Auxiliary verb

An auxiliary verb (abbreviated aux) is a verb that adds functional or grammatical meaning to the clause in which it appears, so as to express tense, aspect, modality, voice, emphasis, etc. Auxiliary verbs usually accompany a main verb. The main verb provides the main semantic content of the clause.[1] An example is the verb have in the sentence I have finished my lunch. Here, the main verb is finish, and the auxiliary have helps to express the perfect aspect. Some sentences contain a chain of two or more auxiliary verbs. Auxiliary verbs are also called helping verbs, helper verbs, or (verbal) auxiliaries.

Basic examples

Below are some sentences that contain representative auxiliary verbs from English, Spanish, German, and French, with the auxiliary verb marked in bold:

a. Do you want tea? do is an auxiliary accompanying the main verb want, used here to form a question – see do-support.
b. He has given his all. has is an auxiliary used in expressing the perfect aspect of give.
c. He cogido tu lápiz. he is an auxiliary accompanying the main verb coger, used here to form a compound verb, the perfect present in Spanish.[2]
(I) have grabbed your pencil = 'I have taken your pencil.'
d. Das wurde mehrmals gesagt. wurde 'became' is an auxiliary used to build the passive voice in German.[3]
That became many times said = 'That was said many times.'
e. Sie ist nach Hause gegangen. ist 'is' is an auxiliary used with movement verbs to build the perfect tense/aspect in German.[4]
She is to home gone = 'She went home/She has gone home.'
f. J'ai vu le soleil. ai 'have' is an auxiliary used to build the perfect tense/aspect in French.[5]
I have seen the sun = 'I have seen the sun/I saw the sun.'
g. Nous sommes hébergés par un ami. sommes 'are' is an auxiliary used to build the passive voice in French.[6]
We are hosted by a friend.

These auxiliaries help express a question, show tense/aspect, or form passive voice. Auxiliaries like these typically appear with a full verb that carries the main semantic content of the clause.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Hulpwerkwoord
Alemannisch: Hilfsverb
aragonés: Verbo auxiliar
brezhoneg: Verb-skoazellañ
català: Verb auxiliar
čeština: Pomocné sloveso
Deutsch: Hilfsverb
Ελληνικά: Βοηθητικό ρήμα
español: Verbo auxiliar
فارسی: فعل کمکی
français: Verbe auxiliaire
한국어: 조동사
հայերեն: Օժանդակ բայ
íslenska: Hjálparsögn
italiano: Verbo ausiliare
עברית: פועל עזר
magyar: Segédige
македонски: Помошен глагол
Nederlands: Hulpwerkwoord
norsk: Hjelpeverb
norsk nynorsk: Hjelpeverb
português: Verbo auxiliar
română: Verb auxiliar
sicilianu: Verbu Ausiliari
Simple English: Auxiliary verb
slovenščina: Pomožni glagol
suomi: Apuverbi
svenska: Hjälpverb
தமிழ்: துணைவினை
Türkçe: Auxiliary verb
中文: 助動詞