Auxiliary verbs alongside main verbs always play an important role in English , particularly in spoken English. There are many interesting uses of these verbs which are discussed in this article.
Uses of Auxiliary Verbs :
1. We can use auxiliary verbs to put emphasis on something. Simply we use it to emphasize. Look at the following two dialogues :
Karim : How are you, Suman?
Suman : I am fine. And you?
Karim : I am also fine. thanks. Well, you are looking tired.
Suman : Yes, I am! (with auxiliary verb ‘am’, it has been emphasized that I am looking tired plus avoiding repetition)
A: I don’t think you like me.
B: No, you are not right. I do like you. (Here the auxiliary verb ‘do’ emphasize the main verb ‘like’)
2. We can also use them to show interest in what somebody said or expressed. We do so with short questions those are made up of auxiliary verbs. Look at the sentences below :
A : I have already completed the work.
B : Have you? that’s really good! ( B is showing interest in A’s words or speech)
See the following dialogue between A and B :
A : Hello! how are you?
B : Fine. And you?
A : I am also fine. thank you. Well, what about your family?
B : I have got two children, one boy and the other daughter.
A : Have you? That’s lovely! May Allah bless them with long life.
Look at the following sentences also :
Karim : I have successfully passed the exam.
Rahim : Really, have you?
A : I am not going to make the mistake again.
B : Aren’t you?
Note : Unlike tag questions, in these cases, positive questions are used for positive sentences, and negative questions with negative sentences. With tag questions, negative questions are used with positive sentences and positive questions are used with negative sentences. Also note that question tags are placed at the end of the sentences while short questions to show interests in something are usually used at the beginning of sentences.
3. We also use auxiliary verbs to avoid repeating whole relevant part in the sentence. To understand that better, please read the following sentences carefully :
a. I finished the work in time but Karim didn’t (the relevant part ‘finish the work in time’ has been avoided using didn’t)
b. They travelled smoothly to the airport by bus but we didn’t.
c. Nermar is performing well in Champions League but Messi isn’t.
4. Maria understand English lesson very well but Shanta doesn’t.
Note : As you have already gone through 5 common types of questions, so you should know that avoiding repetition is common in answers to general or yes/no questions. Also keep in mind that when auxiliary verbs are used alone, they must match the tense and person of the main sentence.
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