UNIT 49. Auxiliary verbs (have/do/can, etc.) I think so / I hope so, etc.

Australia-12 grammar


In each of these sentences there is an auxiliary verb and a main verb:

I have lost my keys.
She can’t come to the party.
The hotel was built ten years ago.
Where do you live?

In these examples have/can’t/was/do are auxiliary (= helping) verbs.

You can use an auxiliary verb when you do not want to repeat something:
– “Have you locked the door?” “Yes, I have.” (= I have locked the door)
– George wasn’t working, but Janet was. (= Janet was working)
– She could lend me the money, but she won’t. (= she won’t lend me the money)

Use do/does/did for the simple present and past:
– “Do you like onions?” “Yes, I do.” (= I like onions)
– “Does Mark play soccer?” “He did, but he doesn’t anymore.”

You can use auxiliary verbs to deny what somebody says (= say it is not true):
– “You’re sitting in my place.” “No, I’m not sitting in your place”
– “You didn’t lock the door before you left.” “Yes, I did.” (= I locked the door)


We use You have? / She isn’t? / They do?, etc., to show interest in what
somebody said:

  • “I’ve just seen David.” “You have? How is he?”
  • “Liz isn’t feeling very well today.” “She isn’t? What’s wrong with her?”
  • “It rained every day during our vacation.” “It did? What a shame!”
  • “Jim and Karen are getting married.” “They are? Really?”


We use auxiliary verbs with so and neither:

  • “I’m tired.” “So am I.” (= I’m tired, too)
  • “I never read newspapers.” “Neither do I.” (= I never read newspapers either)
  • Sue doesn’t have a car, and neither does Mark.

Note the word order after so and neither (verb before subject):
– I passed the exam, and so did Paul. (not so Paul did)

You can also use not … either instead of neither:
– “I don’t have any money.” “Neither do I.” or “I don’t either.”


After some verbs you can use so when you do not want to repeat something:
– “Are those people Australian?” “I think so.” (= I think they are Australian)
– “Will you be home tomorrow morning?” “I guess so.” (= I guess I’ll be home …)
– “Do you think Kate has been invited to the party?” “I supposed so.”

You can also say: I hope so and I’m afraid so.

The usual negative forms are:

I think so -> I don’t think so
I hope so / I’m afraid so / I guess so -> I hope not / I’m afraid not / I guess not
I suppose so -> I suppose not

  • “Is that woman French?” “I think so. / I don’t think so.”
  • “Do you think it will rain?” “I hope so. / I hope not.” (not I don’t hope so)
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