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Finite verb phrases with one auxiliary may be of four types:

 

     DO +  main verb, basic form
  • Susan does enjoy skiing.

  • Susan did enjoy skiing

     BE  +  main verb, continuous participle form
  • Bob is working on his homework.

  • Bob was working on his homework.

     HAVE  +  main verb, perfect-passive participle form
  • The students have written an essay.

  • The students had written an essay.

     modal +  main verb, basic form
  • I should visit Mary while she is in the hospital.

  • Saundra will retire from her job in July..

Finite verb phrases with two auxiliaries may be of three types:

 

modal  +  BE, basic form  +  main verb, continuous participle form
  • Susan will be paying off her loan this summer.

  • Susan could be paying off her loan summer

  • Susan might be paying off her loan this summer.

modal +  HAVE, basic form  +  main verb, perfect-passive participle form
  • A professional writer might have written that essay.

  • A professional writer must have written that essay.

have +  BE, perfect-passive participle form  + main verb, continuous participle form
  • The workers have been eating in the cafeteria for years.

  • The workers had been eating in the cafeteria for years.

 

Finite verb phrases with three auxiliaries are of one type:

 

modal  + HAVE, basic form  + BE, perfect-passive participle form  + main verb,continuous participle form
  • Mothers must have been caring for their babies as long as the world has existed.

  • The baby should have been sleeping when dawn broke.