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Auxiliary verbs

Auxiliary verbs are known as ‘helping’ verbs. ‘Auxiliary’ means that these verbs are often used along with another word to form a verb. They can also be used just by themselves. For instance, let’s take the common auxiliary verb ‘was’:

My grandfather was a soldier in World War II.

In this sentence, the auxiliary verb ‘was’ is just by itself - there’s no other verb next to it. But, you can have auxiliary verbs that go together with other verbs:

I will run later today.

The auxiliary verb in this sentence is ‘will’. It goes together with ‘run’, which is a normal verb. Together, they form the compound verb of the sentence - ‘will run’.

Sometimes the auxiliary verb and the verb it’s connected to are separated in the sentence, like this:

My friend has recently arrived back from overseas.

The auxiliary verb is ‘has’ in this sentence and it goes with the normal verb ‘arrived’. Together, they form the compound verb ‘has arrived’, even though there are other words between them in the sentence.