Huddleston and Pullum on auxiliary verbs

A passage from Huddleston and Pullum’s A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar:*

“There is a very important distinction between a small class of auxiliary verbs and the rest, called lexical verbs. The auxiliary verbs have a number of special propertiesOne is that they can sometimes precede the subject. This occurs in interrogatives:

AUXILIARY VERB LEXICAL VERB
a. Can you speak French ? b. * Speak you French?

AUXILIARY VERB     LEXICAL VERB
a. Can you speak French ?   b. * Speak you French?

Although [b] is ungrammatical, there is a way of forming an interrogative corresponding to the clause You speak French: the auxiliary verb do is added, so the interrogative clause has an extra word: Do you speak French ?

Auxiliaries are usually followed (perhaps not immediately) by another verb, as can and do in the foregoing examples are followed by speak. Notice also It will rain; They are working in Paris; She has gone home. The words will, are, and has are all auxiliary verbs.”

[The color blue, used for emphasis, does not appear in the original.]

AND SEE
23 auxiliary verbs
Huddleston, Rodney and Pullum, Geoffrey K. A Student’s Introduction to
English Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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