Advanced Grammar for IELTS: Auxiliaries, have (got), do – Diagnose Test, Grammar Explanation & Practice Exercises
A DIAGNOSTIC TEST: Auxiliaries, have (got), do
Ten of these sentences contain mistakes or errors of style. Tick (✓) the correct sentences, then find and correct the mistakes. Note that some sentences may be correct in spoken English, not in written English.
We’ven’t been able to access the website since yesterday evening ==>….We haven’t……….
1 The builders were certainly working hard; they were plastering the kitchen, were painting the staircase and were tiling the bathroom.
2 Kevin’s exhausted; its been a hectic day.
3 ‘The battery’s flat. You didn’t turn the lights off, did you?’ ‘Yes, I did turn them off, I remember it distinctly.’
4 ‘Miranda’s over the moon. She’s always wanted to have got a sports car.’
5 They won’t have anyone smoking in their house.
6 He’s watching television when she arrived at the flat.
7 ‘Why didn’t you ask Graham about the reorganisation plan?’ ‘What was the point? He wouldn’t’ve known anything about it.’
8 Will you have got a good weekly income from your pension when you retire?
9 She’s such a naughty child; she could really do some strict discipline!
10 Do help yourself to a drink.
11 A shower was had by John before he came to work.
12 ‘Excuse me. Is there a post office near here?’ ‘Sorry, I haven’t a clue. I’m a stranger here myself.’
13 Members can have got two cards each.
14 I see the Red Sox have gotten themselves a new striker this season.
15 We used to have got a house in the country before Jack lost his job.
B GRAMMAR EXPLANATION: Auxiliaries, have (got), do
Be, have and do can be used as main verbs (I have a new car) or as auxiliary verbs (I have sold my old car). We use forms of have as auxiliary verbs in perfect tenses, forms of be in continuous tenses and passives, and forms of do in questions and negatives. In this unit we look at these auxiliary functions, at the use of have and do as main verbs, the use of do for emphasis, and at have and have got.
- AUXILIARY VERBS
There are three auxiliary verbs in English: have, be and do. We use have and be to make perfect, continuous and passive forms of tenses:
I haven’t seen her for ages.
John is working very hard these days.
The flat is watched by the surveillance team twenty-four hours a day.
We use forms of do to form questions, negatives and negative questions in the present and past simple:
Do you enjoy going to the theatre?
Did they like the new place?
The thermostat doesn’t work anymore.
We didn’t go to Corfu after all.
Doesn’t the thermostat control the heating?
Didn’t you go to Ibiza?
Note: We don’t use auxiliary verbs with modal verbs, e g. must, can, should:
X Do we must pay excess baggage on this?
✓ Must we pay excess baggage on this?
X We didn’t could wear high heels at my old school.
✓ We couldn’t wear high heels at my old school.
Note: We don’t usually repeat the same subject and auxiliary verb in a sentence:
[We were watching television and we were laughing at Mr Bean’s antics.]
✓ We were watching television and laughing at Mr Bean’s antics.
We sometimes omit auxiliary verbs in newspaper headlines:
Terrorist arrested in dawn raid. (= A terrorist was arrested …)
We often omit subjects and auxiliary verbs when we are writing notes or postcards:
Enjoying my holiday. Flying back next week. (= I am enjoying … I am flying …)
But we don’t omit auxiliaries if doing so would make the meaning unclear:
[Dave going to come to party but tied up] (= Dave is coming.)
✓ Dave was going to come to the party but he’s tied up. (= Dave isn’t coming.)
We also use be, have and do as substitute words in text and in inversion.
1B. Contracted forms
We often contract not and the auxiliaries have and be. In writing we use an apostrophe (’) to represent the missing letter(s):
We don’t combine contracted auxiliaries with a contracted form of not:
I have not seen it.
X I’ven’t seen it. ✓ I haven’t seen it or, I’ve not seen it.
But in spoken English and when we represent speech in writing we can combine contracted auxiliaries, e g. ‘ve. and contracted not with modal verbs:
He shouldn’t’ve done it. (= He should not have done it.)
Note: You may hear ain’t instead of am/is/are not used in conversation and in popular songs. This form is considered incorrect by most English speakers:
[ I ain’t going to the party ] (= I am not going to the party.)
Note: We don’t contract was:
X He’s watching television when she arrived.
✓He was watching television when she arrived.
In formal English we don’t use contractions when there is more than one subject:
X The Army and the Navy’ve launched a recruitment drive.
✓ The Army and the Navy have launched a recruitment drive.
Note: The contraction for has and is is the same: ’s. Similarly, the contraction for had and would is the same: ‘d. The context tells us which auxiliary is being used:
He’s taken a long lease. (= has taken) He’s taking a holiday. (= is taking)
He’d known her for ages. (= had known) He’d know what to do. (= would know)
Note: We usually avoid using contractions in very formal English:
[Clauses 10-15 don’t apply in the case of valuables stolen from vehicles.]
✓ Clauses 10-15 do not apply in the case of valuables stolen from vehicles.
2A. Stressing the auxiliary
To make a sentence, which includes an auxiliary, more emphatic in speech we stress the auxiliary verb (underlined in the examples):
Fancy seeing you again. It has been a long time!
Don’t beat around the bush. Did you or didn’t you take it?
That holiday’s done wonders; you are looking well!
But if the auxiliary is preceded by a modal verb then we stress the modal:
That’s absolutely ridiculous; you must have seen something!
2B. Inserting do
Present simple and past simple phrases, which do not contain an auxiliary, can be made more emphatic by adding a form of do:
I’m very sorry sir. We do try our best to comply with most passenger requests.
The witness is hazy on the details, but she did notice a scar on his forearm.
We can also emphasise imperatives with do:
Do shut up.
We often use this pattern to make polite suggestions or offers:
Do sit down and make yourself comfortable.
Do let me help you with that heavy case.
- HAVE AND DO
3A. have and do as main verbs
Have and do can be used in the same way as other main verbs:
He didn’t have any brothers or sisters. When do you do the washing?
In British English we can use have without auxiliary do in questions and negatives:
Has the government any real intention of addressing the crime problem head on?
I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about.
Note: We don’t usually use the passive of main verb have. When we do, it has the meaning
‘be tricked or cheated’:
You paid $100 for a T-shirt! You’ve been had! (= You’ve been cheated.)
Have and do can combine with particles to make multi-word verbs:
You’re having me on! I don’t believe he’s going to do the house up by himself.
(For have/ get something done and have somebody do something )
3B. Meaning of have
We use have to describe many different states, e.g. possession, inclusion, relationship:
The chairman of the board has a Gulfstream executive jet. (possession)
Our latest computer will have a number of upgradeable components. (inclusion)
I have two older brothers. (relationship)
(We do not use have in continuous or passive forms with these meanings)
We can use have + noun to talk about experiences and actions:
He has a headache every time he eats blue cheese. (= He suffers from a headache …)
We’re having chicken with cashew nuts. (= We’re eating chicken …)
We can use have + noun when we want to give extra information by using adjectives:
They raced up the hill. The race was exhausting.
They had an exhausting race up the hill.
I’m going to swim in the sea tomorrow. It will last a long time and be invigorating.
I’m going to have a long, invigorating swim in the sea tomorrow.
Sometimes we use have + noun when there is no single verb in English for the action or experience we want to describe.
You have an appointment with the accountants at four.
I had a brainwave on the bus coming here.
The children often have nightmares after thunderstorms.
Note: Won’t have and wouldn’t have can be used to mean ‘not tolerate’:
I won’t have anyone smoking in my house.
3C. Meaning of do
Do can have several meanings. We often use do to talk about actions in general:
What did you do this morning?
We can use do meaning ‘carry out/complete a task’:
Sarah’s doing something for her boss. (= is carrying out a task)
Right. That’s done at last. (= A task has been completed.)
There are many fixed expressions with do:
What does he do? (= What’s his job?)
That child could do with a good telling off. (= deserves/needs)
Five minutes will do if you’re rushed for time. (= be sufficient)
- HAVE GOT
4A. have got = have
We use have got as an alternative to have to express possession and similar states in the. Have got is more common than have in informal British English:
[He has a car but he hasn’t a garage to keep it in.]
✓ He’s got a car but he hasn’t got a garage to keep it in.
In formal written English we can use have got, but have is more usual:
[Applicants have got three months in which to complete and return the forms.]
✓ Applicants have three months in which to complete and return the forms.
Note: We usually use a form of have, not have got to talk about past or future possession:
[ I had got a pet labrador when I was a child. ]
✓I had a pet labrador when I was a child. (= possessed)
[I’m going to have got a nice cottage by the seaside when I retire.]
✓ I’m going to have a nice cottage by the seaside when I retire. (= going to possess)
Note: Have got and have do not have continuous or passive forms when they mean ‘possess’:
X He is having (got) a car. X A car has been got by him. ✓ He has got a car.
In US English, have got is used mainly in speech, and the negative and question forms are not common.
4B. have got have
Have got is also the present perfect form of the verb get. It can mean has become, has obtained, has received, etc. Compare:
She’s got/ has a degree in chemistry and works at the lab. (= possesses)
She’s just got a degree and hopes to get a job in a lab. (= has just obtained)
We can use have got as an infinitive with these present perfect meanings but not with the meaning of ‘possess’:
|✓ I hope to have got the results by March. (= to have obtained)
X She has always wanted to have got a car ( = to possess)
verb + perfect infinitive
✓She must have got a terrible shock. (= must have received)
X Members-can have got two cards each. (= possess)
✓She will have got the keys by next week. (= will have obtained)
X While she is working for Blake’s, Cassandra will have got a company car. (= possess)
We can use had got with the meaning ‘had obtained/ received’, etc:
He’d got a certificate from the doctor so he could claim sick pay. (= had obtained)
In US English the past participle form of get when it means ‘has become/ obtained/ received’, etc. is gotten:
Hollywood movies have gotten more and more violent in recent years.
We don’t use have got in these ways:
|to describe actions||X Can you answer the phone? I’ve got a shower.
✓ Can you answer the phone? I’m having a shower
|in short answers||‘Do you have /Have you got anything vegetarian?’
X yes, we have got’ ✓ ‘Yes, we do/ have.’
|in tag questions||X You’ve got two brothers, haven’t you got?
✓ You’ve got two brothers, haven’t you?
|with used to||X We used to have got a place in the country.
✓We used to have a place in the country.
C PRACTICE EXERCISE
There is one auxiliary verb missing from each of these sentences. Rewrite the sentences using a suitable auxiliary verb. Whenever appropriate, use contracted forms. If two contracted forms are possible, in conversational speech for instance, write both.
0 He could not seen them do it.
… He couldn’t have seen them do it……..He couldn’t’ve seen them do it…….
1 I been waiting here for hours.
2 They trying to find a nice hotel for two hours last night.
3 She will not returned by the time the show starts.
4 Protection under this policy not include items of an aggregate value exceeding $500.
5 He might not known that it was you at the door.
6 their boss not realise that they are under a lot of pressure?
7 James got better despite the fact that he not been taking his medication for weeks.
8 she not appreciate how upset he was?
9 We regret to inform you that the bank unwilling to extend credit facilities in this case.
10 Hilary not expecting you until this evening.
11 They really should told you about their decision.
12 The documents requested from your solicitor have not received and we are therefore obliged to cancel your contract forthwith.
The words in these sentences have been jumbled up. Write the sentences correctly then match them to the descriptions in the box.
A Emphatic sentences
==> Do take a seat. C
For each of the sentences below, write a new sentence as similar as possible in meaning to the original sentence, but using the word given in bold. The word must not be altered in any way.
0 He’s going to restore the house himself.
up ………..He’s going to do the house up himself……….
1 I don’t know what the answer is.
2 Don’t forget you are due to see the sales manager at ten o’clock.
3 Does Your Honour have any further instructions on this matter?
4 How does Clare earn a living?
5 She won’t allow anybody to use bad language at the dinner table.
6 He’s been deceiving you.
7 Will this piece of fabric be suitable for the new curtains?
8 This floor needs a good wash.
9 You’ve been tricked!
10 It isn’t quite finished yet.
done …………………………………………………………………………………. .
11 What was on the menu for your staff lunch last week?
12 I think he’s in the middle of an asthma attack.
The following dialogue and the hotel brochure below each contain at least six phrases which can be replaced by forms of have or have got. Find the phrases and rewrite them. Use contractions whenever appropriate, and only use have if have got is either not appropriate or not grammatically correct.
1 SARA New hairstyle, Liz?
2 LIZ Yes. I use this marvellous new hairdresser.
3 SARA Really?
4 LIZ Mm. Jane Lindsay, she owns a place in the high
6 SARA But I thought you went to that place next to the
7 post office.
8 LIZ No, I used to, but the woman who did my hair
9 emigrated to Australia last month.
10 SARA Oh? Well, your new woman’s certainly very
11 original! Your hair contains extensions, doesn’t it?
12 LIZ Yes, they’re great, aren’t they?
13 SARA Very distinctive. I’ve always wanted to possess
14 extensions but I’ve never had the nerve
15 to ask for them. Was it expensive?
16 LIZ Not really. She’s doing a special offer. You can receive three hairstyling sessions
17 for the price of two – if you bring a friend along.
18 SARA Bring a friend?
19 LIZ Yes. There is an appointment for you there at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon. My treat!
20 Situated in the heart of the beautiful Scottish Highlands, the Glenforth Hotel offers
21 the discerning guest the ultimate in luxury and gracious living.
22 Dining: We possess a Michelin-starred restaurant offering the best in cordon bleu
23 cuisine featuring a variety of locally-sourced organic ingredients.
24 Leisure facilities: Would you enjoy indulging in a relaxing swim or sauna?
25 Our guests can obtain free membership of the adjacent Glenforth Health Centre which
26 includes a fully-equipped gymnasium, heated indoor pool and sauna/steam rooms.
27 Babysitting service: If your family contains small children you will be able to take
28 advantage of our unique babysitting service. We employ several fully- qualified
29 local nannies who are able to take care of your children for an evening.
30 Sports: For those of our guests that enjoy fishing, the hotel has acquired the fishing
31 rights on a three-mile stretch of the river Glenswift, which is teeming with a large
32 number of salmon, trout and bream.
(Note: in formal written texts like the one above it would be considered inelegant style to use the same words, e.g. have and have got. too often.)
……Line 2 I’ve got this marvellous new hairdresser……………
Choose the most appropriate form (A or B) to complete each sentence.
- ___________ just closing the doors as she rushed into the bank.
A They were B They’re
- The committee is of the opinion that such a case _________ provided for under Article 7 of the treaty.
A is not B isn’t
- You’re quite wrong. I know it was dark, but he really ____________ the outline of the burglar’s face – I’m sure of it!
A saw B did see
- ‘Listen, Burt. He __________ done it. He’s been with me at the betting shop all day.’
A couldn’t’ve B could not have
- Mandy’s marrying old Benson? You’re ___________ me on!
A having B doing
- Clients wishing to take up this offer must ___________ an address within the European Union.
A have B have got
- You ought to visit Emily; ____________ a wonderful flat overlooking the river.
A she got B she’s got
- OK then. The rear stalls_____________ if you haven’t got any seats in the front circle.
A will do B do
- He’s got one of those new WAP mobile phones, _____________
A hasn’t he got? B hasn’t he?
- Today’s headlines. British and French authorities, ________ a joint anti-smuggling initiative.
A ‘ve announced B have announced
11 He told you he was a millionaire and you believed him! You’ve _________ !
A been done B been had
- The great thing about Laura is that she’s always been able _________ a laugh at her own expense.
A to have B to have got
- I look a mess; I could really _____________ a new haircut.
A do B do with
- Once the computer centre is built the college is hoping to ____________ a steady stream of applicants eager to improve their computing skills.
A have got B have
- I couldn’t tell you what Bill looks like now, we___________ seen him for ages.
A ‘ven’t B haven’t
D ANSWER KEY FOR DIAGNOSTIC TEST
- were painting the staircase and were tiling the bathroom. ==> painting the staircase and tiling the bathroom.
- its ==> it’s
- to-have-got ==> to have
- He’s watching ==> He was watching
- have-got ==> have/get
- really do some ==> really do with some
- A shower was had by John ==> John had a shower
- can have-got ==> can have
- gotten ==> got (in British English) ✓ (in US English)
- have-got ==> have
E ANSWER KEY FOR PRACTICE EXERCISE
- I’ve been waiting
- They were trying
- She won’t have/won’t’ve returned
- this policy does not include (no contraction – formal English)
- He mightn’t have known/ He mightn’t’ve known (in spoken English)
- Doesn’t their boss realise
- he hadn’t been taking
- Didn’t/ Doesn’t she appreciate
- the bank is unwilling (no contraction – formal English)
- Hilary’s not expecting/ Hilary isn’t expecting/ Hilary wasn’t expecting
- They really should’ve told
- have not been received (no contraction – formal English)
- Do help yourself to a drink. C
- He did promise to behave himself in future. A
- Do pay attention, young man. B
- The dog does enjoy a good run around the park. A
- Do take your feet off the table. B
- Do keep quiet. B
- Do come and join us. C
- Do make yourself at home. C
- Jane did manage to lose quite a lot of weight. A
- The children really do love the Disney channel. A
- I haven’t (got) a clue what the answer is./ I don’t have a clue …
- Don’t forget (that) you have (got) an appointment with the sales manager at ten o’clock.
- Has Your Honour any further instructions on this matter?
- What does Clare do (for a living)?
- She won’t have (anybody using) bad language at the dinner table.
- He’s been having you on.
- Will this piece of fabric do for the new curtains?
- This floor could do with a good wash.
- You’ve been had!
- It hasn’t been/isn’t quite done yet.
- What did you have for your staff lunch last week?
- I think he’s having an asthma attack.
Line 4 she owns ==> she’s got
Line 11 Your hair contains extensions, doesn’t it? ==> You’ve got extensions, haven’t you?
Line 13 to possess ==> to have
Line 16 can receive ==> can have
Line 19 There is an appointment for you ==> You’ve got an appointment
Line 22 possess ==> have
Line 24 indulging in ==> having
Line 25 can obtain ==> can have
Line 26 includes ==> has
Line 27 your family contains ==> If you have/you’ve got
Line 28 employ ==> have
Line 30 has acquired ==> has/has got
Line 31 is teeming with ==> has
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