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

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Passive auxiliary verb or progressive one?

Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.                —Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Is ‘being’ a passive auxiliary verb or a progressive one?
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429 views

Why does a negative adverbial phrase trigger inversion? [duplicate]

When a negative adverb (or adverbial phrase) is placed at the beginning of a sentence, we exchange the normal placement of subject and verb. Why is that?
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2answers
126 views

“Do I believe the sky above” vs. “I do believe the sky above” [closed]

I’m Brazilian and I have a question. Why does Enya say the following in her song “Caribbean Blue”? So the world goes round and round With all you ever knew They say the sky high above Is ...
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4answers
580 views

When was the form “is become” first used?

In the famous “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah, a line goes: The kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord. I’ve noticed similar forms in many biblical texts and ...
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3answers
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Is it correct to say “It was not happened”?

Is it correct to say "It was not happened"? I have heard people saying "It was not happening" or "It didn't happen" but "It was not happened" is new to me.
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3answers
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When did periphrastic tenses stop being tenses?

English sometimes has several different ways of expressing the same thing. For example, it can form a possessive either by using an old case inflection: The dog’s tail was always wagging. Or it ...
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2answers
2k views

Can “did” be used in affirmative sentences? [duplicate]

Duplicate: “did shoot” vs “shot” When do you use “Did + 1st form” instead of “2nd form”? Use of “do” in affirmative statements I know that did is used when asking or when using a negative ...
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0answers
23 views

Interrogative sentences without auxiliary verbs and declarative sentences with auxiliary verbs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection? Sometimes, auxiliary verbs or helping verbs are not present in some interrogative sentences in some specific contexts ...
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3answers
8k views

“I haven't got” vs. “I don't have”

Which is the correct way of saying this in English? I haven't got any money. I don't have any money. If both are correct, which is the difference between them?
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3answers
805 views

“Feeling safe? So do I!” — is this grammatical?

I have a small question regarding the usage of the present simple, present continuous and auxiliary verbs. Is this correct English? Feel safe? (Do you feel safe?) → So do I! Feeling safe? ...
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2answers
1k views

Subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Inversion in “only [adverb] have they” Is there some rule governing the following, or similar, subject-auxiliary inversions (*"Rarely they do see the light of day", ...
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7answers
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What does “if you will” mean?

A TV program says, they started this accounting gimmick, if you will, and they... What does "if you will" mean? Is it a short form of "if you will [a certain verb]"?
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3answers
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“I am going to have to”, “I have to”, and “I will have to”

What is the difference between these two: I am going to have to see you sometime. I have to see you sometime. When would you use the first one? On that note, how is . . . I will have to see ...
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3answers
759 views

“Have” vs. “Is” + Verb

The phrases have expired and is expired are in practice more or less identical. Formally, of course, they are different in that the former uses expired as a verb with have as its auxiliary, whereas ...
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2answers
5k views

“Would rather [infinitive1] than [infinitive2]” vs. “would rather that [subjunctive]”"

I am aware of sentences like Beth would rather study at the library than go to parties. There is another type of using rather that: She would rather that the plane leave early in the ...
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2answers
3k views

“Why couldn't” vs. “why couldn't you have”

Reading Harry Potter 2, I came across the following, and I wonder if the use of couldn't have is the equivalent of couldn't in this context? "I have got a question, Oliver," said George, who had ...
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5answers
26k views

“How dare you” vs “How do you dare”

I know that dare is a semi-modal verb. I just don't know when to use it like a modal auxiliary verb and when to use it like a normal verb. Given the following examples: How dare you ... How do ...
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2answers
5k views

Why do we use the word “Do” when connecting a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they Use of “do” in affirmative statements I was reading a news paper article of Times Of India, and came across a sentence- ...
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2answers
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Using 'would' to form reasons

In the following examples: Why would anyone want to eat something so horrible? Who would live for forever? Why would I ever lie to you? Is 'would' being used to refer to time in future or past Or ...
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1answer
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Question about “how many”

Why don't we use the auxiliary do in the following question: How many people study there?
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2answers
137 views

Do I need “have” here?

Was it specifically mentioned as part of their teaching or they have just happened not to have killed anyone? Do I need have there?
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4answers
324 views

Which mood is created with “everyone should visit”?

Which mood is created with the sentence, "Everyone should visit..." with the use of the auxiliary verb? I have decided already that it is not the imperative mood.
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3answers
403 views

“I'm not X, am I?” vs. “I'm not X, do I?” [closed]

Which of the following is correct or better? Can they both be used? I'm not making any sense, am I? I'm not making any sense, do I?
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3answers
808 views

What’s the difference between “come recommended” and “be recommended”?

… But their main business is in parts and refurbishing, and the old man, Deforges, doesn’t like to sell a used piano to someone who hasn’t come recommended. He says it’s more trouble than it’s ...
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2answers
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Difference between “does have” and “has” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “did shoot” vs “shot” 'Did see' and 'Saw' “I understand you” vs “I do understand you” What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I ...
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3answers
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Why would he do this to me?

Do the following two statements convey the same meaning? Why would he do this to me? Why did he do this to me? To me, both of them seem to imply something done to me in the past.
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1answer
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“Might have” vs “could have”

What is the difference between might have and could have? He might have come. He might have studied. He could have come. He could have studied. How would you describe a possibility? For ...
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6answers
947 views

Why are present participle and infinitive equally acceptable for some verbs, but not others

This question about "started teaching/to teach" made me realise that even though the present participle and infinitive are both acceptable after "started", that's not the case with other superficially ...
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1answer
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Repeating “to” and “will” in enumerations of verbs

Should I use the second "will" in constructions like this one: "it will definitely help you and will make the text more readable" And should I write "to" before every infinitive in enumeration, or ...
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2answers
322 views

Choosing Past Simple or Past Perfect: Do I need “had” here?

Do I need "had" here? If yes, do I need to change "did" to "done"? A: Lucy accidentally broke her mum’s favorite cup yesterday. B: Oh! I think her mom was really angry at her, right? A: ...
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2answers
10k views

Don't remember vs. can't remember

Could you tell me which is proper in English: I don't remember. I can't remember. And if both are possible and good English, what is the difference?
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3answers
249 views

Usage of “do” in “why do I want to do something”

Phrase: Maybe you'll ask why do I want to lift my keyboard off my desk. Question: Microsoft Word says that I should remove the "do". Why is that? I think the "do" should stay there.
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4answers
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Differences between Verb + to be + adjectives and Verb + adjective

If you have a more illustrative title, feel free to change it. I searched but I couldn't find one. This may be an easy and trivial question; if so, I am sorry. What are the differences between ...
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How do “need” and “not” mix and match?

You don't need to play You need to not play You need not play You needn't play You need not to play What does each of these mean, and which ones are equivalent to the others? Is the meaning of the ...
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3answers
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Subject + “have had” + bare infinitive … ever correct?

In writing an email today I came up with the following sentence: "We have had two other ladies express an interest in the room." I'm a native English-English speaker and this felt fine to me. My ...
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0answers
356 views

“My love don't cost a thing” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” In the Jennifer Lopez song "My Love Don't Cost a Thing" she says: My love don't cost a thing ...
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7answers
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Is “must” ever grammatical as a past tense verb?

I have seen uses of must that appear to be in the simple past tense. Sometimes these seem grammatical, but sometimes not. Examples that help illustrate my confusion: He knew he must go to New York ...
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2answers
2k views

“Haven't you got X ?” or “Don't you have X ?”

In British English negative questions with the verb have (when it's a lexical verb and not an auxiliary) can be formed in two ways. Is there any difference between them? Type 1 Haven't I got your ...
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3answers
6k views

Is it considered proper English to say “You best be…” or “You'd best…”?

Often, I hear people say something like this: You best be going. Or: You'd best sweep the floor before you leave. Essentially, you'd best/you best be just means you should. Is it ...
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1answer
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Is “of” instead of “have” correct?

I have noticed a lot of people use of instead of have, for example: "that must of been really annoying". Is this correct?
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6answers
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Is “am going” a verb phrase?

What part of a sentence is the phrase "am going", as in "I am going to pray"?
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2answers
5k views

In reply to “Do they have…”, which is correct — “yes, they do” or “yes, they have”?

My daughter is in an 5th grade English class in Germany with a teacher who teaches British English. The teacher asked what is the correct response to Do they have some? My daughter, who has ...
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4answers
12k views

“She is gone” versus “she has gone”

When should I say "She is gone", and when should I say "She has gone" (and why)? I think that when I mean "She went away and she's still there", it should be "She has gone". Are there exceptions ...
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3answers
6k views

“I am gonna have to” vs. “I have to”

What is the difference between "I am gonna have to" and "I have to"? When would you use the first one? update: I am specifically asking about situations like the one described here.
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2answers
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Wh-questions: auxiliary verbs or not?

What's the difference between these two questions: Why they chose football? and Why did they choose football?
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3answers
411 views

“These will be, should be” [closed]

Is the following sentence correct? "... the goods will arrive later. These will be, should be packed, will be stored in our third shed" I don't know if it does make sense to you guys, but since ...
7
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2answers
508 views

“I need it to lift 2 tons this time.” “I don't know if it *could* do.” Why do some people use “do” like this?

Sometimes, instead of saying "could/can" or "would/will" (the two most common I've heard), some people say "could/can do" or "would/will do". Instead of: I don't know if it can. I sometimes ...
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1answer
233 views

Does “will” and other auxiliary verbs spread on all the sentence?

Consider the following example — I want to write down several sequential actions in future. Should I write: I will go home, will have dinner, will play tennis, etc. or: I will go home, have ...
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5answers
853 views

Seconds has/have passed

Which is proper? The method will be fired after the specified duration of seconds has passed. OR The method will be fired after the specified duration of seconds have passed.
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4answers
6k views

“Were gone” vs. “had gone” [closed]

Whats the difference between: She were gone to party. She had gone to party. Are they both ok?