General verb introduction

- There are five basic sentence structures in English. More complex sentences are created with one of these basic structures at its core.

Subject-verb The girl sings.
Casey ran.
Subject-Verb-Direct Object I ate the apples.
She kicked the ball.
Subject-Verb-Indirect Object I go to the cinema.
It remains in the box.
Subject-Verb-Adjective Colin is handsome.
I am happy.
Subject-Verb-Adverb Sarah runs quickly.
Maria talks quietly.
Subject-Verb-Noun I am a student.
John is a plumber.

- There are also three main auxiliary verbs you need to understand in English. Auxiliary verbs help the main verb by adding different tenses, mood, and voices.

Modal auxiliary verbs
Will Be Do Shall
Would Should Can Could
May Might Must Have
I should be cooking dinner right now.
She would like to hike Mount Shasta one day.
They must come over by 4pm.

- There are three main auxiliary verbs: to be, to do, and to have. These three can either be main verbs or auxiliary verbs. They can change tense or form, as you see on the chart below.

Form To be To do To have
Base form Be Do Have
Present form Am/is/are Do/does Have/has
Past form Was/were Did Had
Present participle Being Doing Having
Past participle Been Done Had

To be is the most used verb in the English language. It can be used to create the passive voice or progressive sentences.

I am eating lunch.
He was chosen to participate.
I am looking for my coat.
He was yelling at the dog.

To do, as an auxiliary verb, is always followed by the infinitive of the main verb. It is used in negative sentences, in questions, and to add emphasis to a positive sentence.

She does run in the mornings, I swear!
Do you like cake?
She doesn’t go to the movies very frequently.
Do you wash your sheets weekly?

To have is another one of the most common verbs used in English. It is often used in questions and perfect sentences.

Have you seen my cat?
Has he finished his homework yet?
I have eaten four meals today.
He has been finished rude all night.