modal auxiliary


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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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modal auxiliary

n.
An auxiliary verb characteristically used with other verbs to express mood, aspect, or tense. In English, the most common modal auxiliaries are can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would. Also called modal.

mod′al auxil′iary


n.
any of a group of auxiliary verbs, in English including can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, and must, typically used with the base form of another verb to express distinctions of mood.
[1930–35]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.modal auxiliary - 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
Translations
módbeli segédige
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the topics are the asymmetric style of communication in Mandarin Chinese talk-in-interaction, a proposal for learning tones cooperatively in the classroom, the analysis of pragmatic functions of Chinese cultural markers, an English second-language learner of Chinese as a case study of the acquisition of the Chinese modal auxiliary Neng Verb Group (NVG), the acquisition of Chinese relative clauses at the initial stage, and English "be going to" and its Chinese counterpart as evidence for conceptual similarities in languages.
In more theoretical terms, a modal auxiliary is just a raising verb that expresses a modal notion such as necessity, possibility or evidentiality.
Syntactically speaking, the can + passive predicator paraphrase adds the modal auxiliary can as finite and replaces the rest of the VP, i.
In the third section, `The shifting linguistic ground of transmission', Matsuji Tajima writes on Chaucer and the development of `ought' as a modal auxiliary, David Crystal on the lexicographic treatment of nonce-words, and Garland Cannon on the attraction of English for modern Japanese and German.