Friday, November 1, 2019

Auxiliary Verbs

In Japanese, auxiliary verbs are auxiliaries which are verbs. This single English term, "auxiliary verb," has been used to refer to various, completely different things in Japanese, like:
  1. hojo-doushi 補助動詞
    "Support verbs."
    Verbs that come after the te-form of another verb, or the adverbial form of an adjective.
    Example: in tabete-iru 食べている, "to be eating," the verb auxiliary verb ~iru ~いる.
  2. fukugou-doushi 複合動詞
    "Compound verbs."
    The ones composed of two verbs, where the suffix is the auxiliary verb.
    Example: in tabe-yagatta 食べやがった, "dared to eat [it]," the auxiliary verb ~yagaru ~やがる.
  3. jodoushi 助動詞
    "Helper verbs."
    Verbs, and other morphemes, that come after one of the basic forms of another word.
    Example: in tabesaserareru 食べさせられる, "to be forced to eat [it]," the auxiliaries saseru and rareru.
  4. Light verbs.
    Like suru する, its irregular potential form, dekiru できる, aru ある, and naru なる.

In Japanese, sometimes the term hojo-doushi is used, perhaps mistakenly, to refer to the suffixes in fukugou-doushi, and even to some jodoushi, which, as far as I'm aware, aren't technically hojo-doushi, they just kind of work like auxiliary verbs.

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