences, questions, short answers and even the passive.
What auxiliary verbs do you know? Some of them are: to be, to do, to have and will. These are the ones we will discuss today.

We use do for present simple and past simple in negative sentences, questions and short answers.
I don't wake up at 9 a.m. John doesn't wake up. Does Jane wake up at 8? No, she doesn't. Yes, he does.
So we use ‘don't' for I/you/we/they in negative sentences, and doesn't for he/she/it. In questions we use “do” and “does”, and in short answers we use do, does, don't and doesn't.
What do you do only once a year?
What about past simple? We use “did” and “didn't”.
Did you hear that noise? No, I didn't hear that noise. Yes, I did. Again, we use did for questions and positive short answers, and didn't for negative sentences and negative short answers. Got that?
What did you do yesterday? What happened?

Now let's discuss “have”. What tenses use “have” as an auxiliary verb? Good! Present perfect and past perfect.
In the present perfect, we use “have” for I, you, we and they for all sentences. I have never jumped with a parachute. You haven't done your homework. Have they seen me? Yes, they have.
We use “has” for he/she/it.
Has Jane met Michael? Yes, she has. No, she hasn't.
Have you ever gone bungee jumping?
When we use Past Perfect, “have” and “has” both become “had”. We use had for all subjects.
I had already eaten, so I wasn't hungry. He had eaten. She hadn't eaten. Had you eaten? Yes, they had.
So you see, we use “had” in all sentences for all subjects. Piece of cake.
Had you known about auxiliary verbs before you saw this podcast?

And what about “be”?
We use “am/is/are” as auxiliary verbs in the present continuous tense. We use “am” for I, “is” for he/she/it and “are” for you/we/they. I think you already know this 
We use am/is/are for all sentences: for positive sentences, negatives, questions and short answers.
This is what is happening in my room now: Kelly is singing, Josh and Kevin are trying to work, I am writing this podcast and Lydia isn't studying. What are you doing now?
Are you listening attentively? Yes, you are. Of course you are)

When we use the Past Continuous, we use past forms of to be. Do you know what they are?  Sure you do. “was” and “were”. “Was” is used for I/he/she/it. “Were” is used for you/we/they. And again, we use was and were in all sentences – positive, negative, questions and short answers.
I was listening to music while my mom was watching a movie. Were you living in New York in 2010? No, I wasn't.
What were you doing last night at 9 p.m.?
We also use “be” when we form the passive voice. You can review this topic with our podcast about the passive.

We use “will” to talk about the future. We use the infinitive form after “will”, and we don't use “to”.
I will see you soon. Will you call me later? Yes, I will. He will not tell anyone your secret. So we use “will” in affirmative, negative sentences, questions and short answers.
Will not together is pronounced like this: won't. Will not. Won't.
Will you practice auxiliary verbs with our practice podcast?
Good luck!