Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub

Please note that these ESL Forums are NOT part of MyEnglishClub. To post at these ESL Forums please register ↑ first.

to be

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

Moderator: Alan

to be

Postby hanuman_2000 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:28 am


The verb "to be" used ,without any main verb , may be considered as a main verb.

I am a doctor.

here verb "am" helping verb or main verb.

some one use "main verb" while other "ordinary verb".
What is difference between them.

Platinum Member
Posts: 708
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:48 am

Postby Alan » Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:59 am

You seem to be confused about terminology: a MAIN verb is a finite verb, either the only or the first element in the verb phrase of a sentence, illustrated respectively by 'is' in

[1] He IS a doctor.


[2] The house IS cleaned every day .

Thus a main verb contrasts with a NONFINITE verb, such as 'being' in

[3] The food is BEING cooked.

The distinction to which you seem to be referring, however, is that between FULL verb and AUXILIARY verb, a quite different matter. When 'be' (or any form of it, finite or nonfinite) is complemented by a participle, it is termed an auxiliary verb, as in [2] and [3] above. Otherwise it is a full verb, as in [1].

Thus, as a main (or 'finite') verb it may be either full or auxiliary, and as a nonfinite verb it may equally be either full or auxiliary.
User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12042
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Japan
Status: English Teacher

Return to Grammar Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests