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Grammar Glossary

Grammar glossary: what words do

Verbs are action words. They can be more than one word. Every verb sometimes needs help from other verbs. The verbs be, do, have, will
often help other verbs. They help to show when a verb is past or future.

When a verb is past or is future, the verb may be more than one word.

They help to show when a verb is a question, or is negative (not).

When a verb is a question or is negative, it may be several words, and the words may not all be next to each other.

So when you look for verbs in a sentence, include these words:

Verb be

  am is are
  was were  

Verb do

  do does did

Verb have

  have has had

Verb will

  will shall  

The verb be helps to show that a verb is still going on. It shows that the action is ‘continuous’. In these examples, look for the words am is are was were Notice how they go with another word which ends in -ing.

  flowing rising working
  loading steering doing
  swimming    

Together, these two words make the verb.

  I am steering the barge.
  I am not working any faster.
  The tide is flowing in from the sea.
  You are working too slowly.
  The river was rising fast.
  A docker was loading the cargo.
  Four dockers were loading the cargo

Questions

  Are you listening?
  Aren't you loading the barge yet?
  What were you doing yesterday?
  Were you working in Rotherhithe yesterday?
  Were Henry and his pals swimming in the river?
 

Parts of the verb have help to show that other verbs are in the past.
Look for the words have has had The main verb usually ends in -ed, but not always:

  loaded arrived finished
  forgotten brought risen

Together, these two words make the verb.

  The docker has loaded the cargo.
  The ship had arrived two days earlier.
  We have not finished our work.
  They had forgotten their dinner.
  Have you brought the loading list?
  Has the tide risen enough?

The verb will helps to show that other verbs are in the future. Look for the words will shall The main verb is just the basic verb: arrive, finish, bring, rise. Together, these two words make the verb.

  The ship will arrive in two days time.
  We shall finish our work by tea time.
  Will you bring the loading list tomorrow?
  The tide will not rise before six o’clock.

The verb do helps other verbs make questions. Look for the words do does did The main verb is just the basic verb:

  see know read
  hear have keep

Together, these words make the verb.

  Do you see the ship?
  Did you read the loading list?
  Did Mrs Rose know where George was working?

The verb do helps other verbs make negatives with not . When you write what someone says, not can be n’t . Look for the words do not or don't does not or doesn't did not or didn't

The main verb is just the basic verb:

  see know read
  hear have keep


Together with not, these words make the verb. The words may not all be next to each other.

  Mrs Rose didn't know what time George would be home.
  We do not have time to go home.
  She does not keep rabbits any more.

Questions can also go with not or n’t.

  Didn't they hear the clock strike seven ?
  Doesn't he know what the time is?
  Don’t we have time for a pint ?

 

 
What words do
Adverbs
Adjectives
Conjunctions and joining words
Nouns
Prepositions
Pronouns
Punctuation and commas
Sentences
Verbs
Glossary

Glossary

Grammar Glossary

Grammar glossary: what words do

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