I am wanting to know if anyone knows where I get a list of the verbs that are Lexical and Auxiliary. Not what the differences are, but what the actual verbs are. And maybe which are which. I've tried to find a list of them, but I just get links for how to tell which is which, but the schoolwork I'm doing is already doing that, but they don't give me a list of them. Thanks in advance!
Whether a verb is lexical or auxiliary depends on context. The verbs which I would call auxiliary in the strictest sense are be, do, and have, when used in "he is running", "she doesn't like that", and "they have arrived". But when used in "he is", "she does sports", and "they have a cat", they're lexical instead.
Some people also call can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, and must auxiliary verbs, but these all act in the same way on a syntactic level, while the three mentioned before don't. So I think it's useful to have a separate name for these; they're often called modal rather than auxiliary.
In some dialects, ought, need, and dare can also be used as modal verbs; for me they can't. There may be other dialectal differences as well that I'm not aware of.
All other verbs (thousands and thousands of them) are lexical. I'm not going to try to list them here because there are far too many.
This question might be a better fit on EL&U or ELL. However, I'd like to provide a different answer to the one already posted here.
The class of auxiliary verbs in English is a closed class of verbs with a dozen or so central members and a few marginal or defective ones. If you know what these verbs are, then you effectively know that every other English verb is a lexical verb.
It was once the case that 'auxiliary verbs' were seen to be verbs that always appeared before another verb, which would exclude the verb be for example in:
- he's ill
but might include get in:
- he got fired
However, most mainstream grammars, for example Oxford Modern English Grammar (Aarts 2011), now recognise auxiliary verbs to be those verbs that display NICE properties. These relate to data like the following, where an asterisk, *, indicates an ungrammatical example:
- Negation: *They like not cheese. / They do not like cheese.
- Inversion: *Like you some cheese? / Would you like some cheese?
- Code: *Yes, I would like.
some cheese/ Yes, I would. like some cheese
- Emphasis: A: You don't eat cheese! B: ?I eat cheese! / I do eat cheese!
The verbs that take part in such constructions in English are:
- be, have
- can/could, may/might, shall/should, will/would, must
There are also some marginal members that can only occur in some environments, or are only auxiliaries for some speakers:
- need, dare, ought, used, better
Note that auxiliaries do not have to be followed by another verb in such analyses. So the verb be is always an auxiliary.
It's also useful to note that there are two different verbs do. The auxiliary that we find in Do you like cheese? and the lexical verb which we find in sentences like What have you done to my lasagne?. Likewise there is an auxiliary have, as in I have finished and a lexical verb have as in I had a party.
All the verbs not listed above are lexical verbs.