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What is an auxiliary verb?

 

Definition
 

An auxiliary verb is a verb which

 
  • accompanies the lexical verb of a verb phrase, and
  • expresses grammatical distinctions not carried by the lexical verb, such as

Examples (English)
 
  • can
  • may
  • do
Generic
  An auxiliary verb is a kind of
 
Sources
 

Crystal 1985 326

 

Crystal 1980 38–39

 

Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 79–80, 120

 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 24

 

Mish 1991 118


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