Auxiliary Verbs “Be,” “Do,” “Have”

The main auxiliary verbs in English: “be”, “do” and “have”

Auxiliary verbs in English are important components that are used to form tenses, interrogative sentences, and objections. Three of the most common auxiliary verbs in the English language are “be“, “do” and “have“. Let’s compare these three auxiliary verbs and explore how and when they are used.

“Be” as an auxiliary verb

Be” is the main auxiliary verb used to form Present Continuous (I am playing), Past Continuous (I was playing), Present Perfect (I have played), Past Perfect (I had played) and many other tenses. Also “be” is used to form passive constructions (The book was written by me) and to describe a state or characteristics (She is tall).

“Do” as an auxiliary verb

Do” is used to form Present Simple (I do my homework), Past Simple (I did my homework) forms and for objections and questions in these forms (Do you like coffee? I don’t like coffee). Also “do” can be used as an auxiliary verb to form objections and questions in other time forms (Does he play football? He doesn’t play football).

“Have” as an auxiliary verb

Have” is an auxiliary verb used to form Present Perfect (I have played), Past Perfect (I had played) and other similar forms. Also “have” is used to form objections and questions in these forms (Have you ever been to Paris? I haven’t been to Paris).

“Be”, “Do” and “Have” with pronouns

It is very important to know how to use the verbs “Be“, “Do” and “Have” correctly with pronouns. Since, in the future, it will become the basis for studying grammar. Therefore, remember the table below:


Basic forms of the verbs “Be”, “Do” and “Have”

The verbs “be“, “do” and “have” can be compared using the table. Below is a table with their main forms and uses:

ДієсловоPresent SimplePast SimplePresent ContinuousPast ContinuousPresent PerfectPast Perfect
Beam/is/arewas/weream/is/are + verb-ingwas/were + verb-inghave/has beenhad been
Dodo/doesdidam/are/is + verbwas/were + verb-inghave/has donehad done
Havehave/hashadam/are/is + verb-ingwas/were + verb-inghave/has hadha

This is just a general overview of the forms and uses of these verbs, they can have other variations in different tenses and sentence structures. However, this table can be a useful starting point for those who are just starting to learn English grammar.

Positive, Negative and Question with the verbs “Be”, “Do” and “Have”

Let’s consider the formation of different time forms and types of sentences: affirmative, interrogative and negative sentences with “be”, “do” and “have”. Below is a table with examples of the forms of these verbs in each of these types of sentences:


Present SimpleI am happy.I am not late.Am I right?
He is smart.He is not shy.Is she ready?
We are here.We are not lostAre they okay?
Past SimpleShe was tired.She was not sadWas he alone?
They were late.They were not early.Were we on time?


Present SimpleI do my best.I do not agree.Do you like it?
He does a lot.He does not like.Does she know him?
We do it now.We do not forget.Do they have time?
Past SimpleShe did well.She did not go.Did he call?
They did it fast.They did not try.Did we win?


Present SimpleI have a car.I do not have.Have you seen it?
He has a job.He has not yet.Has she arrived?
We have a plan.We have not.Have they left?
Past SimpleShe had a pet.She had not.Had he heard?
They had a party.They had not.Had we met?

Examples of using “be”, “do” and “have” for different tenses

The auxiliary verbs “be“, “do” and “have” have many different uses, which can vary depending on the context and tense. However, below are some examples with their use in different tenses:


  • Present Simple: I am a student.
  • Past Simple: He was sick yesterday.
  • Present Continuous: She is studying English at the moment.
  • Past Continuous: They were playing soccer when it started to rain.
  • Present Perfect: We have been to Japan twice.
  • Past Perfect: By the time she arrived, the party had already ended.


  • Present Simple: They do their homework every day.
  • Past Simple: He did his work yesterday.
  • Present Continuous: I am doing my best to help you.
  • Past Continuous: She was doing her makeup when the phone rang.
  • Present Perfect: We have done everything we can to prepare for the exam.
  • Past Perfect: They had done their research before the meeting.


  • Present Simple: I have a car.
  • Past Simple: She had a headache last night.
  • Present Continuous: They are having a great time on vacation.
  • Past Continuous: He was having a difficult time understanding the instructions.
  • Present Perfect: We have had a lot of rain this month.
  • Past Perfect: She had had breakfast before leaving for work.

These examples can help you better understand how these verbs are used in English. However, it is worth remembering that verbs can have many other variations depending on the context and tense.

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