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Related to modal: Modal verb, Modal music

modal auxiliary verb

A modal auxiliary verb, often simply called a modal verb or even just a modal, is used to change the meaning of other verbs (commonly known as main verbs) by expressing modality—that is, asserting (or denying) possibility, likelihood, ability, permission, obligation, or future intention.
Modal verbs are defined by their inability to conjugate for tense and the third person singular (i.e., they do not take an “-s” at the end when he, she, or it is the subject), and they cannot form infinitives, past participles, or present participles. All modal auxiliary verbs are followed by a main verb in its base form (the infinitive without to); they can never be followed by other modal verbs, lone auxiliary verbs, or nouns.
As with the primary auxiliary verbs, modal verbs can be used with not to create negative sentences, and they can all invert with the subject to create interrogative sentences.
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1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a mode.
2. Grammar Of, relating to, or expressing the mood of a verb.
3. Music Of, relating to, characteristic of, or composed in any of the modes typical of medieval church music.
4. Philosophy Of or relating to mode without referring to substance.
5. Logic Expressing or characterized by modality.
6. Statistics Of or relating to a statistical mode or modes.

[Medieval Latin modālis, from Latin modus, measure; see med- in Indo-European roots.]

mod′al·ly adv.


1. of, relating to, or characteristic of mode or manner
2. (Grammar) grammar (of a verb form or auxiliary verb) expressing a distinction of mood, such as that between possibility and actuality. The modal auxiliaries in English include can, could, may, must, need, ought, shall, should, will, and would
3. (Philosophy) philosophy logic
a. qualifying or expressing a qualification of the truth of some statement, for example, as necessary or contingent
b. relating to analogous qualifications such as that of rules as obligatory or permissive
4. (Logic) philosophy logic
a. qualifying or expressing a qualification of the truth of some statement, for example, as necessary or contingent
b. relating to analogous qualifications such as that of rules as obligatory or permissive
5. (Philosophy) metaphysics of or relating to the form of a thing as opposed to its attributes, substance, etc
6. (Music, other) music of or relating to a mode
7. (Statistics) of or relating to a statistical mode
ˈmodally adv


(ˈmoʊd l)

1. of or pertaining to mode, manner, or form.
2. of or pertaining to a musical mode.
3. of, pertaining to, or expressing the mood of a verb.
4. exhibiting or expressing some phase of logical modality.
[1560–70; < Medieval Latin]
mod′al•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.modal - an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality
auxiliary verb - a verb that combines with another verb in a verb phrase to help form tense, mood, voice, or condition of the verb it combines with
Adj.1.modal - relating to or constituting the most frequent value in a distribution; "the modal age at which American novelists reach their peak is 30"
statistics - a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population parameters
normal - conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal; "serve wine at normal room temperature"; "normal diplomatic relations"; "normal working hours"; "normal word order"; "normal curiosity"; "the normal course of events"
2.modal - of or relating to a musical modemodal - of or relating to a musical mode; especially written in an ecclesiastical mode
3.modal - relating to or expressing the mood of a verb; "modal auxiliary"


[ˈməʊdl] ADJmodal


adjmodal; modal verbModalverb nt


[ˈməʊdl] adjmodale
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Celebrations will kick-off for Lenzing Modal and MicroModal with Lenzing's customers on November 18 in Lenzing.
Objective: Philosophy strives for a better understanding of modal notions such as necessity, possibility, truth, knowledge.
These patients were categorized by whether they started on the most commonly prescribed (modal) doses of these agents or on higher than modal doses that still were not in excess of the recommended maximum dose, said Dr.
Note also that he uses the modal 'LL (contracted form) when making the promise.
These are modals where the modal base B supplied by the context is epistemic and thus the denotation of B is the set of worlds compatible with the relevant information state, without further restrictions (this is the meaning of 'bare' in this context), available to a contextually relevant group of agents.
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Callaham's stated aim is to discern "patterns of modal use of all verbal infinitives absolute across the breadth of Biblical Hebrew literature" by means of "the categories of meaning developed by modem cross-linguistic studies on modality" (p.
To be able to allow for the possibility of malfunctioning, some of these properties need to be modal ones: a function of a trait is to do F just in case its doing F would contribute to the inclusive fitness of the organism whose trait it is.
Hammer and Skorecki were part of the first research group 10 years ago that found the DNA marker signature of the Cohanim, termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype.
of New South Wales, Australia) reports on the findings of a corpus-based study of the meanings of modal auxiliaries in the British and Australian components of the International Corpus of English and a specially assembled parallel corpus of American English.
The interaction of voice and modal verbs in Estonian is of general interest because of the way that it confirms the impersonal nature of the basic voice opposition in Estonian and clarifies the constraints on impersonalization.
Modal Subjectivities: Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal.