auxiliary-verb

Cultural Dictionary

auxiliary verb definition


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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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