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Learn English Auxiliary Verbs

There are a couple of verbs that are fundamental when it comes to conquering the verbs conjugations in English. They are called auxiliary verbs. The English auxiliary verbs are: to be, to have and to do. They are called auxiliary verbs because they help you to conjugate the complex tenses, that is, the tenses that are formed by more than one word. We really need to learn their present, past simple and the modal auxiliary verb "will and shall" by heart in order to be able to conjugate the other verbs.

will/shall To be = Ser, estar To have = tener, haber To do = hacer
Future Present Past Present Past Present Past
I will/shall I am I was I have I had I do I did
You will You are You were You have You had You do I did
He will He is He was He has He had He does He did
She will She is She was She has She had She does She did
It will It is It was It has It had It does It did
We will/shall We are We were We have We had We do We did
You will You are You were You have You had You do You did
They will They are They were They have They had They do They did

Let's start by the auxiliary "to be". We use this verb in its present simple to form the present continuous of the other verbs.

Example

I am reading a book in order to learn English verbs. (Estoy leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

I am not reading a book in order to learn English verbs. (No estoy leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

Are you reading a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Estás leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

We use the verb "to be" in its past simple to form the past continuous of the other verbs.

Example

I was reading a book in order to learn English verbs. (Estaba leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

I was not (wasn't) reading a book in order to learn English verbs. (No estaba leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

Were you reading a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Estabas leyendo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

We use the modal auxiliary "will / shall" to form the future of the other verbs.

Example

I will read a book tomorrow in order to learn English verbs. (Leeré un libro mañana para aprender los verbos ingleses)

I will not (won't) read a book in order to learn English verbs. (No leeré un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

Will you read a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Leerás un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

Secondly, we will explain the auxiliary "to have". We use it in its present simple to form the present perfect simple of the rest of verbs.

Example

I have read a book in order to learn English verbs. (He leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

I have not (haven't) read a book in order to learn English verbs. (No he leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

Have you read a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Has leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

We use it in its past simple to form the past perfect simple of the rest of verbs.

Example

I had read a book in order to learn English verbs. (Había leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

I had not (hadn't) read a book in order to learn English verbs. (No había leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

Had you read a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Habías leído un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

Finally, we will explain the verb "to do". We use it in the present simple of all the verbs except for the verb to be, to form the negative and interrogative forms.

Example

Do you read a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Lees un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

Does she read a book in order to learn English verbs? (¿Lee (ella) un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

I do not (don't) read a book in order to learn English verbs. (No leo un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

She does not (doesn't) read a book in order to learn English verbs. (Ella no lee un libro para aprender los verbos ingleses)

The same occurs in its past simple.

Example

Did you read a book yesterday in order to learn English verbs? (¿Leíste un libro ayer para aprender los verbos ingleses?)

She did not (didn't) read a book yesterday in order to learn English verbs. (Ella no leyó un libro ayer para aprender los verbos ingleses)