Verb to be: The Most Powerful Auxiliary Verb in English

  • อารีลักษณ์ หาญมนตรี สาขาวิชาภาษาอังกฤษ คณะศิลปศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยหัวเฉียวเฉลิมพระเกียรติ
Keywords: auxiliary verbs (helping verbs), the most powerful


There are 24 auxiliary verbs which are classified into 2 groups: Main auxiliary verbs
and Modal. The main auxiliary verbs are divided into verb to be (5), verb to do (3), and
verb to have (3). The modal group has13 words. Among these auxiliaries, verb to be
group is considered the most powerful, considering from the number of words in the
group, its roles and functions in the language. Verb to be group can function as a main
verb of the sentence as other verbs can. They can also be linking verbs or copulative
verbs linking the complement to the subject or the object showing their states and
characteristics. Moreover, they can be moved to the front of the sentence, in front of
the subject, to form a Yes / No question when there is not any other auxiliary in the
sentence. The sentences with other main verbs cannot be done like this. The verb to
do group must be used as an auxiliary in front of the question, and the main verb comes
after the subject. Verb to be group can also function as an auxiliary (a helping verb)
indicating number (singular / plural) of nouns and tenses of the sentences. In addition,
they go together with some other words forming a variety of expressions giving different
meanings which are very useful in the language. Because of their special characteristics
and their important roles and functions in the language, they are considered the most
powerful auxiliaries in English.


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How to Cite
หาญมนตรีอ. (2018). Verb to be: The Most Powerful Auxiliary Verb in English. Liberal Arts Review, 13(26), 1-17. Retrieved from
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