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    helping verbs - be, do, have

    I know this is a simple question. I've used English for a long time, but do not understand the grammar rule behind many sentences. I would appreciate your helping me to understand the use of "be" in the following sentence.

    - Can you be at my house at 2pm?

    I know it is incorrect to omit "be" in the above sentence.
    I would like to understand when do I use "be", "have" and "do" helping verbs.

    Many thanks!

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    Re: helping verbs - be, do, have

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Oceanlike:

    Perhaps it would be clearer if you rearranged your question in regular order (ONLY for analysis):

    "You can be at my house at 2 p.m."

    As you can see, "can" is the helping verb. "Be" is the main verb.


    Here are some examples that I have made up using those three verbs as helping verbs (auxiliary verbs).

    "I am typing this answer now."
    "Have you eaten breakfast yet?"
    "Did you do your work?"

    We know that the underlined words are helping verbs because they "help" make the sentences sound smooth and they often tell us the time of the action. If you do not use the helping verb, most native speakers would understand your MEANING, but it would be "bad" English:

    "I typing this answer now." (Because of the word "now," this sentence is easy to understand.)
    "You eaten yet?" (In real life, some native speakers do ["do" is a helping verb here] actually drop the "Have." As a learner, you should NOT.)
    "You do your work?" (This sentence would be difficult to understand without "Did." We do not know if you dropped "Do" or "Did" or "Will" or "Can," etc.

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