Use auxiliary verbs before other verbs to form questions, passives and negative sentences, a compound tense or the passive. Auxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs. These verbs give us more information about the main verb in a sentence often to give us more detail about time. That is why they are used in progressive and perfect tense sentences.
Although there are 23 'helping verbs' in English, which include modal verbs (will, can, should etc.), the three basic auxiliary verbs are:
Read through this text and choose the correct missing words:
May Day on May 1 is a traditional spring festival and public holiday in many parts of the _1_ Hemisphere. On this day _2_ people would celebrate the end of winter and the return of spring. During the 20th century, traditional May Day celebrations _3_ in many countries as May 1 became associated with Iternational Workers' Day.
Use the past perfect tense when referring to actions in the past that happened before another event in the past. It is used to talk about the past in the past.
I checked with the bank and they still hadn't received payment.
I had driven to work before you woke up.
We had gone before she arrived.
She had eaten breakfast.
Had you finished?
Had he taken you home?
When something is difficult to understand or do, it is hard.
These questions are too hard for me.
Learning another language is hard.
She was given a hard task.
I'm tired. I've been working hard all day.
When something is solid, firm and difficult to break or bend.
Unless means if not. We use it in conditional sentences instead of if not.
Unless can be used with present, past and past perfect tenses. Use unless with present tenses when talking about the future.
You will damage your health unless you stop smoking. = you will damage your health if you do not stop smoking.
We use a little and a few to talk about the amount of something. To understand which term to use, you must understand uncountable nouns and plural nouns.
A little is used with singular non-countable nouns i.e. rain, traffic, love.
a little + uncountable noun
There's a little food left on the plate.
I put a little money into the envelope.
Who is used for people. In casual English that can be used.
The boy who sang.
Only men who are wearing neckties are allowed to enter.
She's the one who won the prize.
Which and that are used for things and groups.
When we want to focus on the object of a sentence instead of the subject, we use the passive voice.
Compare these two sentences:
John painted the picture. - The focus here is on John, he is the subject of the sentence.
The picture was painted by John. - The focus is on the picture, it is the object of the sentence.
Take a look at the two following sentences. Why do we use were in the first sentence and was in the second.
If I were rich, I would buy you a car.
If she was feeling sick, it's good that she went home.
If I were rich...<-- I am not rich, but I imagining what I would do if I were.
Use do with the subjects I, we, you and they. Do is usually used to make questions and it comes at the start of a sentence. Do is not used with the verbs be, can, might, ought, shall and will.
Do I have to speak too?
Do we have any milk left?
Do you remember her?
Do they always stay up so late?