Open Menu
Find us on Facebook

Try mSpy Phone Tracker for Your Kid's Safety

Normal vs Special verbs: short anwsers

Normal vs Special verbs: short anwsers
Activity Fill in the Gaps
Activity Fill in the Gaps
Normal verbs use DO for the questions and the short answers, but not special verbs. Practise the difference.

Content preview


Complete the short answers here

It is very important to know which verbs are normal and which are special, because the sentence structure is different in each case.


They can do everything, they never need help. Special verbs are auxiliaries and modals, and there are only 13:

auxiliaries: to be, have, do
modals: can/could, will/would, shall/should, may/might, must, ought to


All the other verbs are normal. They can only build an affirmative sentence. For all the other constructions they need to use DO (DOES for the 3rd person singular in the simple present, DID for the past)

Special verbs follow the rule of the three NO's: No -S, No To, No Do


NO –S   
 I can / she can
I want / She wants
 I can walk / to can

I want to go / to want
 you can / you can’t / can you?
you want / you don't want / do you want?

❶- No S: Special verbs don't add an -S for the third person singular in the simple present tense. The forms is, has are irregular forms, but still, they are not bes (be + S) or haves (have + S)

❷- No To: Special verbs are never followed by an "infinitive with to" (exception: ought to), and they don't have an infinitive form (exception: to be). To do and To have are different from Do and Have. Compare:

- Do = special (auxiliary verb, no meaning):     Do you like it?
- To Do = normal verb:     I do yoga in the mornings / Do you do yoga?
- Have = special (auxiliary verb, no meaning):     Have you ever been to London?
- To Have = normal verb:     I have a car / do you have a car?
Note: Have got = have (special) + got (normal):     Have you got a car?

❸- No Do: Special verbs never use DO

I can't speak Russian (not: I don't can speak Russian)
Are you Polish? (not: Do you are Polish?)


Abbriviations used here:  s.v.= special verb  n.v.= normal verb  S= subject  V= verb  O= object, adverbial, complement


Let's see how these three rules work in practice, shaping the 4 most common constructions in the language


s.v. & n.v.   S+V+(O)

- I am Spanish
- He can speak English

- You live in London
- She likes Japanese music


s.v.   S+ V+not  +(O)
- I am not French
- She can’t speak Italian

n.v.   S+do+not +V+(O)
- You don’t live in Rome
- She doesn’t like Jazz


s.v.   V+S +(O) ?
- Are you Spanish?
- Can she speak English?

n.v.   do+S +V+(O) ?

- Do you live in London?
- Does she like Japanese music?


Are you Spanish?  Yes, I am / No, I'm not
Can she speak English? / Yes, he can / No, he can't
n.v. (use do)
Do you live in London?  Yes, I do / No, I don't
Does she like Japanese music?  Yes, she does / No, she doesn't

(simple rule: for Short Answers, the same verb that starts the question is the verb that will finish the answer)


Gapped text
- Are you English? - Yes, ________
- Have you been to Greece? - No, __________________
- Can you open the window, please? - Yes, __________
- Could you open a bottle of beer with your teeth? - Yes, ______________
- Will she go to the party? - No, __________________
- Would you do it? - Yes, ______________
- Must Jim come with us? - No, ____________________
- Do you guys need any help? - No, ________________. Thanks
- Does David live near here? - No, ____________________
- Does your mother travel a lot? - No, ______________________
- Should Peter phone her? - No, ________________________
- Have you ever been to London? - No, __________________
- Has she arrived yet? - No, ____________________
- Have you got any sisters? - No, __________________. Just one brother
- Did they phone the police? - No, ______________________
- Did you work for Siemens last year? - Yes, __________
- Did your parents speak German? - Yes, ________________
- Do cats like milk? - Yes, ______________
- Does Mark dance well? - Yes, ______________
- Do you love me, Tom? - Yes, ________, Megan
Total number of items: 20

<your ad here>

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more