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

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“did shoot” vs “shot”

This morning I read this sentence (see story): On July 24th and again on July 29th, Egyptian police did shoot dead unarmed African migrants attempting to cross that border. Why "did shoot" ...
27
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11answers
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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"?
41
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8answers
17k views

Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession?

I feel uncomfortable saying sentences like the following: "I've a car" instead of "I have a car" "They've a great time" instead of "They have a great time" "He's a pen" instead of "He has a pen" ...
0
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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", *"Never ...
3
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2answers
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What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? [closed]

What is the difference between I play and I do play? For example: If someone were to ask to me, do you play soccer?
24
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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 ...
12
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1answer
10k views

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?
20
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
10
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6answers
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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 ...
3
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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 do ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Comparing negatives: “she seems not to know” vs. “she doesn't seem to know”

What is the difference in style and meaning between the following two: She seems not to know. She doesn't seem to know. Is there a name to this type of construction?
19
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5answers
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“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 ...
14
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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]"?
8
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2answers
335k views

When do we use “had had” and “have had”? [duplicate]

I have seen several sentences in English where some writers have written had twice in a row. I am a bit confused about when the grammar calls for using had had. For example: I had had my car ...
13
votes
1answer
505 views

“All your commas are belong to Array” and similar — is this grammar form “proper”?

I've often come across "weird" sentences like, say, instead of: All of your commas belong to Array. It writes: All your commas are belong to Array. It's not just once or twice, I actually ...
6
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6answers
1k 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 ...
19
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5answers
51k views

“Have not” versus “do not have”

As a non-native English speaker, I have a little doubt about using, or not, the auxiliary verb "to do" with the verb "to have". Are there differences in meaning between "I have not" and "I do not have"...
8
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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 ...
18
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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
18k views

“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 ...
8
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3answers
10k views

needn't = don't need to?

Are these two sentences equivalent? You needn't pay at once. You don't need to pay at once. If yes, which one would you recommend? Is it an US/GB thing?
5
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2answers
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When can “have” be used without “got”?

I read this article and now I'm confused when got can be omitted when using have. Could this be explained in plain English without technical terms? Is there a different usage in past tense?
6
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2answers
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Make “will have been going to go” correct

Is there a situation or question where the phrase will have been going to go is the best, most natural, or clearest response (or included in said response)? I'm asking this probably somewhat silly ...
0
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3answers
10k views

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 • ...
5
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2answers
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Auxiliary verb and adverb ordering

(I'm not really sure if the title is a correct definition of my problem at all) I'm not a native English speaker, and I'm used to say: Spaghetti suddenly can talk But I've seen a phrase from a ...
4
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2answers
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“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 ...
3
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1answer
112 views

“I had my house [be] burned down”

I have found out that using the verb be in passive constructions such as: I had my house be burned down is incorrect, therefore it should be I had my house burned down. But is it ...
2
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3answers
585 views

Is “is” an auxiliary verb?

John is working now. Is the verb 'is' in this example an auxiliary verb?
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4answers
969 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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3answers
8k views

Which is correct, “does go to” or “does goes to”? [closed]

Which is the correct statement? Does she goes to Gym? Does Rita go to Gym? Does Rita goes to Gym?
6
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5answers
25k views

“Would” vs. “Will”

Which of the following sentences is correct and why? Please note that I "will" be working on another script this month. Please note that I "would" be working on another script this month. I should ...
5
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4answers
100k views

What are the following words called: Am, Is, Are, Was, Were, Be, Being, Been?

Am, Is, Are, Was, Were, Be, Being, Been What are the above words called? I think someone called them auxiliary verbs. Edit: When I learned them, my curriculum called them "State of Being verbs" or ...
11
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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 ...
5
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4answers
536 views

Do I have to use the auxiliary before all the verbs?

Which of the following is correct? I will dance and sing at the concert tonight. I will dance and will sing at the concert tonight. Does it happen with to, too? For example: I ...
5
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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 ...
2
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3answers
10k 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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3answers
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“has to be” or “is to be”

What is the difference between "has to be" and "is to be"? This is the example sentence: In case a diarization is desired, a proper XYZ algorithm is/has to be used. I would like to point out, that ...
0
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1answer
132 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 ...
7
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2answers
535 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 (...
5
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1answer
4k views

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?
4
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2answers
16k views

Can a person say “And I you”?

In a film I thought I heard a man say "And I you." I wondered if it were OK because there seemed to be no verb? Another man said to him "I like you my buddy". So why did he not reply "So do I buddy"...
4
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1answer
7k views

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
142 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?
1
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1answer
44 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
75 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? ...