Positive Form of verbs

This video looks at the most common way to use verbs is in the positive form.

It looks like this:


For example:

“We are learning”

Most of the time in English the main verb, which tells the action of the sentence, is preceded by another verb, called an auxiliary verb, which puts the action of the main verb in the proper context. It can tell us the tense of the verb or, if it is a modal auxiliary verb it indicates permission, obligation, or possibility.

So in the positive form all auxiliaries come directly before the main verb.

Here are some more examples of the positive form with an auxiliary verb.

“She has helped people.”

“We are walking together.”

“They had planned the project.”

“You have taken over the office.”

“The house was built in 1952.”

“I have been to Africa.”

The subject tells us who performs the action of the main verb. 

The auxiliary verb, sometimes called a helping verb, puts the action in its proper time or context. It isn’t the action of the sentence so its regular meaning doesn’t apply; they are just there for grammatical purposes. The action is defined by the main verb.

Contractions in the Positive Form

We use auxiliaries a lot in English so to make them quicker and easier to say we often use the contracted form. This means we kind of merge the subject pronoun and the auxiliary verb into one word.

So “We are learning. becomes “We’re learning.

She has helped people.” becomes “She’s helped people.

We are walking together.” becomes “We’re walking together.

They had planned the project.” becomes “They’d planned the project.” and so on. 

Simple Tenses are different in the Positive form

Simple tenses, present simple and past simple, are a little different. In these tenses when they are in the positive form, the auxiliary is not needed, but the structure is the same, we can just skip the auxiliary, “do” or “did”. For example.

“I eat breakfast.”

“She helped me.”

“They had meatballs.”

“It tickles.”

“We sent them.”

“It goes well.”

With these, because there is no auxiliary, we can’t use a contraction.


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