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Auxiliary Verbs

Grade 5
Aug 27, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. A shop has a ‘70% off’ board hanging at its entrance. 
  2. A lady is carrying a pink handbag. 
  3. A kid is walking along with her parents. 

You must have noticed the use of words like is and has in the sentences. 

What are they? 

They are called auxiliary verbs.  

Words like is, are, was, were, do, does, has, have, had¸ etc. are used often, while writing sentences. Have you ever thought what function do these words serve in sentences? 

It might also strike you that these auxiliary verbs find their way in majority of the sentences that we frame in English. 


Auxiliary verbs, also called as helping verbs, are used with the main verbs and they help in expressing the tense, voice, or mood. 

Let us learn three main forms of auxiliary verbs: be, have, and do. 

We know about the verbs be, have, and do that we commonly use in sentences. Like mentioned above, when they are used with the main verbs to make tenses, voices, or mood, they are called auxiliary verbs


Be appears in the following forms: 

Is, are, am, was, were, being, been, will be. 


1. We use the auxiliary be in the formation of continuous tenses, like: 

  • He was sleeping. 
  • I am working. 
  • She is writing. 
  • He will be waiting outside. 

2. The auxiliary be is used to form passive voice, like: 

  • The door was opened. 
  • The food is delivered. 
  • Football is being played by him. 


Have appears in the following forms: 

Has, have, had, having, will have. 

1. We generally use the auxiliary have to form perfect tenses, like: 

  • I have written. 
  • She has studied. 
  • They had left. 
  • We will have left by then. 

2. Have to is used with the infinitive (the base form of the verb) to express obligation, like: 

  • I have to be there for the meeting by 5PM. 
  • He has to help his mother in a situation like this. 

3. The past form of the former verb which is had to is used to indicate obligation in the past like: 

  • I had to be there for the meeting by 5PM. 
  • He had to help his mother in a situation like that. 


Do appears in the following forms: 

Does, do, did, will do. 

We use the auxiliary do to mainly express mood. 

1. Interrogative mood: 

  • Did you find the wallet? 
  • Do you play football? 
  • Does he cook? 

2. Negative mood: 

  • He didn’t find the wallet. 
  • I don’t play football. 
  • He doesn’t cook. 
Auxiliary Verbs


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