Auxiliary verb is a verb that gives further semantic or syntactic information about a main or full verb


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Auxiliary verbs
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Auxiliary Verb 

PLAN:
1 Functions of the English auxiliary verb

2 Properties of the English auxiliary verb

3 Non-Indo-European languages

In linguistics, an auxiliary verb is a verb that gives further semantic or syntactic information about a main or full verb. In English, the extra meaning provided by an auxiliary verb alters the basic meaning of the main verb to make it have one or more of the following functions:passive voice, progressive aspect, perfect aspect, modality, or emphasis. It is also called helping verbhelper verbauxiliary verb, orverbal auxiliary, and abbreviated aux.

In English, every clause has a finite verb which consists of a main verb (a non-auxiliary verb) and optionally one or more auxiliary verbs, each of which is a separate word. Examples of finite verbs include write (no auxiliary verb), have written (one auxiliary verb), and have been written(two auxiliary verbs). Many languages, including English, feature some verbs that can act either as auxiliary or as main verbs, such as be ("I am writing a letter" vs "I am a postman") and have ("I have written a letter" vs "I have a letter"). In the case of be, it is sometimes ambiguous whether it is auxiliary or not; for example, "the ice cream was melted" could mean either "something melted the ice cream" (in which casemelt would be the main verb) or "the ice cream was mostly liquid" (in which case be would be the main verb).

The primary auxiliary verbs in English are to be and to have; other major ones include shallwillmay and can.

Functions of the English auxiliary verb
Passive voice

The auxiliary verb be is used with a past participle to form the passive voice; for example, the clause "the door was opened" implies that someone (or something) opened it, without stating who (or what) it was. Because many past participles are also stative adjectives, the passive voice can sometimes be ambiguous; for example, "at 8:25, the window was closed" can be a passive-voice sentence meaning, "at 8:25, someone closed the window", or a non-passive-voice sentence meaning "at 8:25, the window was not open". Perhaps because of this ambiguity, the verb get is sometimes used colloquially instead of be in forming the passive voice, "at 8:25, the window got closed."




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