Hey there.

Ok I'll try to explain this as simply as I can...

If we take the sentence 'The King rides the horse', King is the subject and the horse is the object. Easy stuff. Now in Old English, we would have different words for 'the' for each noun in this case, 'se' and 'oaet' which would show which of the two was subject and object, however this has now obviously fallen out of use.

Using this as an example, I am trying to explain to a person I know why how she speaks is incorrect. She continually uses terms such as 'I done it', 'I seen it' and such and I figure in a similar way that there is a subject and object with nouns, there would be one with verbs in the following sentences.

I ate/I have eaten.
I did/I have done.

Now I am trying to explain to her why the latter forms of the verbs 'to eat' and 'to do' require the use of the verb 'to have' prior to them in order to be correct English, but I can't explain it withough some sort of term. Is there a term for the verb 'to have' in this case in a similar vein of the subject/object example used for nouns?

I don't know, something like secondary verb or something which would explain why the verb 'ate' would change to 'eaten' after the addition of the verb 'have' beforehand.

I'm assuming it's a kind of tense in which I am unfamiliar with the name.


I have eaten. I have done. This is the Present Perfect tense. 'Have' is commonly called the 'auxiliary' verb. In class, I sometimes call it the 'helping verb'. Eaten/done are past participles.

Other examples of auxiliaries are I will eat, I did eat.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi, I would like to add to what you just said. Always know that 'have' or 'has' uses the past participle form of the verb. So, in the phrase 'I have eaten': eaten is the past participle form of the verb 'eat' and to use the past participle form of a verb, you should always preceed it with 'have' or 'has' to make it correct English.

Respect !!