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In grammar, a verb that is subordinate to the main lexical verb in a clause. Auxiliaries can convey distinctions of tense, aspect, mood, person, and number. In Germanic languages such as English and Romance languages such as French, an auxiliary verb occurs with the main verb in the form of an infinitive or participle.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on auxiliary, visit Britannica.com.