1

Say I used the sentence:

We belong doing this.

In this case, belong would be the auxiliary verb, similar to should or ought to be, and doing would be the full verb.

Is this incorrect, or simply an uncommon use of the word?

closed as off-topic by Scott, NVZ, user66974, curiousdannii, tchrist Oct 13 '16 at 11:55

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  • 5
    This is not a feature of any standard English, but it does occur in several English-based creole languages (like Tok Pisin in New Guinea), where belong -- spelt as bilong or blong -- is used as an auxiliary of several types, indicating possession, subordination, and continuous aspect, among other things. – John Lawler Oct 13 '16 at 3:07
  • It would be good to add a few examples from the internet, which might be expected to exist, given John's statement. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 13 '16 at 8:45
2

Per the Oxford Modern English Grammar by Bas Aarts, there's a NICE answer to this question:

  • N is for negation. Can we negate belong with a contraction the way we can with other auxiliaries?

      We didn't do this.
    * We belongn't doing this.

  • I is for inversion. Can we switch verb and subject?

      Did we do this?
    * Belong we do this?

  • C is for code. Can we strand the verb in a later part of the sentence and have it carry the meaning from an earlier part?

      We can do this, and so can they.
    * We belong do this, and so belong they.

  • E is for emphasis. Can we add force to the verb for effect?

      We most certainly did do that!
    * We most certainly belong do that!

Zero for four. Belong is not an auxiliary.

  • Thanks! I didn't realize there was this rule. I just noticed in the Merriam-Webster online definition that it's a verbal auxiliary. As the other answer implies, this remains colloquial. Much appreciated. – noone Oct 13 '16 at 3:34
1

In comments, John Lawler wrote:

This is not a feature of any standard English, but it does occur in several English-based creole languages (like Tok Pisin in New Guinea), where belong -- spelt as bilong or blong -- is used as an auxiliary of several types, indicating possession, subordination, and continuous aspect, among other things.

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