Linking and helping auxiliary verbs

In English language, “Auxiliaries” play greater role in constructing the meaning of a given sentence. You know that verb is an important element of part of speech that is used to express different actions. But, auxiliaries do not express actions. Instead, they are used to form tenses, moods, etc. In this post, I am going to explain the two types –helping and linking auxiliary verbs.

Linking auxiliary verbs

Linking auxiliary means to link or connect. These are  used neither to  express mood nor voice or state of actions, to describe subject in the form of complement. In this regard,  complement means a word or phrase used to give meaning for subject, object or others. 

Simply, linking auxiliary connects subject with its description.

Generally, linking auxiliary is placed after subject about which it is going to describe in the sentence. In this way, it also plays the role of main verb in that sentence.

These verbs do not express actions ,nor come with action verbs.

Furthermore ,these auxiliaries show state, conditions of the subject.

•Am, is, are, was, were, feel, look, seem, become, appear, taste, act, get, be, being, been, etc. are some of examples of linking auxiliary verbs.

Now, let’s see some useful examples in the form of sentences:-

•He is optimistic about his result.

Here, let’s understand in detail. First of all, just raise a question –who ? Obviously, the answer would be “He”

It means that “is” auxiliary verb describes the state of subject in the form of subject complement–optimistic about his result.

•It seems too difficult to achieve. In this sentence, “seems” is the linking auxiliary.

•Global warming looks big threat for mankind

•Forest is dense and evergreen.

•Water is the free endowment of nature.

•Pollution is the product of human interventions.

•They were badly exhausted at the end of the day.

•It is the mighty nation.

These are some useful examples of linking verbs.

Helping auxiliary verbs

Unlike linking, helping auxiliary verbs are used to form tenses and voices but not moods. For mood, there are modal auxiliaries.

Obviously, these helping auxiliary verbs are placed before the verb to show state of actions of that verb.

Most importantly, they changes theirs form according to the number and person.

These auxiliary verbs do not describe subject but express state of actions.

•Be——–am, is, are, was, were, shall, will.

•Do—–do, does, did.

•Have——-have, has, had.

These are forms of helping verbs according to tense, number, and person.

Now, let’s see some sentences showing, helping verbs.

•Water is flowing through the deep valley. In this sentence,  “is auxiliary” gives additional information about “verb flow.” It is not describing the subject like in the linking auxiliary.

•He has already finished his job. In this example, “has” auxiliary is showing the perfect tense of third person singular subject -he.

•They have been chasing a horse since morning; but the horse is still running. I think, it is going to defeat them.

All these sentences are useful to take better insight about the helping auxiliary verbs.

•Finally, linking auxiliary verbs are used to describe a state or condition of subject. Whereas, helping auxiliary verbs express state of actions of verbs. Apart from both,  modal auxiliaries are used to express possibilities, abilities, permission, and obligations. In the next post, you will learn about “Modal Auxiliaries.” Hope this post will work for you.

Understanding no sooner than

Adversative coordinating conjunctions

Provided that and on condition that

Use of adverbs