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Primary Auxiliary Verbs

Primary Auxiliary Verbs

10th November 2020 CHALLA Comments Off

Primary Auxiliary Verbs:

Primary Auxiliary Verbs

An Auxiliary Verb is also called a Helping Verb.  It is used with a main verb to help express the main verb’s tense, mood, or voice. 

There are three types of Auxiliary Verbs in English. 

1) Primary Auxiliary Verbs 2) Modal Auxiliary Verbs 3) Semi-Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Primary Auxiliary Verbs:

The forms of Be, Do and Have are the primary auxiliary Verbs. They can be used both as Main Verbs (Principal Verbs) and Auxiliary verbs (Helping Verbs). They change their forms according to the number and person of the subject. 


Primary Auxiliary Verbs:
to be to have to do
am, is, are

was, were

be, been, being








  • She is a teacher. (is – main verb)
  • She is explaining the grammar. (is – helping verb)
  • My friend has several friends in the city. (has – main verb)
  • My friend has been doing a great service to society. (has, been – helping verbs)
  • You do post this letter immediately. (do – helping verb) 
  • He did his homework. (did – main verb)


Uses of Primary Auxiliary Verbs:


Uses of ‘Be – Forms: 

The forms of “be” are:

  • Present tense: is, am, are
  • Past tense: was, were
  • Past participle: been
  • Present participle: being

Use of ‘Be’ as a Main Verb:


  • Be quiet!
  • Be attentive!
  • I shall be there at 8.00 AM.
  • You have to be punctual.
  • You should be grateful to him.
  • This could be very disgusting.
  • I would be happy to come with you.

Use of ‘Be’ after to-infinitive:


  • She wants to be an IAS officer.
  • I was to be there before you.
  • I hope to be as generous as my friend.
  • You need to be present at the meeting.

Use of ‘Be’ in the future simple passive voice:


  • A letter will be written by her.
  • The results will be announced soon.


Use of ‘Been’ as a Main Verb in Perfect Tenses:


  • He has been in this office for four years.
  • She had been a busy doctor.
  • I should have been on time to attend the event.

Use of ‘Been’ as a Helping Verb in Perfect Continuous Tenses:


  • I have been learning English for 4 years.
  • She has been working as a teacher since 2019.

Use of ‘Been’ in the Passive Voice of Perfect Tenses:


  • The test had been finished by them.
  • My car has not been stolen.
  • Will the novel have been read by me?


Use of ‘Being’ as a Main Verb:

(to talk about temporary behaviour: Being + Adjective)


  • You’re being too humorous.
  • Ignore that lady. She’s just being silly/foolish/childish.
  • She was just being sarcastic.
  • Rocky is being rude to him.
Personality/Nature  Behaviour (Temporary)
The boy is quiet. The boy is being quiet.
She is humorous. She is being humorous.
He is adventurous. He is being adventurous.


However, we don’t use ‘being’ when we describe feelings.


  • I am upset.  
  • She was worried. 
  • She is delighted. 
  • My son was overjoyed. 

Use of ‘Being’ in the Present and Past Continuous Passive Voice:

(Being + Past Participle)


  • The laptop is being restarted after a power fluctuation.
  • Dinner was being prepared by her.
  • The car is being repaired by the mechanic.
  • They were being observed closely by the teacher.

am being, is being, are being, was being, were being….,

But never write: will/shall be being, have/has/had been being, should/could/would be being or been being

Use of ‘Being’ as Gerund: (Verbal Noun)


  • I avoid being late.
  • She doesn’t spend time being all alone.
  • He enjoys being in the position of Manager.
  • Do you like being a Principal?
  • Being a principal is not an easy job.


We use of ‘Being’ after verbs like:

avoid, enjoy, can’t stand, don’t mind, look forward to, spend time, stop etc.,

Use of ‘Being’ after Prepositions:


  • Rashmika got an award for being the best student.
  • You definitely face the problem of being late to school all the time.
  • The best part of being a principal is motivating the students.
  • Siddu looks forward to being part of your team.

Use of ‘Being’ in Participle Clauses:

We use the participle clause with ‘being’ instead of because /as / since


  • Being a teacher, you have to motivate the students.

                 (As you are a teacher, you have to motivate the students.)


  • Being late, I was not allowed to the class.

                 (Because I was late, I was not allowed to the class.)


  • The teacher being absent, the class was monitored by the leader.

                  (Since the teacher was absent, the class was monitored by the leader.)


  • Not being an expert, I have not been considered for the job.

                 (As I am not an expert, I have not been considered for the job.)

Use of ‘Being’ as a Noun


  • We are all human beings
  • What I saw there was a strange being

am, is, are, was, were:

Persons Present Past
I am was
we, you, they are were
he, she. it is was

As a Main Verb:

1. In Present and Past Simple Tenses:


  • I am a teacher.
  • He is a professor at OU.
  • They are foot players.
  • She is not interested.
  • These flowers are not beautiful.
  • There are some books on the table.
  • Were you there at the function yesterday?
  • Is she helpful to you?
  • They were all politicians.
  • He was not happy.
  • There were no students in the class.
  • He is a real leader, isn’t he?
  • You are a philosopher, aren’t you?

2. To express future programmes:


  • She is to attend the seminar.
  • I am to meet the teacher.
  • You are to visit the doctor.

3. To express a command:


  • You are to finish your project by tonight.
  • He is to attend all the classes.

As a Helping Verb:

1.In the Present and Past Continuous Tenses: 


  • He is writing his exam.
  • They are playing games outside.
  • I was watching TV.
  • We were drawing pictures.

2. In Passive Voice of Simple and Continuous Tenses 


  • I was informed to go there.
  • They were offered coffee by me.
  • I am given all the instructions by my father.
  • His examination is being written by him.
  • Games are being played outside by them.
  • TV was being watched by me.
  • Pictures were being drawn by him.


The forms of ‘have’ are:


Present Tense: has, have

Past Tense: had

Past Participle: had

‘Have’ form is used:

As the Main Verb in the sense of possession, experience, receiving and taking:


  • My son has a Ford Freestyle car. (possession)
  • I do not even have a bike.
  • He has all the qualifications, hasn’t he?


  • She had a headache. (experience) 
  • Do you have any problems now?


  • I have dinner at 8.00 P.M. (taking)
  • Did you have your breakfast?


  • She had her gift from her brother. (receiving)
  • I did not have any parcel from you.

To express a job got to be done:

(subject + have + object + past participle)

It is a kind of passive sentence where it focuses on the process/action rather than who does it.

We use this construction in two different situations:


1.When we make someone else do something for us. Here somebody may be asked or instructed to do it for us. 


  • Sunitha has her car repaired.

                 (Somebody repaired her car)

  • I had my hair cut.

                 (The barber cut my hair)

  • She has her gift delivered.

                 (Somebody delivered her gift)

  • He has his job application prepared.

                   (Somebody prepared his application)

  • Ricky has his dog walked.

                  (Somebody walks his dog.)


Note: This structure is not a Perfect Tense.  Find the difference:

Passive Structure Perfect Tense
have + object + past participle have + past participle + object
I had my hair cut by the barber I had cut my hair.
She has her gift delivered by somebody Somebody has delivered her gift
Sunitha has her car repaired by the mechanic. The mechanic has repaired her car.

2. When something negative/bad, which is beyond our control, happens. 


  • She has her bag stolen.
  • He had his heart broken when he heard the news.
  • They had their jobs lost due to Covid-19.
  • My friend had his leg fractured while he was playing football.

As the Helping Verb 

To form the Present and Past Perfect Tenses:


  • He has recently purchased his laptop.
  • We had registered our names for the event.
  • Some students have not paid the school fee.

To form the Passive Voice of the Present and Past Perfect Tenses:


  • His laptop has recently been purchased by him.
  • Our names had been registered for the event.
  • The school fee has not been paid by some students.

To express an obligation: (to-infinitive)


  • You have to follow my instructions.
  • You don’t have to follow my instructions.
  • Do you have to follow my instructions?


  • She has to finish her exams.
  • She doesn’t have to finish her exams.
  • Does she have to finish her exams?


  • They had to go there to get it.
  • They didn’t have to go there to get it.
  • Did they have to go there to get it?


The forms of “do” are:


Present tense: do/does 

Past tense: did

Past participle: done


Do/Does/Did is used:

As a Main Verb in the Present and Past Simple Tenses:


  • He does yoga every day.
  • I don’t do English homework regularly.
  • She did her shopping.

To emphasize some action in the Present and Past Simple Tenses:


  • I do remember you.
  • He did ask me not to do it.
  • She does observe several things.
  • They did apply for the job.

To avoid repetition of previous verbs:


  • She likes to play chess and so do I.
  • He wanted to dance and so did she.

In questions, question tags and short answers:


  • You went to school, didn’t you?
  • He reads novels, doesn’t he?
  • They do not answer the questions, don’t they?


  • Did you send the emails?
  • No, I didn’t.
  • Yes, I did.


  • Do you speak English well?
  • Yes, I do.
  • No, I don’t.

To form negatives and interrogatives of the Present and Past Simple Tenses: 


  • She does not help anybody.
  • Does she help anybody?
  • I did not drive this car.
  • Did you drive this car?


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