What are Auxillaries? When the verbs ‘be’ (am, is, was, were, will be), ‘have’ and ‘do’, when used with ordinary verbs to make tense, passive forms, questions and negatives are called auxiliary verbs or simply auxiliaries.
Let us look at auxiliaries in detail:
• The auxiliary ‘be’ is used in the formation of the continuous tenses
o For example – He is working. I was writing. I will be learning.
• In the formation of the passive voice
o For example – The gate was opened. I am informed about the meeting.
• To indicate a plan, arrangement or agreement.
o For example – We are to be married next month.
• To denote a command.
o For example – Be careful! Be patient!
• The auxiliary ‘have’ is used in the formation of perfect tenses.
o For example – He has eaten
• Have is used with the infinitive to indicate obligation.
o For example – He has to start the conference by 9:00 am.
• The past form had to is used to express obligation in the past.
o For example - He had to find the solution on his own
• In negatives and questions have to and had to are used with do, does and did as
o For example – The have to go? The do not have to go? Do they have to go?
• The auxiliary ‘do’ is used in the formation of negative and interrogative of simple present and simple past tenses of ordinary verbs.
o For example – He does not work. He did not work. Does he work? Didn’t he work?
• To avoid repetition of a previous ordinary verb.
o For example – Do you know him? Yes, I do! Does she cook well? Yes, she does!
• Do is also used to emphasize the affirmative nature of the statement.
o For example – You do look weak.
• In the imperative, do makes a request or invitation more persuasive as
o For example – Do be quiet. Oh, please do come for the party!