Auxiliary Verb Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

You can't have a sentence without a verb, so knowing how to use verbs correctly is a vitally important skill. This lesson provides teachers with activities designed to teach auxiliary verbs to students of differing abilities.

The Auxiliary Nature of Verbs

Students will encounter a variety of verbs as they get more into grammar specifics. The activities in this lesson focus specifically on auxiliary verbs. A brief review on how to identify and use auxiliary verbs can help your learners feel better prepared to fully engage with the activities. As an introductory activity, write the following information on the board as you engage in a class discussion.

  • Auxiliary verbs are also called helping verbs.
  • Common auxiliary verbs include: be (am, is, are), do, have, can, could, may, might, must, ought, should, and would.
  • Auxiliary verbs can be in different tenses. (have/had)
  • Auxiliary verbs are sometimes used to 'help' other verbs. For example:
    • We have made cookies for the entire class. (have = auxiliary verb, made = main verb)
  • Auxiliary verbs can also be used on their own.
    • I am a teenager.
    • You are smart.

If this brief review is not enough, be sure to provide your students with a full lesson on the ins and outs of auxiliary verbs before using the other activities in this lesson.

Auxiliary Answers

To prepare for this activity, you will need to write a series of questions to ask students. If possible, prepare one question for each student in your class. Feel free to build on the following list to get started.

  1. Do you like to swim?
  2. How often should you give your dog a bath?
  3. What should you do if you see a crime or a fire?
  4. What will you do this weekend?
  5. Want to you want to be when you grow up?

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