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 Auxiliary Verbs

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PostSubject: Auxiliary Verbs   Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:01 pm

Auxiliary Verbs:

An auxiliary verb is one which helps other verbs to make tenses, passive forms etc. There are two groups - primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries.

Primary auxiliaries
Be, do, have and their various forms are called primary auxiliaries.
Be is used with other verbs to make progressive and passive verbs forms.
• I am writing.
• He was punished for lying.

Do is used to make questions, negatives and emphatic forms of non-auxiliary verbs.
• Do you know where John lives?
• I don’t know.
• Do sit down.

Have is used to make perfect verbs forms.
• I have completed my work.
• She has acted in a film.
• They had forgotten to send the letter.

Primary auxiliaries merely help to express statements of fact.
• She is writing.
• I am working.
• You have done wrong.
• He did not come in time.
• They have arrived.

Note that be, do and have can also function as principal verbs. They are called auxiliaries only when they help other verbs to form their tenses and moods.
 You were wrong. (Principal verb)
 You have done wrong. (Auxiliary verb)
 She is a good singer. (Principal verb)
 She is singing. (Auxiliary verb)

Auxiliary Verbs

An auxiliary verb is one which helps other verbs to make tenses, passive forms etc. There are two groups - primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries.
Modal auxiliaries
The verbs will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, must, ought, dare and need are usually called modal auxiliaries. They are used with other verbs to express actions, events or situations that exist only as conceptions of the mind - permissions, possibilities, certainty, ability, wishes, obligations etc. They may also express simple futurity.
• I can swim.
• She will come.
• I must go now.
• Should I call them?
• She might come.

Modal auxiliaries have three common characteristics.
1. They are never used alone. A principal verb is either present or implied.
• I can fly an aeroplane.
• He should behave.
• Will you go? Yes, I will (go).

2. Modal auxiliaries have no –s in the third person singular.
• I can swim.
• She can swim. (NOT She cans …)
• I may pass.
• He may pass.
• They may pass.

3. Modal auxiliaries do not have infinitives (to may, to shall etc.) or participles (maying, shalling, shalled etc.). You cannot say to shall, to must or to may.
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