The Auxiliary Verbs: “Be”, “Do” and “Have”

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Do you happen to confuse the “be” verb with the “do” and the “have” verbs? To find out, I have six questions for you to try. 

The first three questions will test your knowledge of the “be” and “do” verbs. 

 

1. Which one is correct?

A. Was the boss attend our meeting last week?
B. Did the boss attend our meeting last week?
C. Does the boss attend our meeting last week?

The correct answer is B (“Did the boss attend our meeting last week?”). The verb “attend” happened in the past, so we need the auxiliary “do” verb in the past tense, which is “did”.

If you answered B, which is “does the boss attend”, it is incorrect. 

If you answered A, it is also incorrect. The “be” verb (“was”) can only be used when describing a state of being. For example, if the question was, “Was the boss angry?” the adjective “angry” describes the boss’ state of being, so we can use the “be” verb.

 

2. Which reply is grammatically correct to this question? “Do you like ice cream?”

A. Yes, I like.
B. Yes, I do.

The answer is B. The word “like” is a verb and so we need the auxiliary verb “do”.

If you wish to include the verb “like”, you can form a complete answer with “Yes, I like ice cream” or “Yes, I like it” (“it” becomes the direct object of “like”). 

 

3. Which reply is grammatically correct to this question? “Does your son eat spicy food?”

A. No, he don’t.
B. No, he isn’t.
C. No, he doesn’t.

The answer is C (“No, he doesn’t.”) “He” is singular, and “doesn’t” which is a contracted form of “does not” is singular. 

It is incorrect to use “isn’t” because the “be” verb should only be used to describe a state of being.

An example of a state of being question is, “Is your son doing well in school?” then you can reply with, “Yes, he is (doing well). He has made many friends there.” 

 

So how did you do? 

A. I did very well. I got all three correct!
B. I didn’t get all three correct. I need to learn more!

If you did very well, congratulations! You are ready to move on to the next set of questions. This time, we are testing your knowledge of the “be”, “do”, and “have” verbs.

 

4. Which one is grammatically correct?

A. Do you completed the report already?
B. Have you completed the report already?
C. Are you completed the report already?

 

5. Which one is grammatically correct?

A. Is the meeting postponed to next week?
B. Has the meeting postponed to next week?
C. Do the meeting postponed to next week?

 

6. Fill in the gap with the correct word: 

 “……… there going to be consequences for those who come late?”

A. Have 
B. Is
C. Are 

 

Here are the answers:

4B; 5A; 6C.

Was that tricky for you? If you need to review the verbs in more detail, check out our latest podcast episodes, which are all about the “be”, “do”, and “have” verbs! 

You can also listen to these episodes on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

 

Until next time, keep on striving!

 

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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