HAVE
/

HAVE can be a main verb. See the table opposite.

HAVE can also be an auxiliary verb. It is usually used in
perfect tenses.

I haven't seen Samantha today.

He had never been to Tanzania.

I have (got) a car. (Br.)

I have a car. (U.S.)



In questions

British English - Have you got a car ?

American English - Do you have a car ? ( used as a main verb )

USE / MEANING EXAMPLE
ACTIONSShe had a shower.
EXPERIENCEWe're having a nice time.
RECEIVE / OBTAINWe had a letter today.
POSSESSIONThey have (got) a big house.
CHARACTERShe has a good memory.
STATESI have a headache.
RELATIONSShe has six brothers.
OBLIGATIONSI have (got) to go.
CAUSEShe had her hair cut.
IDIOMSI had better go. I've had it!


DO DO or MAKE

DO can be a main verb.
See the table on the right.

DO is very often an auxiliary verb.

Do you like coffee? No, I don't.

DO often replaces another verb.

I like pasta. So do I.

DO is often used for emphasis.

I do love you. Really!

MAKE usually means to create something.
She made a cake.

Apart from the meanings in this table,
MAKE is usually the right choice.
Make.....
an offer,
an excuse,
an arrangement,
a plan,
a mistake,
a noise,
money
friends...
USE / MEANING EXAMPLE
UNSPECIFIED ACTIVITYWhat are you doing?
WORKHe does all the housework.
PROGRESS PERFORMANCEShe did very well in her exams.
BE ENOUGHI can't stay long. Will an hour do?
BE SUITABLEThis restaurant will do.
REPLACE ANOTHER VERBGo and do (clean) your teeth.
Have you done (brushed) your hair?
IDIOMSCan you do me a favour?
It won't do any good.


BE

BE as main verb is generally used to describe states of affairs - how things are now or generally. See the table opposite.

BE is also an auxiliary verb, used in ALL continuous tenses.

I am working.
She has been reading.

BE is also used to indicate passive forms.

Smoking is forbidden.
The grass has been cut.
It was damaged.

USE / MEANING EXAMPLE
NOUNS REFER TO SAME THING
(Noun+BE+Noun)
Nigel is my boss.
QUALITY (Be+Adj.)He's happy.
POSITION / TIMEHe's upstairs.
They're late.
EXISTENCE (There+BE)There's a knife on the table.
RULES/ORDERS/ARRANGEMENTSVisitors are to leave by ten o'clock.
We are to be married soon.


GET

GET has a number of 'basic' meanings. See the table opposite.

GET can often be used in place of BE in passive constructions - though usually in colloquial language.

I got sent home from school. ( I was sent home from school. )

GET is often used in a relexive way to talk about things we do to ourselves.

In British English, have got is often used in spoken English in place of have, when talking about possession, or in place of must.

They've got a new house.
I've got to go now. ( i must go now. )

USE / MEANING EXAMPLE
RECEIVE/OBTAINI've got a new job.
FETCHI'll get the milk.
BECOMEWe couldn't get warm.
MOVEMENTGet out!
Get up!
STARTLet's get moving!
CAUSEI got her a new job.
We got him out of prison.
We got the car serviced.
PASSIVE MEANINGI got invited to the party.
REFLEXIVEI got dressed.


GO

GO has many different uses in English. See the table opposite.

A common modern colloquial use of GO is to replace  SAY  when reporting what someone else said. It is NOT recommended that you use this.

'What do you want?' I said. And she goes, 'It's nothing to do with you!'

USE / MEANING EXAMPLE
LEAVEI must go now.
MOVEMENTWe went by plane.
DIRECTIONThe road goes west.
FINISHHas the wine all gone?
BECOME / CHANGEHis hair is going grey.
ACTIVITYHe went shopping.
IDIOMThings are going well.
Money doesn't go far these days.