Note: The verbs have and be are used as auxiliaries to form the perfect tenses ("has worked," "had worked," "have been working," etc.) and the progressive tenses ("is talking," "was talking," "have been talking," etc.), respectively. The verb do functions as an auxiliary mainly in negative sentences ("I don't want to go"), in questions ("do you want to go?"), and in emphatic statements ("I really do want to go"). Do can also substitute for another verb that has just been stated ("I went, and so did she"). Another kind of auxiliary called a modal verb is used to change a verb's meaning to something other than simple fact (as to indicate permission, ability, prediction, possibility, or necessity). In the examples "it must be almost 10:00," "we can arrive early," and "may I call you tomorrow?" the verb forms must, can, and may are functioning as modal auxiliaries.
Examples of auxiliary in a Sentence
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auxiliary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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