I had an English language beginner ask me "What other verbs, like 'to be' don't use 'do' in the negative?"

I had never thought about this question from that perspective, and I was a little stumped. I told them about the modals, how 'can' for instance becomes 'can't' or 'cannot' and does not become 'don't can' but I was trying to find other irregulars that also don't use 'do' and I couldn't in that moment. Is it just 'to be' and the modals, or am I missing a huge list?

  • 1
    All the auxiliary verbs have an extra set of primary forms, i.e. the negative forms, so you need to include auxiliary "have", i.e. "hadn't" / "hasn't" / "haven't". – BillJ Oct 20 '19 at 10:53

These are the examples which do not need do support for negatives and interrogatives.

You need not come

You dare not fight with me

I have not got a son.

He has not come

He had not come.


These are questions without do or does:

Need you not come?

Dare you not fight with me?

Haven't you got a son?

Has he not come?

Had he not come?

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