Read the following conversation and pay attention to the auxiliary verb “did“:
John: (1)Did you watch last night’s game?
Adam: Yeah! I (2)did. I bet you liked Rooney’s goal, (3)didn’t you?
John: Oh, yes! It was great! But I actually preferred Van Persie’s goal.
Adam:(4)Did you? But overall he (5)didn’t play well, (6)did he?
John: No, not really. But he (7)did score a great goal, right?
Adam:Yeah, I guess so. But so (8)did Rooney, in my opinion.
Now, let’s see the uses of “did” in each case (1 – 8):
(1) Question form: to ask questions: Did you do…?
(2) Short answer: to avoid repeating the main verb: Yes, I did. / No, I didn’t.
(3) Question tag: asking for clarification or approval, at the end of a statement: didn’t you?
(4) Echo questions: expressing certain surprise at something said by someone else: did you?
(5) Negative form: to negate a verb: didn’t play well.
(6) Question tag: same as (3), but in positive form: did he?
(7) Emphasising auxiliary: to emphasise that something happened or was so: he did score a great goal.
(8) Agreement or similarity: to express agreement or similarity with a previous statement or idea: so did Rooney.
So these 7/8 points summarise the main uses of auxiliary verbs. These very same uses apply to other auxiliaries such as have, am/is/are, was/were, modal verbs, etc. Download the following infographic and check it out whenever you’re not sure how to use auxiliaries.
For more information about how to use question tags and echo questions, a new post will soon be published offering deeper insight into their construction and uses.
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