Auxiliary verbs and a trip to Wembley
Hello again, to Naheed and everyone reading! Welcome to the start of another week. And thanks to Naheed for telling her funny stories and putting a smile on my face on a gloomy Monday morning. Smokey says ‘thanks!’ for the fish. She bolted them down in about two seconds flat.
It was very interesting to hear that weddings last for three or four days in Pakistan. Here, a wedding lasts just one day. A lot of my friends who have got married say they wish it could have lasted longer, because they spent months and months planning for their big day, and it was all over before they knew it. Perhaps they should have chosen to follow Pakistani tradition!
First things first. Smokey tells me that she stayed awake long enough to give you some exercises to complete at the weekend, about question tags. I’ve got the answers for you here:
1) Naheed is a talented artist, isn’t she?
2) Naheed draws beautifully, doesn’t she?
3) Today is Saturday, isn’t it?
4) You are good at English, aren’t you?
5) I am quite a grumpy cat, aren’t I?
Naheed, you got the answers perfect for these! By the way Naheed, if you have any questions about language that you’d like me to cover in the second half of your month as student blogger, just let me know. But I think your English is already pretty amazing! Keep it up!
I promised Kailarai that I would write something about auxiliary verbs, so this is what I’m going to focus on in this blog. First, I’m going to write a little bit about auxiliary verbs, Then, in the final two paragraphs of my blog, I’d like you to see whether you can identify the auxiliary verbs I use to talk about my weekend and my trip to the big smoke.
So, what are auxiliary verbs, exactly? Auxiliary verbs are ‘helping’ verbs. They help us create the correct meaning. In English, we only have a small number of verb forms (e.g. visit, visits, visiting, visited). So, if we want to expand on a meaning, we can use auxiliary verbs. There are basically two groups of auxiliary or helping verbs:
1) be, do and have
You can use be to make continuous and passive forms:
Is it snowing?
I was trapped in my home by 50cm of snow.
You can use do to make questions, negative forms and emphatic forms:
Do you like the cold?
It didn’t snow for very long.
Do help yourself to something to eat.
You can use have to make perfect forms:
Where have you been this weekend?
I hadn’t realised I was late.
2) modal auxiliary verbs
You use modal auxiliary verbs with other verbs to expand meanings. Usually modal verbs helps us express certainty or obligation, e.g.
May I borrow £50?
I could lend you some money, but I don’t trust you, so I won’t.
The modal auxiliary verbs are: will, shall, would, should, can, could, may, might, must and ought.
Now let me tell you the answer to my riddle from Friday’s blog. As I mentioned, this weekend my friend and her husband came down to visit. We went for a walk with the dog to the local pub, and then yesterday we went to London. We went to a new venue called Wembley Stadium, in the west of London. They’ve only just finished building it, but it looks really great. It’s huge – it can hold up to 75,000 people. But I’m not really much of a sports fan, so I was there for the music. We saw a British rock band called Muse, supported by an American group called My Chemical Romance. Muse were brilliant – there are only three people in the band, but they create an amazing sound. It was a blast to see the new stadium and to experience such a great concert. Here’s a photo of how the stadium looked:
I think the new Wembley Stadium is a roaring success. A lot of people don’t, though. You see, there were a lot of problems involved in the construction of this stadium. It was completed way over deadline, and way over budget. And of course, people in the UK like to moan. We’re a nation of whingers. Some people say it’s ugly, others that it’s too expensive, and that it should never have been built at all. But I think it makes a dramatic addition to the London skyline. And as a venue for live music, it’s second to none.
See you all next time,
gloomy – dark and miserable
If you bolt something down, you eat it very quickly.
Two seconds flat – you can use an expression of time followed by the word ‘flat’ to mean ‘exactly’.
big day – you can use this phrase to talk about an important occasion, such as a wedding, a christening, the day you get your exam results, etc.
A supporting act is the band that comes on before the main band, to get the audience warmed up.
You can have a blast or saying something is a blast – it basically means it’s great.
A roaring success is a big success.
way over – a lot over
whinger – slang for ‘moaner’, pronounced with a ‘j’ sound
Answers to your comments
Melissa – ‘I’ve got that Friday feeling’. You’ll hear people say this quite often in the UK. It means you’re feeling excited because the working week is almost over, and you’re looking forward to the weekend.
Tomo – you’re right, practice makes perfect! Keep trying and you’ll climb to the top of those walls eventually.
Manas – yes, ‘ain’t’ and ‘aren’t’ do mean the same thing. However, ‘ain’t’ is slang. You’ll hear it when people speak, mostly. ‘aren’t’ is more correct, because it’s simply a contraction of ‘are not’.
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.