Omitting Auxiliary Verbs in English (Ask Jack #24)

Auxiliary Verbs in English AJ24

In this episode of Ask Jack, I answer a question from William in Italy about auxiliary verbs.


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Present Perfect Examples (Video Transcript)

William from Italy asks: When can you leave out auxiliary verbs like do or does? Thank you so much for this question and it is a fantastic question. Now, I’m going to show you some examples of this happening of auxiliary verbs being left out and then we’ll look at some specific ways that you can do this.

So, the first example is this: you might hear someone say ‘do you want to come?’ However, you might also hear ‘want to come?’ So, you can see we delete ‘do you’ and we just say ‘want to come?’ Here is another example: are you ok? now try to guess what happens here – try to guess what happens here… the answer is this: ‘you ok?’ ‘you ok?’

Now the key here is to know that sometimes auxiliary verbs are left out in casual conversation; it’s a very informal way of speaking and as always, if in doubt, use the auxiliary verbs. But it’s good to know so that when somebody asked you ‘you ok?’ you know exactly what they mean. Now, another example is in headlines in the newspaper. So, this is taken from the New York Times a link to this newspaper is in the description below. What the title says this “Canadian city evacuated after wildfire.” So, this is the passive and we don’t have the auxiliary verb here. We don’t have ‘is’ or ‘was’ or ‘has been’ – instead, we just say Canadian city evacuated after wildfire. So, you’ll notice this a lot in headlines.

Here’s another example from a sign that I saw on the Internet. It just says ‘looking for a job’ and in normal everyday English we say ‘I’m looking for a job’. So you can see we exclude the auxiliary verb in certain signs as well – but as I said before, if you are in doubt and you’re talking in a normal conversation, then use the auxiliary verbs – but be aware of this and you can leave them out if you know how to do it in the right situations. Now, if you want to watch more videos in this Ask Jack series, then click the link in the description below and it will take you to the playlist where you can watch all the videos I’ve made answering your questions. So, thank you for watching this video and I’ll see you next time!

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