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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 11th, 2011, 01:07 am
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Join Date: Apr 9th, 2011
Posts: 4
sydboy007 is on a distinguished road
Default have and be as main / auxiliary verb

I need some help in determining where a main and auxiliary verb is in the below sentences. If someone can point me in the right direction I'd greatly appreciate it
This group is 'have' as a main and aux verb

They have decided to send a spaceship.. (as main verb?)

They have done tests and know that plants can grow there (as an aux verb?)

They have not seen any alien life there (as an aux verb?)

The next group is 'be' as a main and auxiliary verb

No one else will be able to join the space colony

The spaceship will be controlled from Earth (be as aux verb since will is a modal verb and controlled would be the main verb?)

They are very confident that human beings will be able to live there

They have not seen any alien life there, but they cannot be sure that it doesn't exist (be as main verb?)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 12th, 2011, 09:49 am
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,406
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: have and be as main / auxiliary verb

This sounds like CELTA homework, so you need to work it out for yourself, but here's an explanation which might help.

Have can be both auxiliary or main. As an auxiliary it's used to form perfect aspect - have + past participle. This can be
Present perfect eg I have lived here for three years
Past perfect : I left - I had seen enough!
Perfect infinitive : I would like to have gone./ They will have left by now.
And in combination forms (see below)

In all other cases it's the main verb. Examples -
I have an appointment at ten
I had eggs for breakfast.
I'm having a party next week.

Be can also act as both auxiliary or main. When it's auxiliary it forms ...
a) continuous aspect (be plus main verb in -ing) : I am having problems with this activity / I was hopingto talk to him tomorrow / They will be arriving soon.

b) the passive (be + past participle main verb) : Paper is made from wood pulp / He was arrested last night / It will be sent on Monday

and in combination forms (see below).

In all other cases it's the main verb: I am from London / I was there yesterday / You must be hungry.

That should give you enough information to check and complete your own answers. One of those you've given is wrong, and as a clue for the two you've omitted : able is an adjective, not a verb. Try and correct them and I'll tell you if you're right.

If you're interested it gets more more complicated than those in your examples. When be(main verb ) is in the continuous, it needs be (auxiliary) so you get eg :
You're being stupid! = You're (be =auxiliary) being (be = main verb)

The same for have in the perfect :

I've had enough! = I've (have= auxiliary) had (have= main verb)

and the auxiliary be and have can combine to make the perfect continuous, or perfect passive :

I've been working all day = Present perfect continuous : I have (have auxiliary) been (be auxiliary) working (main verb)
We've been invited to the Palace! = Present perfect passive :We have (have auxiliary) been (be auxiliary) invited (main verb)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 26th, 2011, 05:50 am
eslHQ Member
Join Date: Apr 9th, 2011
Posts: 4
sydboy007 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: have and be as main / auxiliary verb

Thanks for the tips.

I've been getting my TP2 ready and just wrapping up the language assignment now.

Analysing English in this way is still quite foreign to me, but hopefully it gets easier over time.
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