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

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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mod′al auxil′iary

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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
For instance, Duffley (1994) distinguishes between auxiliary and non-auxiliary uses of PDE dare, and Taeymans (2004) operates with three different types: the modal auxiliary dare, the 'semi-modal' full verb dare to, and 'blend constructions' where an 'auxiliary' feature (e.g., bare infinitive) co-occurs with a 'full-verb' feature (e.g., 3SG -s); cf.
Contrary to single modals in which only one modal auxiliary can be added in a Standard English sentence, multiple modality is a series of two or three adjacent modal expressions in a vernacular English syntax.
a true modal auxiliary? Are we still in a MODAL-MODAL scheme or are we heading towards a more American-type scheme such as ADVERBMODAL?
A study was carried out by Nartey and Yankson (2014) to explore the semantic underpinnings of modal auxiliary verbs in the 2012 Manifesto of a popular Ghanaian political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
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.
The author establishes that tharf, but not betharf, was clearly on the path towards becoming a modal auxiliary, since it complied with some of the criteria for grammaticalization seen above, and could express a variety of modal necessity meanings, including impossibility.3 This tendency is also found in syntax.
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.e., the active predicator of the middle, with a passive one.
This book contrasts the system of modal auxiliary verbs in English and German and investigates the factors determining their translation equivalents.
Since this use of the subjunctive became obsolete in Modern English, in Present-Day English the apodosis of a remote conditional must have a modal auxiliary followed by an infinitive (Huddleston and Pullum 2002: 739).
It thus logically carries the identity of a full modal auxiliary in the structure.