auxiliary verb


noun

a word used in construction with and preceding certain forms of other verbs, as infinitives or participles, to express distinctions of tense, aspect, mood, etc., as did in Did you go?, am in I am listening, have in We have spoken, or can in They can see.

Origin of auxiliary verb

First recorded in 1755–65
Also called helping verb.
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British Dictionary definitions for auxiliary verb

auxiliary verb

noun

a verb used to indicate the tense, voice, mood, etc, of another verb where this is not indicated by inflection, such as English will in he will go, was in he was eating and he was eaten, do in I do like you, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for auxiliary verb

auxiliary verb

A “helping” verb that modifies the main verb, as in “Gail can win,” “Gail did win,” “Gail could have won.” A question often begins with an auxiliary verb: “Did Gail win?” “Could Gail lose?” The various forms of the verbs can, have, is, and does frequently act as auxiliaries.


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.