2. The auxiliarieS
• In a Yes/No Question, the auxiliaries are very
important. Usually, we find them in an affirmative
or negative sentence that is used to form the
Paul is away on vacation.
In this case IS (Simple Present Tense of To Be) is
used in the sentence. IS becomes the auxiliary
because it is an auxiliary-verb. It will be used to
make the Yes/No question.
3. how To ForM The YeS/No QueSTioNS
wiTh To Be
To Form Yes/No questions, you simply put the
auxiliary-verb TO BE in front of the subject:
Paul is away on vacation
And it becomes your Yes/No Question:
IS Paul on vacation ?
Aux + Subject + rest of the question ?
Don’t forget the question mark (?)
It is the same rule for the verb TO BE in the simple past
4. uSiNg The verB To Be aS
aN auxiliarY iN The paST
Yes/No questions can also be formed with the verb
To Be in the past tense.
Susan was at the dentist’s office last night
Was Susan at the dentist’s office last night?
5. Using the verb to be
in the simple fUtUre
We can do the same thing with the verb To Be in
the simple future tense. This time only the suffixe
Will go in front of the subject.
Susan will go to the dentist tomorrow afternoon
Will Susan go to the dentist tomorrow afternoon?
6. making Yes/no
qUestions Using simple
In the preceeding example, the verb To Be was used as an
auxiliary. But what happens when there aren’t any auxiliary-
verbs in the affirmative or negative sentences. For example:
Mr. Landry drives a truck.
In this sentence, drives is an irregular verb in the simple past
tense. It is obvious that we can’t put the simple tense verb in
front of the subject.
Drives Mr. Landry a truck?
7. the magic formUla is
When we use simple tense verbs ( Simple Present,
Simple Past or Simple future) excluding the verb
TO BE (Simple Present and Simple Past), we have
to use an auxilliary. This slightly modifies the
Magic Formula. It becomes:
Aux. + Subject + Verb + rest of the question?
8. What happens then?
In that case you must use the auxiliaries Do, Does
(for verbs in the simple present tense) and Did for
the simple past tense verbs.
Simple Present: DO
DOES (3rd person singular: He, She, It)
Simple Past: DID (whatever the person)
Does Mr. Landry drive a truck?
Notice that the verb TO DRIVE is in the infinitive form. It gives its S to
the auxiliary Do because of Mr. Landry (3rd person sing.). When using
Do, Does Did, the verb is always in the infitive form.
9. An exAmple with DiD
In the following sentence, the verb is in the simple
Mr. Landry drove a truck.
In this case the Auxiliary DID is used.
DID Mr. Landry drive a truck?
In this case again the verb TO DRIVE is in the infinitive form
(without « To »)
10. Using other AUxiliAries
(moDAls) in Yes/no QUestions
Another kind of auxiliaries we use for making
Yes/No questions are MODALS. A modal is an
auxiliary that changes the meaning and the tense of
You CAN run 10 miles.
In this case, the Modal auxiliary CAN represents
someone’s capability or capacity to run 10 miles.
The meaning and tense of the verb as, therefore,
11. how to form A Yes/no QUestion
with moDAl AUxiliAries
Forming a Yes/No question from a sentence
containing a Modal is a simple task. Here we
have an auxiliary (modal) and a verb in the
You can run the marathon
Here are the other Modals that we could use in
12. Modal Use Tense Example
CAN To express
Present I can run a marathon
Can you run a marthon?
SHOULD To express
ns or directives
Conditional Students should study more.
Should students study more?
MAY To express
Present It may snow tomorrow.
May we close the door?
MIGHT To express a
Conditional Steve might be late.
Might Steve be late tonight?
MUST To express
necessity to do
Present You must get to work on time.
Must I get to work on time?
13. MODALS USE TENSE EXAMPLES
Have To To express
You have to take care
of the dog.
Do you have to take
care of the dog?
Ought to To express
Conditional You ought to study
Ought you study more?
Present You had better get up
Had I better get up
Cnditional I would rather leave now.
Would you rather leave
14. Because Modals are auxiliaries, they are used in
the same way as in the case of the Simple tense
Aux + Subject + Verb + rest of the question?
John should be able to swim this weekend
Should John be able to swim this weekend ?
15. Recap (Magic FoRMulas)
With the verb TO BE the formula is:
AUX. + SUBJECT + REST OF THE QUESTION?
With the Simple Tense Verbs an Modal Auxilliaries:
AUX. + SUBJECT + VERB + rest of the question?