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

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Implicit would allows for eliding “s” of third person conjugation?

I'm on a pinch here: Then when a request comes, the server can compare the version number present in the digest with the current version of the site, and only push assets that have changed ...
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56 views

I had better go, I should go, I have to go [on hold]

Could anyone tell me what these mean, and on what occasions it is suitable to say them? I had better go I should go I have to go.
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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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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 ...
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“I'm done” or “I've done”

When someone asks whether you have completed a task e.g. shopping, dinner. What should be your answer? I am done. or I have done. To me, the former sentence's formation, Sub + VBe+ Past ...
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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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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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“I wish I would wake up early”

Is this sentence correct? I wish I would wake up early Some grammar rules say that would shouldn't be used when its subject is the same as wish subject. It ‘would be illogical’, the rule says. ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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2answers
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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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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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Difference between: “would be”, “will be”, and “is/are -ing”

Which one is correct? Heard you would be going. Heard you will be going. Heard you are going. What differences are there?
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Why is there no auxiliary in the question “How many people study there”?

Why don't we use the auxiliary do in the following question: How many people study there?
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‘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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81 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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“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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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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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“May” & “Might”: What's the right context?

I may not be coming in tomorrow... I might not be coming in tomorrow... When could I use "may" & "might"?
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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 ...
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2answers
16k 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
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“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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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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63 views

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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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? ...
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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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“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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4answers
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Is “am” in “I am right” an auxiliary verb?

Consider these sentences: The ice was thick enough to walk on. They were in a hurry. There is enough salt in it. It is freezing. I am right. Are the italicized verbs ...
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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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“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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“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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3answers
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What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English?

What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English? My English teacher from what I can remember listed them as follows, am I missing any? is • am • are • was • were • ...
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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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4answers
953 views

Does using “did” to form the past tense make a difference? [duplicate]

The two sentences here both indicate that, at some point in the past, I performed some work: I did work I worked What is the difference between these two sentences? Does constructing one with did ...
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1answer
115 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
275 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 ...
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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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1answer
191 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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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 ...