Structure drills 1 Auxiliary verbs: short answers (01)



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STRUCTURE DRILLS
1 Auxiliary verbs: short answers (01)


(a) Affirmative

(b) Negative

A: Were you here yesterday?

B: Yes, I was.
A: Did Ann meet Jack?

B: Yes, she did.


A: Were you here yesterday?

B: No, I wasn't.
A: Did Ann meet Jack?

B: No, she didn't.


For convenience, treat you as singular, e.g.

A: Are you ready?

B: Yes, I am.


But you and Tom or you both must of course be answered with we, e.g.

A: Are you and Tom ready?

B: Yes, we are.


  1. Are you both going away next weekend?

  2. Did you go away last weekend?

  3. Can Tom drive a car?

  4. Has he got a licence?

  5. Will Ann be here tomorrow?

  6. Could you wait half an hour?

  7. Were they late?

  8. Did Bill get a lift?

  9. Would he like to work abroad?

  10. Must you go? (For negative answer use needn't.)

  11. Is he getting on well?

  12. Were they waiting for the bus?

  13. Had they missed their usual bus?

  14. Is he over twenty-one?

  15. Does he usually go by air?

  16. Have you ever fallen off a horse?

  17. Was he injured in the accident?

  18. Did he blame the other driver?

  19. Will she be back by four?

  20. Need you tell him? (For affirmative answer use must.)


Answer the following questions in a written form


1. Can you swim?

2. Would £10 be enough?

3. Can you cook?

4. Is your name Pitt?

5. Do you play cards?


6. Have you any money?

7. Are you free this evening?

8. Would you like to see him?

9. May I borrow your car?


10. Are you Tom's brother?


2 Auxiliary verbs: short answers PEG 108
Assume that questions are addressed to you and Tom.


(a) Affirmative and Negative

(b) Negative and Affirmative

A: Can you both swim?

B: I can but Tom can't.
A: Were you both there?

B: I was but Tom wasn't.


A: Can you both swim?

B: I can't but Tom can..
A: Were you both there?

B:I wasn't but Tom was.





  1. Have you both got tickets?

  2. Did you both see the play?

  3. Do you both like Swedish films?

  4. Are you both over twenty-one?

  5. Have you both got driving licences?

  6. Are you both learning to fly?

  7. Will you both be here tomorrow?

  8. Were you both surprised?

  9. Will you both like it?

  10. Must you both go? (Use needn't for negative.)

  11. Can you both see well?

  12. Do you both belong to a club?

  13. Are you doing anything tonight?

  14. Need you practise tonight? (Use must in the affirmative.)

  15. Could you both work late tonight?

  16. Should you have been on the plane?

  17. Had you spoken to him before?

  18. Would you mind if the trip was cancelled?

  19. Are you both studying English?

  20. Have you both got plenty of money?



Answer the following questions addressed to you and your friend in a written form
1. Can you both play tennis?

2. Would you tell him the truth?

3. Could you both join the club?

4. Are you both learning German?

5. Were you both interested in this business?

6. Have you both done it already?

7. Are you both ready?

8. Do you both smoke?

9. Are you both going to Spain next year?

10.Will you both be there in two days?



3 Auxiliary verbs: negative additions to negative statements PEG 112D
A: Jack couldn't understand it. (Tom)

(a) B: Neither could Tom.

or

(b) B: Jack couldn't understand and neither could Tom. (Both subjects stressed.)


A: He can't cook. (she)

(a) B: Neither can she.

or


  1. B: He can't cook and neither can she. (Both subjects stressed.)

Alternatively the same subject could be used in all the answers, e.g.



Neither could Tom / Neither can Tom / Neither must Tom

or:


Neither could I / Neither can I etc.
nor could be used instead of neither.


  1. Peter hasn't time to study. (Bill)

  2. George mustn't be late. (Arthur)

  3. Paul didn't get any sleep. (his mother)

  4. Ann doesn't smoke. (I)

  5. Nancy wouldn't come. (her husband)

  6. Paul doesn't believe you. (James)

  7. Bill hasn't been waiting long. (Bob)

  8. Andrew wasn't drunk. (Peter)

  9. They don't know the way. (I)

  10. Ann won't write letters. (Lucy)

  11. She isn't going anywhere. (I)

  12. Charles wasn't making a noise. (Jack)

  13. Peter shouldn't have complained. (Paul)

  14. He won't be ready by six. (she)

  15. Peter hadn't done his homework. (his sister)

  16. The Smiths aren't rich. (the Joneses)

  17. He can't explain it. (anyone else)

  18. Peter hasn't started work yet. (Harold)

  19. Ann couldn't lift it. (Alice)

  20. Jack hadn't been paid. (Peter)


Add to the following remarks using (and) neither/nor + the auxiliary + the noun/pronoun in brackets in a written form


1. I haven't seen it. (Tom)

2. You shouldn't be watching TV. (Tom)

3. You mustn't be late. (1)

4. He can't come. (his sister)




5. This telephone doesn't work. (that)

6. Tom's car won't start. (mine)

7. I hadn't any change. (the taxi driver)

8. He didn't know the way. (anyone else)





4 Auxiliary verbs: affirmative additions to affirmative statements

PEG 112A
A: Tom is going by taxi. (Bill)

B: And so is Bill.

or

B: Tom is going by taxi and so is Bill. (Both subjects stressed.)


A: She works in a laundry. (he)

B: And so does he.

or

B: She works in a laundry and so does he. (Both subjects stressed.)



Alternatively the same second subject could be used in all the answers, e.g.

So is Tom / So does Tom / So will Tom etc.

or: So am I / So do I / So will I etc.




  1. They had cornflakes for breakfast. (I)

  2. George has lunch in the canteen. (Gerald)

  3. John has a hangover this morning. (Alan)

  4. Jack should have thanked her. (we)

  5. Ann got a parking ticket. (Alice)

  6. Mary's taking photographs. (Michael)

  7. She develops her own films. (he)

  8. Paul thought it was too much. (I)

  9. Brian should go to bed earlier. (Jane)

  10. Philip will have to take lessons. (Pat)

  11. They missed the programme. (we)

  12. James had better change his shoes. (Mark)

  13. They're looking for a flat. (we)

  14. Rupert made six mistakes. (you)

  15. Jack must go. (his wife)

  16. Hugh liked the Albert Hall. (Mary)

  17. Emily offered to help. (Jean)

  18. Bill should take a holiday. (Peter)

  19. Richard has just got home. (Philip)

  20. I'm tired of this. (we all)



Add to the following remarks using (and) so + the noun/pronoun in brackets + the auxiliary in a written form


1. I have read it. (John)

2. He is a writer, (she)

3. Tom can speak Welsh, (his wife)

4. She ought to get up. (you)

5. I should be wearing a seat belt. (you)


6. John will be there. (Tom)

7. The first bus was full. (the second)

8. I bought a ticket, (my brother)

9. You must come. (your son)

10.This bus goes to Piccadilly. (that)



5 Auxiliary verbs: affirmative additions to negative statements

PEG 112B
A: His mother didn't come to the wedding. (his father)

B: His mother didn't come to the wedding but his father did.

(Both subjects are normally stressed.)




  1. Mary doesn't like the flat. (Tom)

  2. George isn't ready. (Peter)

  3. Peter wouldn't wait for you. (George)

  4. Mr Jones hadn't arrived. (his wife)

  5. She won't sign the protest. (her sister)

  6. Bill didn't wave. (Bob)

  7. Mr Jones hasn't got a driving licence. (Mrs Jones)

  8. You needn't attend the meeting. (your friend) (Use must.)

  9. You couldn't do it in one day. (I)

  10. They weren't in any danger. (we)

  11. He hadn't promised to help. (I)

  12. She wouldn't like to see it. (I)

  13. Ann can't read without glasses. (I)

  14. They haven't got colour television. (we)

  15. Bob doesn't like thrillers. (Michael)

  16. The children shouldn't get up early. (their mother)

  17. He hadn't noticed the mistake. (she)

  18. Peter wouldn't do it for nothing. (Andrew)

  19. Mary didn't buy an evening paper. (Alice)

  20. The bus driver wasn't in the bus. (conductor)



Add to the following remarks using but + noun/pronoun + the auxiliary or do/does/did

in a written form
1. John was seasick. (Mary)

2. He wasn't there, (she)

3. You must go. (your brother)

4. My sister can speak German. (I)

5. Alexander didn't want to wait. (James)

6. Bill needn't stay. (Stanley)

7. A cat wouldn't eat it. (a dog)

8. He will enjoy it. (his wife)

9. I haven't got a computer, (my neighbour)

10. This beach is safe for bathing, (that beach)

11.I must leave early, (you)

12.You don't have to pay tax. (I)



6 Auxiliary verbs: negative additions to affirmative statements

PEG 112C
A: George likes living alone. (Peter)

B: George likes living alone but Peter doesn't.
A: His brother gave him a present. (his sister)

B: His sister gave him a present but his sister didn't.

(Both subjects are normally stressed.)


  1. Peter took the lift up. (Paul)

  2. Peter had an umbrella. (Paul)

  3. You were late. (I)

  4. They had booked seats. (we)

  5. Mary has been waiting for ages. (you)

  6. She passed her driving test. (I)

  7. She was taught by a qualified instructor. (I)

  8. Peter can stand on his head. (his brother)

  9. Mary could wear that shade of green. (I)

  10. He reads the paper from cover to cover. (I)

  11. They would be afraid to protest. (I)

  12. The girls were amused. (the boys)

  13. The girls laughed. (the boys)

  14. He wears jeans. (she)

  15. His hair is wavy. (hers)

  16. His mother came to the prison to see him. (his father)

  17. Peter has been to Japan. (his sister)

  18. Bill must report to the police station. (Bob) (Use needn't.

  19. George would be horrified. (his mother)

  20. Sidney believes in ghosts. (Jack)


7 Auxiliary verbs: short responses to affirmative statements

PEG 111
A: The train was full.

B: Was it?
A: I went to the cinema yesterday.

B: Did you?


These short responses are roughly equivalent to really? or indeed?

When said without any special intonation, they indicate a polite lack of interest. But they can also, when said with the appropriate intonation, express surprise, approval, disbelief and sometimes other emotions.




  1. I go to the cinema quite often.

  2. I went last night.

  3. It was a very good film.

  4. The queues were enormous.

  5. I've finished that book you lent me.

  6. I'd read it before actually.

  7. I live in a very noisy street.

  8. My husband thinks I'm a wonderful cook.

  9. I do my best.

  10. I did everything I could.

  11. I must go now.

  12. Diamonds suit me.

  13. It's raining.

  14. I like going to the opera.

  15. You've made another mistake.

  16. Your dog bit me again last night.

  17. I'd like to go to Morocco for my holidays.

  18. I have a very small appetite.

  19. We've met before.

  20. My garden was lovely last week.


8 Auxiliary verbs: short responses to negative statements

PEG 111
A: I wasn't late.

B: Weren't you?
A: I didn't see him.

B: Didn't you?


These short responses are roughly equivalent to really? or indeed?

When said without any special intonation, they indicate a polite lack of interest. But they can also, when said with the appropriate intonation, express surprise, approval, disbelief and sometimes other emotions.




  1. I don't like your brother.

  2. I couldn't sleep last night.

  3. I wasn't afraid.

  4. I can't type very well.

  5. My wife doesn't understand me.

  6. I didn't make a single mistake.

  7. I haven't an enemy in the world.

  8. I don't snore.

  9. It can't rain like this every day.

  10. I shouldn't be telling you all this.

  11. I never tell lies.

  12. I didn't mean to annoy you.

  13. Nobody believed me! (Use they as subject.)

  14. My case wasn't examined.

  15. You aren't so clever as you think you are.

  16. I wouldn't like to share a flat with you.

  17. I wasn't born then.

  18. They didn't treat me fairly.

  19. I don't agree with you.

  20. I wouldn't tell a lie even to save my life.


9 Auxiliary verbs: affirmative + interrogative responses

PEG 111B
A: I borrowed your bicycle..

B: Oh, you did, did you?
This type of response normally indicates anger. But used without oh and with a rising intonation it can indicate surprise or disbelief.


  1. I borrowed your car yesterday.

  2. I'd like it tomorrow too.

  3. You can walk to work.

  4. It's good for you to walk.

  5. Anyway you drive too fast.

  6. You're a danger on the roads.

  7. You'll have an accident one day.

  8. We were talking about your driving in the pub last night.

  9. Everyone agreed with me. (Use they as subject.)

  10. I often listen in to your telephone calls.

  11. They're sometimes very interesting.

  12. I've taped some of the more interesting ones.

  13. I told the boss you were late last Friday.

  14. I always tell him when anyone is late.

  15. He expects me to spy on the staff.

  16. I'm being promoted next month.

  17. I'd like a diamond ring for my birthday.

  18. You could easily afford to buy me one.

  19. You are always buying things for yourself.

  20. And diamonds are quite cheap.


10 Auxiliary verbs: negative + negative interrogative responses

PEG 111B
A: I don't spend anything on myself.

B: Oh, you don't, don't you?
A: I didn't mean to get you into trouble.

B: Oh, you didn't, didn't you? (Both verbs are stressed.)


This form is used in response to negative statements. It has the same meaning

as its affirmative form.




  1. I don't feel well enough to work today.

  2. I'm not very strong.

  3. I won't be able to help you tomorrow either.

  4. You letters haven't been typed yet.

  5. Anyway they aren't important.

  6. The typist doesn't like your handwriting.

  7. And she can't always understand your sentences.

  8. You don't write good English.

  9. If you left this office, it wouldn't make any difference.

  10. You mustn't speak to me like that.

  11. I'm not going to explain the new system to you.

  12. Because you couldn't make it work.

  13. You wouldn't even understand it.

  14. Your boss doesn't think much of you.

  15. He never intended to employ you.

  16. But he couldn't get anyone else.

  17. You shouldn't use the VIP lounge.

  18. I didn't tell you the whole truth before.

  19. But I wasn't really intending to deceive you.

  20. You weren't really sober enough to take it in anyway.


11a Auxiliary verbs: question tags: interrogative tags after negative statements

PEG 110A,B


Interrogative tags after negative statements

You didn't see him, did you?


Question tags can be said with a rising intonation, as in questions, but are usually said with a falling intonation, as in statements. This intonation indicates that the speaker doesn't need information but merely expects agreement.

Use a falling intonation for this exercise.


A: I'm not late. (prompt only)

B: I'm not late, am I? (i.e. repeat the prompt and add the tag)




  1. You needn't start at once.

  2. His parents weren't angry.

  3. You aren't doing anything tonight.

  4. The tourists hadn't been inoculated.

  5. Tom shouldn't have said anything.

  6. Ann never reads reviews.

  7. Nobody objected at the time. (Use they in the tag.)

  8. We shan't have to wait long.

  9. He hardly ever pays for his own drinks.

  10. You don't expect me to wait all night.

  11. This bus service isn't very reliable.

  12. You couldn't drive a car down a flight of steps.

  13. He wouldn't lift a finger to help anyone.

  14. You won't tell Peter.

  15. You can't have it both ways.



11b Auxiliary verbs: question tags: negative tags

after affirmative statements


PEG 110A,C
Negative Interrogative tags after affirmative statements

You can go out whenever you like, can't you?


Use a falling intonation as in Exercise 11a
A: The coffee was terrible.

B: The coffee was terrible, wasn't it?




  1. Tom and Ann have announced their engagement.

  2. They are getting married next month.

  3. Bill will be disappointed.

  4. He was hoping to marry her himself.

  5. But he waited too long.

  6. He should have proposed six months ago.

  7. If he had proposed, she would have accepted him.

  8. But girls get tired of waiting.

  9. And she had been let down by her previous boy-friend.

  10. All the same it's a pity.

  11. You get paid twice as much as your brother.

  12. And he works much harder than you.

  13. He ought to ask for more money.

  14. His employers could afford to pay him more.

  15. They made an enormous profit last year.


12 Auxiliary verbs: question tags

PEG 110
Mixed types:

You won't be late, will you? (interrogative tag)

You'll be in time, won't you? (negative interrogative tag)


Use a falling intonation, as in Exercise 11
A: You didn't have to wait long.

B: You didn't have to wait long, did you?


A: A bus came almost at once.

B: A bus came almost at once, didn't it?




  1. They weren't very good jokes.

  2. Nobody laughed. (Use they.)

  3. There must have been some mistake.

  4. It's no use crying over spilt milk.

  5. You will be careful.

  6. They hadn't met before.

  7. Everyone should be paid the same. (Use they.)

  8. Then there wouldn't be any more wage claims.

  9. I'm in time.

  10. We'd better hurry.

  11. You didn't expect him to get the job.

  12. He was quite astonished himself.

  13. But it'll mean living in London.

  14. He won't like that.

  15. He'd much rather go on living here.

  16. You can manage on your own.

  17. You don't want me to help you.

  18. Anyway I'm not much use.

  19. You aren't listening to the radio.

  20. So we might as well turn it off.


13 Auxiliary verbs: question tags with a rising intonation

PEG 110D
Question tags are said with a rising intonation when the speaker is not sure that the statement is true and wants to be re-assured. The statement here carries a fairly strong stress. The position of the stress will, of course, vary according to the speaker's meaning, so most of the following sentences could be stressed in a number of ways. But when doing the drill you should copy the stress pattern of the prompt. Notice that there is normally a rise of pitch on the stressed words.




A: You like Peter.

B: You like Peter, don't you?



A: They didn't take your passport.

B: They didn't take your passport, did they?






  1. Paul caught the 8.40.

  2. Ann hasn't been paid yet.

  3. The snow will be too soft to ski on.

  4. They could get a loan.

  5. You don't think it was my fault.

  6. The detectives don't won't search this house.

  7. That bottle was full this morning.

  8. He usedn't to drink so much.

  9. You aren't going to do anything stupid.

  10. He wouldn't leave the country without telling us.

  11. You meant what you said last night.

  12. We'd better call the Fire Brigade.

  13. The snakes aren't dangerous.

  14. Good steak can be eaten raw.

  15. We aren't being followed.

  16. No one suspects us. (Use they.)

  17. The doctors warned you about the side-effects of the drug.

  18. The water should have been boiled.

  19. The fine needn't be paid at once.

  20. You'd rather drive than be driven.


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