An auxiliary verb modifies the main verb to give more information about the main verb.

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The intransitive “to fail” becomes the adjective “failed”

My native language is English. My second-best language used to be German (though you need not know German to answer, for my questions are about English), so I am now noticing what seems to be a weird ...
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2answers
39 views

main verb negation/can not

Can one say a. You can not do it now and do it later. b. You may not do it now and do it later. (Meaning: You can do it later. You don't have to do it now.) ? Can one say c. It could happen and it ...
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3answers
79 views

Can anyone tell me if the use of the word “would” makes this sentence conditional/hypothetical?

So, me and some others got into a little debate about this and I found some really good information on here, and wanted to get some good expert opinions. I have 2 questions about the following ...
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1answer
47 views

Using (be) as a main verb in this form (be) without using auxiliary verbs, is it possible?

There's no doubt that "Be happy." and "Don't be sad." are correct. But "They be happy" is incorrect. "They are happy" "Are they happy?" "They aren't happy" "Aren't they happy?" "Why aren't they ...
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2answers
82 views

Which auxiliary should I use in this question tag? [closed]

Children sleep with a smile. Funny,_____? I need a question tag. Which one is it: isn't it or aren't they or don't they?
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1answer
37 views

Finite and non-finite clauses: “We have washed the dishes”

I have a quick question regarding finite and non-finite clauses if I may? In clauses that contain modal or auxiliary verbs marked for tense AND a non-finite element, is the clause finite or ...
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4answers
103 views

The difference between “would” and “used to”

Is it correct to say: I worked at a software company and I would sell different programs. To me, would does not sound appropriate here for past habits. Is selling considered a state like work ...
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1answer
50 views

Questions without a question mark (New Yorker) [duplicate]

How to listen to music How a City in France got out the World's first Short-Story vending machines How we learn fairness What makes great detective fiction according to T.S. Elliot What went wrong at ...
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53 views

“Would” vs. “will”? [duplicate]

Are both of these sentences correct? I will go to the dance if I find somebody to go with me. I would go to the dance if I find somebody to go with me. If so, does that mean "would" and ...
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1answer
42 views

‘the condition that <noun> be <adjective>’

In a scientific paper, I am using a phrase that is something like ‘the condition that all the numbers be positive’. I was wondering what kind of construction this is (the ‘be’) and how it compares to ...
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1answer
80 views

Difference between “should”, “would” and “ought to” [closed]

The sentence: It's essential that the documents should be destroyed immediately. Why can't ought to be used in place of should and why can't I go for would?
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21 views

“X want to do Y?” as a question [duplicate]

I've heard sentences like 'He want to do something? OK' a few times, where the first sentence is supposed to be a question, but there is no auxiliary verb i.e. 'Do', so I'm confused.
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2answers
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In the present tense, can I use “ought to have” where “have” means “to possess”?

I'm not a native English speaker. All the examples of "ought to have" in my grammar book are in the past tense. But can I use it in the present tense to say that someone probably has something? ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Is “one needs only” or “one need only” correct?

This questions concerns the singular or plural form of the word "need". It might concern the property of the word "need" under different circumstances, which consequently affects whether it can ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Auxiliary DO in “I do love you” [duplicate]

I am wondering about the meaning and use of DO in "I do love you". Is it just an emphatic use that means "I really love you! I love you so!" or a contraditory statement: You don't love me! You're ...
4
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2answers
146 views

Que sera seria - What will be WOULD be

While addressing backshifting of epistemic 'would' over on English Language Learners, I ended up trying to analyse will/would usage in the context of... 1: Considering how long it's been out of ...
3
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1answer
40 views

Single auxilliary verb before conjunction “and” vs. two auxilliary verbs around it

Which one of these statements is correct or more appropriate or recommended? Alice is an artist and is very popular for her work. Alice is an artist and she is very popular for her work. Alice is an ...
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2answers
46 views

about “ so that”

Consider the sentence structure: S + V1 + "so that" + S + (aux. V) + V2 For example: Mike went to the theater early so that he could find a seat. What happens if I take out the auxiliary ...
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1answer
51 views

Example using “doing” as an auxiliary verb?

My textbook lists the forms of "do" including "doing" as auxiliary/helping verbs. I can't think of any example where it would be used as such. Can you?
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2answers
165 views

Was found to be or found to be?

Which of the following is correct? Based on the laboratory experiments, the strength of the sample was found to be 30MPa. or Based on the laboratory experiments, the strength of the sample ...
0
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1answer
67 views

How to explain the lack of auxiliary verb in some questions?

I am trying to write a lesson about QASM question structure (Where did you go, what will they see etc.) How should I explain the fact that the following questions don't seem to take an auxiliary verb? ...
3
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2answers
123 views

Is this the right use of the word 'lest' in this sentence?

The dictionary software 'WordWeb', when searched for the word 'lest' shows this as one of the sentence examples under the meaning 'In case' : "he worried lest he should be late." Now, I have even ...
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1answer
88 views

“I shall” vs. “I will” in an e-mail to a superior [duplicate]

In an e-mail to a superior, should I write "I shall create a page", or "I will create a page"?
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1answer
31 views

Auxiliary Verbs in Past and Present

When auxiliary verbs are used, must tense agreement always hold? For example, which of the following is grammatically correct? Yesterday, I realized that I can solve puzzles. or Yesterday, ...
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0answers
121 views

“I wouldn't have <past particle verb> if you wouldn't have <past participle verb>” not commonly heard from natives, why? Wrong or uncommon?

In my native language we often use complex sentences expressions like this: "I wouldn't have gone there if you wouldn't have told me to go there". Now when I say that in English it feel a bit verbose ...
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2answers
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use of would in statements

what is the difference between "I would go to the cinema but I have no money" and "I would have gone to the cinema but I had no money" I know that one is present tense and one is past perfect but ...
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1answer
58 views

IS or ARE? Simple question! [duplicate]

In this sentence: The ​insurance ​premium is ​small ​potatoes ​compared to what we'd have to ​pay if the ​house ​burned down. "Small potatoes" is a plural noun, but why is the auxiliary verb ...
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1answer
113 views

“Are” or “Is” when linking two singular nouns in a sentence?

When you are talking about about two singular nouns and link them together in a sentence with a conjunction such as "and" which verb form is correct? For example, would you say "Where is the broom ...
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1answer
269 views

Do I need to repeat the 'have' before the second verb?

I wonder whether it is optional/necessary that I repeat the 'have' in the sentence below (from an academic writing) While both aforementioned approaches have enjoyed many success stories and have ...
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1answer
118 views

What is the question tag for: "They got the answers, ____?

What would be the appropriate question tag for the sentence "They got the answers yesterday, ______?" Is haven't they the correct question tag? I would also like to know the different ...
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0answers
69 views

Use of Do/Does with indefinite pronouns

I am new! We all know that we use does with third-person singular (noun or pronoun, (definite or indefinite), but I am really confused about two things: How can I know that the given indefinite ...
3
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2answers
291 views

Can we say “you can [not go] to school” or does it automatically become a negative sentence? [duplicate]

"You can [not go] to school." Can this sentence mean that you can stay here and not go, or does it automatically become a negative sentence if I say it like this?
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188 views

If it's “I am” and not “I are”, why is it “I aren't” instead of “I amn't”? [duplicate]

I've been taught to say "I am" and "I aren't", but that doesn't make any sense to me. I think it should have been "I amn't" as am+not=amn't, but why isn't it?
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Are copulars considered linking, helping, or auxiliaries?

I'm having a hard time understanding why most people consider the infinitive to be and all of its verb base forms helping verbs. I've consulted multiple English grammar sites and forums, and most of ...
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1answer
79 views

Did + multiple bare infinitives in a question

What is the proper way to combine past tense of do (did) with multiple bare infinitives in a question: Did you go to vacation or stay at home? Did you go to vacation or stayed at home? Did you go to ...
0
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1answer
208 views

Question without auxiliary verb [duplicate]

Consider the conversation below. Is the last question correct? A: What did you think about it? B: I thought it was terrible. A: You thought it was terrible? It sounds a bit strange without ...
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2answers
814 views

Position of Adverbs in Negative Sentences [closed]

How am I supposed to write the sentences below in the negative form? Example A: A.1) Lila is certainly not going to be very happy about it or A.2) Lila isn't certainly going to be very ...
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3answers
76 views

“Didn't” or “Wouldn't”?

When I was in high school, a mosquito bite used to be itchy for many weeks. It didn't subside for a month or more. Is the word didn't proper here or should I use wouldn't? Wouldn't sounds ...
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3answers
996 views

“Wrote it I did” Is this grammatical?

Are the following two examples grammatical? Write it I have. Wrote it I did. Consider as possible contexts: They said that I have to write it, and write it I have. -- (for #1) They ...
3
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2answers
213 views

Position of interrogative auxiliary verbs as replies to statements [closed]

Imagine someone states the following to you: I think you're mistaken. We've never traveled to Italy together. What's the difference between the following two responses, if any? Haven't we? ...
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1answer
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Adverb location according to auxiliary verb

Even though there are examples of location of adverb related to auxiliary verb, I am still doubtful about where to put the adverb in this particular example. I need to make a very formal sentence: ...
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grammar: could versus would be able to

I'd like to be a dog walker because I think I'd be able to or I could control several dogs at once. The person's speaking about her abilities in the conditional. Is could be used in this ...
3
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2answers
76 views

about 'couldn't' [closed]

Does anyone know what's wrong with 'couldn't' in the following? I think there couldn’t be any trains today due to the strike, so I’m going by bus. What's interesting is that, There ...
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1answer
436 views

Context for “He never DID like her” and “He always DID like her”

I am trying to understand the usage of focused do/does/did that are preceded by adverbs such as never, always, still, etc. Are the following conversions idiomatic? A: John liked Mary before. B: No! ...
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3answers
461 views

Are modal verbs and auxiliary verbs actually verbs?

A friend recently told me that "can" is a rare verb without an infinitive. I have since looked it up and discovered it is an auxiliary verb. In my mind it modifies a "proper" verb in much the same way ...
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2answers
21k views

“Start to Inf.” vs. “start V-ing” [duplicate]

I want to know about usage of "start + action" and "stop + action". Which one of followin are correct or preferred? For ex. When shall I start working? When shall I stop working? Or ...
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Is usually tired, usually tired, and feels tired?

She is usually tired after coming back from school. She usually tired after coming back from school. She usually feels tired after coming back from school. Which one is correct? ...
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2answers
122 views

Using do not and don't (I do not think of it)

Man: What do you think of the view? Droid: I do not think of it. Man: I don't think of it. I don't. Droids and apostrophes, I could write a book, except you are... barely a droid anymore. (c) Deep ...
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1answer
222 views

Is “You might could talk to her family” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Following up my previous questions on the usage of the word / phrase ('banzai' and 'ring the cherries') in Thomas Harris' thriller, ”The Silence of Lambs,” I came across the following passage in the ...
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1answer
192 views

“The delegation will depart and will be accompanied” vs. “will depart and be accompanied”

(a) The delegation will depart from the embassy at 9 A.M. and will be accompanied to the airport by the Minister of Sports. (b) The delegation will depart from the embassy at 9 A.M. and be ...