What is an Auxiliary Verb (Helping Verb)?

The words which, in combination with the main verbs, help them (main verbs) establish
a specific meaning and identity (tense), are called Auxiliary or Helping Verbs.


  1. I am writing an essay.
  2. We were decorating our house for Christmas.
  3. A fox has wounded the deer.
  4. The Principal had called a meeting.
  5. Will they play chess today?

In the above sentences, the highlighted words (am, were, has, had, and will) do not have any meaning of their own. These words are just helping their corresponding verbs (writing, decorating, wounded, called, and play) complete their meanings. Therefore, all these assisting words are auxiliary or helping verbs.

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