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AUXILIARY VERBS – ENGLISH GRAMMAR

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AUXILIARY VERBS

Auxiliary Verbs

You have already encountered three auxiliary verbs (or helping) verbs: be, do, and have. They are conjugated and used with another verb to change that verb’s meaning or tense:

  • I go ➞ I am going (changed to in progress or incomplete)
  • you sing ➞ do you sing? (changed to a question)
  • she makes  ➞ she has made  (changed to the present perfect tense)

There are several other auxiliary verbs you should know. Note that many of the auxiliary verbs cannot be used in all tenses. And in some cases, you have to change to a different verb to form a specific tense. The following examples will be conjugated with the third-person pronoun he :

to be able to to be supposed to
Present is able to is supposed to
Past was able to was supposed to
Present Perfect has been able to has been supposed to
Past Perfect had been able to had been supposed to
Future will be able to will be supposed to
Future Perfect will have been able to will have been supposed to

 

can to have to
Present can has to
Past could or was able to had to
Present Perfect has been able to has had to
Past Perfect had been able to had had to
Future will be able to will have to
Future Perfect will have been able to will have had to

 

may must
Present may must
Past might had to
Present Perfect N/A has had to
Past Perfect N/A had had to
Future N/A will have to
Future Perfect N/A will have had to

Verbs, Transitive Verbs, and Intransitive Verbs

ought to should
Present ought to should
Past N/A N/A
Present Perfect N/A N/A
Past Perfect N/A N/A
Future N/A N/A
Future Perfect N/A N/A

WHAT ARE NOUNS, PRONOUNS, AND PERSONAL PRONOUNS

to want to to need to
Present wants needs to
Past wanted needed to
Present Perfect has wanted has needed to
Past Perfect had wanted had needed to
Future will want will need to
Future Perfect will have wanted will have needed to

Auxiliary verbs like these are followed by an infinitive:

I can go. I want to go.
You must learn. You have to learn.
We should help.   We need to help.
He can drive. He ought to drive.

Auxiliary Verbs

When you use some of the auxiliaries with a verb, you tell to what degree of obligation someone has to carry out the action of the verb. Look at the sentences below. The first one shows the least degree of obligation. This is something someone doesn’t have to do. The last sentence shows the greatest degree of obligation. This is something that someone absolutely must do.

  • “We may return the books.” (Least obligation. It’s our choice.)
  • “We can return books.” (Little obligation. It’s our choice.)
  • “We are able to return the books.” (Little obligation. We have the ability to do this.)
  • “We need to return the books.” (Slight obligation.)
  • “We ought to return the books.” (Little obligation, but this would be a good idea.)
  • “We should return the books.” (Little obligation, but this would be a good idea.)
  • “We are supposed to return the books.” (Some obligation. Someone has suggested we do this.)
  • “We must return the books.” (Greatest obligation. It is our duty to do this.)
  • “We have to return the books.” (Greatest obligation. It is our duty to do this.)

When you add an auxiliary to a sentence, use the same tense for the auxiliary as that of the original verb. For example: “Celeste found (past tense) a recent biography.” When you add (have to) to that sentence, you say, “Celeste had to (past tense) find a recent biography.”

This post contains the content of book English Grammar for ESL Learners  below is the link of complete book practice_makes_perfect__english_grammar_for_esl_learners 

 

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