Auxiliary verb abbreviated aux

Download 146.65 Kb.
Hajmi146.65 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6

Meaning contribution



copula (= linking verb)

She is the boss.


progressive aspect

He is sleeping.


passive voice

They were seen.


deontic modality

can swim.


epistemic modality

Such things can help.


deontic modality

could swim.


epistemic modality

That could help.


deontic modality

dare not attempt it.



You did not understand.



Do you like it?


perfect aspect

They have understood.


deontic modality

May I stay?


epistemic modality

That may take place.


epistemic modality

We might give it a try.


deontic modality

You must not mock me.


epistemic modality

It must have rained.


deontic modality

You need not water the grass.


deontic modality

You ought to play well.


deontic modality

You shall not pass.


deontic modality

You should listen.


epistemic modality

That should help.


epistemic modality

We will eat pie.


future tense

The sun will rise tomorrow at 6:03.


habitual aspect

He will make that mistake every time.


epistemic modality

Nothing would accomplish that.


future-in-the-past tense

After 1990, we would do that again.


habitual aspect

Back then we would always go there.

Deontic modality expresses an ability, necessity, or obligation that is associated with an agent subject. Epistemic modality expresses the speaker's assessment of reality or likelihood of reality. Distinguishing between the two types of modality can be difficult, since many sentences contain a modal verb that allows both interpretations.

List of Auxiliaries Unique to African American Vernacular English

African American Vernacular English makes a variety of finer tense/aspect distinctions than other dialects of English by making use of unique variant forms of, in particular: habitual 'be', reduced 'done' (dən), and stressed 'been' (BIN):

Verbal Auxiliaries in AAVE





habitual aspect

She be telling people she eight.

‘She is always telling people she’s eight’


resultative modality

dən pushed it.

‘I have (already) pushed it’


distant past tense

BIN knew that.

‘I’ve known that for a long time’

Diagnostics for identifying auxiliary verbs in English

The verbs listed in the previous section can be classified as auxiliaries based upon two diagnostics: they allow subject–auxiliary inversion (the type of inversion used to form questions etc.) and (equivalently) they can take not as a postdependent (a dependent that follows its head). The following examples illustrate the extent to which subject–auxiliary inversion can occur with an auxiliary verb but not with a full verb:

a. He was working today.

b. Was he working today? - Auxiliary verb was allows subject–auxiliary inversion.

a. He worked today.

b. *Worked he today? - Full verb worked does not allow subject–auxiliary inversion.

a. She can see it.

b. Can she see it? - Auxiliary verb can allows subject–auxiliary inversion.

a. She sees it.

b. *Sees she it? - Full verb sees does not allow subject–auxiliary inversion.

(The asterisk * is the means commonly used in linguistics to indicate that the example is grammatically unacceptable or that a particular construction has never been attested in use.) The following examples illustrate that the negation not can appear as a postdependent of a finite auxiliary verb, but not as a postdependent of a finite full verb:

a. Sam would try that.

b. Sam would not try that. - The negation not appears as a postdependent of the finite auxiliary would.

a. Sam tried that.

b. *Sam tried not that. - The negation not cannot appear as a postdependent of the finite full verb tried.

a. Tom could help.

b. Tom could not help. - The negation not appears as a postdependent of the finite auxiliary could.

a. Tom helped.

b. *Tom helped not. - The negation not cannot appear as a postdependent of the finite full verb helped.

A third diagnostic that can be used for identifying auxiliary verbs is verb phrase ellipsis. See the article on verb phrase ellipsis for examples.

These criteria lead to the copula be and non-copular use of be as an existential verb being considered an auxiliary (it undergoes inversion and takes postdependent not, e.g., Is she the boss?She is not the bossIs there a God?There is a God). However, if one defines auxiliary verb as a verb that somehow "helps" another verb, then the copula be is not an auxiliary, because it appears without another verb. The literature on auxiliary verbs is somewhat inconsistent in this area.[18]

There are also some properties that some but not all auxiliary verbs have. Their presence can be used to conclude that the verb is an auxiliary, but their absence does not guarantee the converse. One such property is to have the same form in the present tense, also for the first and the third person singular. This in particular is typical for modal auxiliary verbs, such as will and must. (Examples: He will come tomorrowshe must do it at once, not he wills or she musts.)

Vs. light verbs[edit]

Some syntacticians distinguish between auxiliary verbs and light verbs.[19][20] The two are similar insofar as both verb types contribute mainly just functional information to the clauses in which they appear. Hence both do not qualify as separate predicates, but rather they form part of a predicate with another expression - usually with a full verb in the case of auxiliary verbs and usually with a noun in the case of light verbs.

In English, light verbs differ from auxiliary verbs in that they cannot undergo inversion and they cannot take not as a postdependent. The verbs have and do can function as auxiliary verbs or as light verbs (or as full verbs). When they are light verbs, they fail the inversion and negation diagnostics for auxiliaries, e.g.

Note that in some dialects (for example, the West and South West dialects of Hiberno-English), the inversion test may sound correct to native speakers.

a. They had a long meeting.

b. *Had they a long meeting? - Light verb had fails the inversion test.

c. *They had not a long meeting. - Light verb had fails the negation test.

a. She did a report on pandering politicians.

b. *Did she a report on pandering politicians? - Light verb did fails the inversion test.

c. *She did not a report on pandering politicians. - Light verb did fails the negation test.

(In some cases, though, have may undergo auxiliary-type inversion and negation even when it is not used as an auxiliary verb – see Subject–auxiliary inversion § Inversion with other types of verb.)

Sometimes the distinction between auxiliary verbs and light verbs is overlooked or confused. Certain verbs (e.g., used tohave to, etc.) may be judged as light verbs by some authors, but as auxiliaries by others.[21]

Multiple auxiliaries[edit]

Most clauses can contain zero, one, two, three, or perhaps even more auxiliary verbs.[22] The following example contains three auxiliary verbs and one dispositive participle:

The paper will have been scrutinized by Fred.

The auxiliary verbs are in bold and the dispositive (i.e. head) participle is underlined. Together these verbs form a verb catena (chain of verbs), i.e., they are linked together in the hierarchy of structure and thus form a single syntactic unit. The participle scrutinized provides the semantic core of sentence meaning, whereby each of the auxiliary verbs contributes some functional meaning. A single finite clause can contain more than three auxiliary verbs, e.g.

Fred may be being judged to have been deceived by the explanation.

Viewing this sentence as consisting of a single finite clause, it includes five auxiliary verbs. From the point of view of predicates, judged and scrutinized constitute the core of a predicate, and the auxiliary verbs contribute functional meaning to these predicates. These verb catenae are periphrastic forms of English, English being a relatively analytic language. Other languages, such as Latin, are synthetic, which means they tend to express functional meaning with affixes, not with auxiliary verbs.

The periphrastic verb combinations in the example just given are represented now using the dependency grammar tree of the sentence; the verb catena is in green:[23]

The particle to is included in the verb catena because its use is often required with certain infinitives. The hierarchy of functional categories is always the same. The verbs expressing modality appear immediately above the verbs expressing aspect, and the verbs expressing aspect appear immediately above the verbs expressing voice. The verb forms for each combination are as follows:

Functional meaning

Verb combination



finite modal verb + infinitive

may be

Perfect aspect

form of auxiliary verb have + perfect active participle

have been

Progressive aspect

form of auxiliary verb be + progressive active participle

be being

Passive voice

form of auxiliary verb be + passive participle

been deceived

English allows clauses with both perfect and progressive aspect. When this occurs, perfect aspect is superior to progressive aspect, e.g.


Recognize an auxiliary verb when you find one.
Every sentence must have a verb. To depict doable activities, writers use action verbs. To describe conditions, writers choose linking verbs.

Sometimes an action or condition occurs just once—bang!—and it is over.

Nate stubbed his toe.
He is miserable with pain.
Other times, the activity or condition continues over a long stretch of time, happens predictably, or occurs in relationship to other events. In these instances, a single-word verb like stubbed or is cannot accurately describe what happened, so writers use multipart verb phrases to communicate what they mean. As many as four words can comprise a verb phrase.

A main or base verb indicates the type of action or condition, and auxiliary— or helping—verbs convey the other nuances that writers want to express.

Read these three examples:
Sherylee smacked her lips as raspberry jelly dripped from the donut onto her white shirt.
Sherylee is always dripping something.
Since Sherylee is such a klutz, she should have been eating a cake doughnut, which would not have stained her shirt.
In the first sentence, smacked and dripped, single-word verbs, describe the quick actions of both Sherylee and the raspberry jelly.

Since Sherylee has a pattern of messiness, is dripping communicates the frequency of her clumsiness. The auxiliary verbs that comprise should have been eating and would have stained express not only time relationships but also criticism of Sherylee's actions.

Below are the auxiliary verbs. You can conjugate be, do, and have; the modal auxiliaries, however, never change form.




am is are was were

being been

does do did

has have had having


can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, would

Understand the dual nature of be, do, and have.
Be, do, and have are both stand-alone verbs and auxiliary verbs. When these verbs are auxiliary, you will find them teamed with other words to complete the verb phrase.

Compare these sentences:

Freddy is envious of Beatrice’ s steaming bowl of squid eyeball stew.
Is = linking verb.
Freddy is studying Beatrice’s steaming bowl of squid eyeball stew with

envy in his eyes.

Is = auxiliary verb; studying = present
Download 146.65 Kb.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
1   2   3   4   5   6

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan © 2024
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling