Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

Activity Discussion Grammar & Vocabulary Grammar & Vocabulary

  • Grammar & Vocabulary

    Posted by tanya on May 15, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    What are Auxiliary verbs? And explain the difference between modal and marginal auxiliary verbs?

    Kunal replied 4 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Kunal

    March 19, 2024 at 5:27 pm
    Not Helpful

    Auxiliary verbs, also known as helping verbs, are verbs that are used alongside the main verb in a sentence to express grammatical relationships, such as tense, aspect, mood, voice, and more. They help to provide additional information about the action or state described by the main verb.

    Modal auxiliary verbs and marginal auxiliary verbs are two types of auxiliary verbs.

    1. Modal Auxiliary Verbs:

    Modal auxiliary verbs, also called modals, are a specific category of auxiliary verbs that express modalities such as possibility, necessity, permission, ability, and more. Some common modal auxiliary verbs include “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “shall,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “must,” and “ought to.” Here are a few examples:

    “She can swim.”

    “I should study for the exam.”

    “They must leave now.”

    Modal auxiliary verbs have a few distinguishing characteristics:

    They do not have different forms to indicate tense. They remain the same regardless of the subject or tense of the sentence. For example, “can” remains “can” in both present and past tense contexts.

    They are followed by the base form of the main verb (without “to”). For example, “She can swim,” not “She can to swim.”

    They can change the meaning of the main verb or indicate the speaker’s attitude towards the action or state described by the main verb.

    2. Marginal Auxiliary Verbs:

    Marginal auxiliary verbs, also known as semi-auxiliary verbs or periphrastic auxiliary verbs, are a smaller group of auxiliary verbs that have characteristics of both main verbs and auxiliary verbs. They are used to form certain verb phrases, especially in specific constructions. Some examples include “have,” “be,” and “do” when used as auxiliary verbs. Here are a few examples:

    “She has finished her homework.”

    “He is sleeping.”

    “Do you like ice cream?”

    Marginal auxiliary verbs share some characteristics with main verbs and auxiliary verbs:

    They can function as both main verbs and auxiliary verbs, depending on their use in a sentence.

    They have different forms to indicate tense, aspect, and voice.

    They are followed by the past participle form of the main verb in certain constructions, such as the perfect tense (“has finished”) or the passive voice (“is eaten”).

    In summary, modal auxiliary verbs express modalities like possibility, necessity, and permission, while marginal auxiliary verbs serve various functions and are often used to form verb phrases in specific constructions.

For Worksheets & PrintablesJoin Now