Published on July 9th, 2013 In category English | Grammar

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Correct use of the English Auxilliary verb like Can, May and Do

In this lesson we will learn about the auxiliary verb. You must be wondering what are auxiliaries verb and what is their importance in English Grammar,

Definition of Auxiliary Verb- In simple terms they are helping verbs.

A verb that determines the mood, tense, or aspect of another verb in a verb phrase. They always precede main verbs within phrase a question, a negative sentence, a compound tense or the passive.

Examples of auxiliary verbs : Be, Can, Could, Do, Have, May, might, must, shall, should, will & would

In this lesson we will learn the correct use of DO, MAY and CAN

Some common rules for using MAY

  1. Generally used for seeking permissions- “May I come in, Mam”
  2. For expressing possibilities ; “Rama may go tomorrow”
  3. Similarly may or might is also used extensively in speculations for the actions for eg. “He may have left by now”
  4. May is also used when we want to say something that we haven’t tried it yet. “If Shyam would have tired hard, he might have won the race”
  5. Used to express faith and hope; “May you get better soon”
  6. May is also used sometime to express a sort for command; “This might work for me”
  7. May is normally not used in the interrogative sentence; Like you will not May I do this work?, you will normally say, Should I do this work?

Some common rule to use CAN

  1. CAN is used in premission as MAY but is also used with all persons to express the idea of having permission, You cannot sit here, something similar like You maynot sit here, the latter is little polite
  2. Can is normally used in present but ” will be ” is used in future tense
  3. Could can be used in present tense for expressing condition, instead of CAN. “Could she get another dish”
  4. Could can also be used to refer to past; ” we started late, if we could have started early, we would have reached by now”
  5. Can is also used in the expression of possibility like “You cannot leave these papers as these are very important”

Some Common Rules to use DO

  1. Do is used in the beginning of imperative sentences; for eg “Do finish the work in time”
  2. Do is used extensively in interrogative sentences as well as negative sentences, “Do you understand”, has both negative as well as interrogative links
  3. Do is used to emphasise the point for eg. “You did it, so I did it”
  4. Some time Do is used to avoid repetition; for eg; “Rama eats a lots, yes she does”