Allow me to introduce to you, what I like to call, the three silent %22Superstars%22 of the English Grammar: the verbs %22Be%22, %22Do%22 and %22Have%22!
Of course you’ll often see them holding the main role in a sentence, like in the following:
1. I am a student.
2. I have a sister.
3. I do my homework.
That’s not all they can do for us though.
More often than not, they help us %22build%22 most of the English Tenses and are thus very very important – even when they take on the role of an %22auxiliary%22.
Like the auxiliary police in your local city or town, they’re not the main crime fighting force, but they can make all the difference in putting things in order -or cell for that matter 😀 – helping, assisting, supporting the community.
In the exact same way, Be, Do and Have often carry no meaning while supporting the main verb in a sentence, BUT they help us communicate a lot about the time, the conditions, the frequency and all sorts of other information related to the action being described.
So, you might think, I know I need them, but I never know which one to use and when! What do you say we put them all in cells too and see if that helps clear things up a bit?
Have a look at the following chart:
So then we have:
DO for Present and Past Simple
BE for all Continuous Tenses – [Think Verb-ing, ongoing actions]
HAVE for all Perfect Tenses [Think past participle, verb-ed – completed actions]
How about an example?
Of course there’s always more to a story than a couple of charts and noodles! 😀
But hopefully, this can help serve as a general guideline for all your.. active (voice) language wear 😉