The three common auxiliary (helping) verbs used in English are;
to be, to do, to have.
Auxiliary verbs are extra verbs that help or compliment the main verb in a sentence. We can say they “join up in partnership” with the main verb to add more information such as about the action, mood, voice and timing of the main verb.



Present progressive

Be is used together with the main verb in a sentence to form the passive voice and continuous tenses.

Maria is considering a trip to the countryside.
She is considering a trip to the countryside. 

The verb “to be” has teamed up with the verb “to consider” making the progressive present tense. (so the action is currently happening).

The auxiliary verb is “to be” and the main verb is “to consider”.  The verb “to be” is most often used to form the progressive tenses which show when an action took place. We will see the verb “to be” used alot with the present participle, that is verbs ending “ing”.

Past progressive

Maria was considering a trip to the countryside.

Future progressive

Maria will be considering a trip to the countryside.

I was
You were
He / She was
We were
You were
They were
Present Abbreviated
I am
You are
He / She is
He's / She's
We are
You are
They are
I will be
You will be
He / She will be
We will be
You will be
They will be

To HAVE (auxiliary verb)

Have is used to make perfect tenses.

Study the chart below to understand some of the grammar formations using the verb “to have”.

auxilliary verb     main verb

The graduate will have started university by this time next year.
She has talked so much about her new boyfriend this week.
Vincent has decided to become a graphic designer.

Present perfect Past perfect Present perfect progressive Past perfect progressive
I have talked
I had talked
I have been talking
I had been talking
You have talked
You had talked
You have been talking
You had been talking
He has talked
He had talked
He has been talking
He had been talking
She has talked
She had talked
She has been talking
She had been talking
We have talked
We had talked
We have been talking
We had been talking
They have talked
They had talked
They have been talking
They had been talking


When used as an auxiliary verb “to do” is used;

To highlight;  He did appear to be unreliable.

To ask questions;  Do you want to get to the cinema?

To ask negative questions.  I do not agree to your proposal.

I did
You did
He / She did
We did
You did
They did
I do
You do
He / She does
We do
You do
They do
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