Basic English Grammar What is an auxiliary verb
Hi. I’m Jade. What we’re talking about today is auxiliary verbs. You don’t have to be scared of that word, auxiliary , because it’s a grammar word. Basically, what they are is they’re helper verbs. They are not the most important verb in the sentence, but they’re important so we know what tense it is. So the reason I made this lesson today is I found that people who taught English to themselves get to a point where some confusion comes in because if you’re watching tutorials about learning English and things like that, sometimes,.
You’re going to hear grammar words that you’re not sure about. And then, some confusion can happen. So if the teacher says, Find the verb in the sentence , sometimes, what happens is you just find the verb you know, but you don’t realize that it’s not the important verb there. So the whole idea of this lesson is to just teach you a bit of grammar so that you don’t get confused in the future when you’re watching tutorials and things like that. So yeah. They’re helper verbs. They’re not the most important verb in the sentence. There.
Can be more than one of them in a sentence and even still not being the main verb. It’s important because it will help you to recognize the tense, the different tenses of English. Maybe you don’t use all the tenses actively, but it’s still good to be able to recognize them. And also, the most important thing about auxiliary verbs is that it’s not helpful for you to directly translate these words because you’ll just get a really confusing, confusing meaning. And sometimes, that’s a mistake people make. So what we’re going to do is go through.
The different auxiliary verbs in English and look at the different ways that we use them. So the first one you might not think of as being a helping verb, but it’s a good example of what I mean when you see the verb, and then you try to translate it, and it doesn’t really give you a good meaning it doesn’t really explain what it means well. The best example of that is be in the present and past simple. She is my boss. What does be mean What does it what does be mean I don’t know. I was personally confused about.
That even though I didn’t need to learn English. And what it’s doing is being a linking verb. In grammar terms, all it’s doing is joining subject to object. It doesn’t carry its own meaning, you could say. So in that sense, the verb isn’t that important here. It’s the subject and the object that are important. Anyway. The next examples, they start to get a little more complicated, but not too bad. Another example of be , but this time in the continuous sentence in the continuous tenses. He is sleeping. Let’s have a think. What tense is that one That one is the present.
Continuous. And this one, They have been talking. This one is the present perfect continuous. And what I mean by auxiliary verb in these is that they’re not the most important verb in those examples. The most important verb is sleeping here. And the most important verb is talking here. In this example, the present perfect continuous actually has two auxiliaries because you can have more than one auxiliary verb in a sentence. Next example. Have in the perfect tenses. We’ve got two examples here. We’ve got, I’ve got a car and, They had gone home. What tenses are we talking about here I’ve got.
A car. That one is the present perfect. And what about this one What’s this one This one is the past perfect. Where’s the most important verb The most important verb is get here. We’re using it for possession. It means to own something, to possess something here. In the second example, the most important verb is go. This is a past participle. It becomes gone. Let’s move on to do our first example of do. When we’re making a negative sentence in the present simple or the past simple, in the negative form, we use do. Let’s look.
At the examples. I do not like Peter. I’m sorry, Peter. Do shows us that we’re making a negative sentence. What’s the most important verb The most important verb is like. What about next example We didn’t go. Again naughty me no full stop. The most important verb is go. There’s our negative, this time in a contracted form. Next example of do is in questions. What does do mean in a question Do basically means I’m asking a question now. For example, Do you like London Yes, I do. I like London.
And now, we’re talking about will as an auxiliary verb. It can mean two things. It can mean the future tense I will be there later. And will shows us we’re talking about the future. But it’s not the most important verb. The most important verb is be. And our other way another meaning of will , you could say, is to express certainty. So in this other sentence, You will like this , we’re not talking about a future time. We’re just trying to express certainty about something. But it’s not our most important verb because.
It’s an auxiliary verb. Our most important verb, again, is like. Now, talking about modal verbs, we use modal verbs when we’re talking about necessity or the probability of something. And this group of verbs isn’t ever the most important verb in the sentence in terms of grammar. So here’s an example. They might help you. Our most important verb is help. We have other modal verbs as well, but, you know, might , may , should , must are the modal verbs. And the last auxiliary verb we’re going to talk about is would , and we use would.
For talking about hypothetical situations. And hypothetical means imagined. Not true situations, but we’re using it to think about something in the future imagined or something in the past imagined. But it’s not the most important verb for meaning. The most important verb for meaning in this sentence is do. Now, I realize we’ve been talking a lot about, Oh, this auxiliary verb, does this, does this, does this but let’s come back and look at how to find the main verb in the sentence because that will be useful for you whenever you need to really find the meaning in the.
Sentence. Let’s have a look at my tips for finding the main verb in the sentence because it’s sometimes really needed to find the main verb so you can understand the full meaning of the sentence. And just knowing what auxiliaries are, they can help you find the main verb. So we’ll look at the tips, and that should help you not have really bad grammar confusion, hopefully in the future. So tip No. 1 We can find the main verb after is , was , or were in the present or past.
Continuous. We’ve got some examples here. I was eating pizza. That’s the past continuous. And, They were singing. That’s also the past continuous. And the main verb is coming after was and after were. Next example. Tip No. 2 after have or has in the present perfect or after had in the past perfect. Let’s look at examples. We have got a dog or We’ve got a dog in the contracted speech form. After have because this is the present perfect our main verb is get , but we’re using it in that way that I mentioned to you before, to mean possession.
So all together, this means, I own a dog or, I possess a dog. In the present perfect, our main verb is here. Have is not our most important verb. Next example. I had had fun. That maybe looks wrong or weird to you to see had together twice. Sometimes people get confused about it. But it’s actually okay to say that. We have had , and then, our main verb here is had. I had had fun. And that’s the past perfect tense. Moving on for tip No. 3 We can find the main verb after have been or has been or after.
had been in the perfect tense, in the perfect continuous tenses. Let’s take a look at some examples. They have been lying. In these examples, we have two auxiliaries we have two helper verbs. Had is a helper verb been is a helper verb and our main verb is lying. It comes from the verb lie to tell a lie. Let’s look at the next example. He had been sleeping. This one is the past perfect continuous. Again, we’ve got two helper verbs here, had , been helping verbs. Our main verb is sleeping. That’s the most.
Important one to carry meaning. Tip No. 4 after the modal verb or after the modal verb followed by other auxiliaries. And I didn’t write you an example there. So let me give you one. I might have told you earlier or, I might have given you an example. So after the modal verb might comes have given. I might have given. We have one auxiliary verb there, have. I might have given you an example on the board. And our last example this is probably an easier way if you can remember this one. After.
been. After been is the main verb. I have been thinking. So these tips are all useful to find the main verb. This is a general grammar lesson to mainly just stop that confusion that happens sometimes when you know little bits of grammar, but it’s not all together up there in your head. Knowing and finding the main verb is really useful a lot. It can save you confusion when you’re doing exercises and things like that. It’s really helpful. So we’re finished for the lesson, but if you want to do a quiz,.