Hi there,

What are auxilary verbs? and what are finite or non-finite verbs.
Can someone tell me what they are and give me an example
of how you would use them.
many thanks..

Auxiliary verbs are "be, have, will" because those are the ones which are needed to built up all the tenses except simple present and simple past:

I HAVE seen a rainbow.
I WAS writing a letter.
I WILL go to Brussels tomorrow.
I HAVE BEEN watching a movie.

also passive:

A letter WAS BEING written.
The dog IS taken for a walk daily.
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Most of the verbs have both finite and non-finite forms.

Every form that is declined (i.e. shows person, singular or plural and tense) by a special ending is a "finite verbform".

Those forms that are not declined (i.e. that do not show the tense, the person, singular or plural) is a "non-finite verbform".
To the latter belong the infinitives (to be, to have, to go, to work), the present participles (being, having, going, working), and the past participles (been, had, gone, worked).

The problem in English is, that these declensions have nearly been dropped in most of the cases so it can be quite difficult to classify a verbform.
However, whenever it appears with a personal pronoun or a noun, it is a finite verbform.

I go, you go, he goes (<- here all the forms are finite forms, but the declension is only kept with he, she, it. It shows person: 3rd person - singular, and tense: present tense).

I am going, you are going, he is going (<- "am, are, is" are finite forms of "to be" as you can see in these cases, the persons, singular or plural, and the tense are shown, too). "going" here is a non-finite form because it does not show person and tense in it's declension.

I hope this helps a bit Emotion: smile
"MUST" btw is the best example of a verb that only has finite forms.

Present tense: I must, you must, he must, we must, you must, they must.

Because of the fact that 'must' doesn't have a special form for the 3rd person singular (he must intead of he musts), it is an "anomolous finite". It is also a so called "defective" verb because it has neither a present nor a past participle, no infinitive, and no past tense forms.

More anomolous finites and defective verbs are can, may, used to, shall, will, and (when used as a helping verb) need.
hi and thanks for explanation but I have a problem in using the verbs in the NON FINITE form.
when we use the infinitive of the verb or the participle ir the -ing for????
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