Auxiliary verb

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.
Historical Examples

It is placed in the indicative mood in our grammars; and go is the principal, and will the auxiliary verb.
Lectures on Language William S. Balch

“To be is an auxiliary verb:” pronounce auxiliary as though spelled awg-zil-ya-re, and not in five syllables.
Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence in Speaking, Pronouncing, and Writing the English Language, Corrected Anonymous

When used to form a compound tense, the verb esti is called the auxiliary verb.
A Complete Grammar of Esperanto Ivy Kellerman Reed

The verb substantive, which is also used as an auxiliary verb, has two tenses, a present and a past.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 6 Various

auxiliary verb—A verb used to help to express the meaning of another verb by showing its voice, mood or tense.
Word Study and English Grammar Frederick W. Hamilton

The auxiliary verb regularly comes first in a verb-phrase, and may be separated from the rest of it by some other word or words.
An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises George Lyman Kittredge

Yet some of the leading peculiarities of Italian, the article and the auxiliary verb, do not appear.
Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, Vol. 1 Henry Hallam

Sudah is classed as an adverb, but its most common use is to serve as a kind of auxiliary verb in forming the past tenses.
A Manual of the Malay language William Edward Maxwell

A pluperfect is similarly formed with the past tense of the auxiliary verb.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 7 Various

When two co-ordinate verbs are of the same tense and mood the auxiliary verb should apply to both.
Milton’s Comus John Milton

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

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.


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