Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Help with "may"

  1. #1
    Miss_Pink is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Help with "may"

    What sentence costituent is "may" in this sentence??

    That Republicans are still in charge, and may remain so after November, is due, they allow, to Bill Clintonís personal misconduct and to September 11th 2001. But the new majority, they insist, is ripening

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    It's a modal auxiliary.

  3. #3
    Clark is offline Key Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Syntactically, I would single out 'may remain so' and classify it as a mixed modal-nominal predicate, Where 'may' is a modal component.

  4. #4
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    I see ellipsis here:

    Ex: That Republicans are in charge, and [that they] (subject) may (modal) remain (verb) so...
    Note that 'so' replaces the phrase in charge.


  5. #5
    Clark is offline Key Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Exactly. That's why I think that 'remain so' is a nominal part.

    (They) remained in charge.
    link veb + predicative

    in charge = so = predicative

    may remain so = modal part (may) + nominal part (remain so)

  6. #6
    Clark is offline Key Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Pink View Post
    What sentence costituent is "may" in this sentence??

    That Republicans are still in charge, and may remain so after November, is due, they allow, to Bill Clintonís personal misconduct and to September 11th 2001. But the new majority, they insist, is ripening

    'That Reoublicans are still in charge, and may remain so after November'. If you consider the second fragment elliptical, then we have here two homogenious subject clauses. Right?

  7. #7
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Hi Clark

    Notice that, remain doesn't have -ed morphology, which would make it a participle, a nominal. Note also that, the modal may cannot function as a verb. Which means that remain is the verb.

    There are three verb phrases:

    Ex: That Republicans are still in charge, and [that they] may remain so after November, is due ... to Bill Clinton's ... .

    The ellipsis is 'that they', giving the subject-verb pair here:
    Ex:...and that they may remain ...


  8. #8
    Miss_Pink is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    'That Reoublicans are still in charge, and may remain so after November'. If you consider the second fragment elliptical, then we have here two homogenious subject clauses. Right?
    Hmm...its getting a bit to complex for me

    All i need to know is if "and may remain so after november" is a clause??

    Also - if it is a clause, is may the predicator or is remain the predicator?

  9. #9
    Clark is offline Key Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Pink View Post
    Hmm...its getting a bit to complex for me

    All i need to know is if "and may remain so after november" is a clause??

    Also - if it is a clause, is may the predicator or is remain the predicator?
    If it weren't for the comma before 'and', the fragment 'and may remain so ..' couldn't be treated as a separate clause. We would consider it as another predicate's group.
    The predicate is 'may remain so'. It is a compound mixed modal-nominal predicate.

    Soup, I don't think 'remain' is a participle. It is a bare infinitive. Any modal predicate consists of a modal verb (or expression) and an infinitive. 'May remain' is no exception.

  10. #10
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Help with "may"

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Soup, I don't think 'remain' is a participle.
    Oh, OK. I may have misunderstood your meaning in post #5:
    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    nominal part (remain so)

Similar Threads

  1. about "may"
    By ivygreen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Sep-2007, 20:38
  2. modals "may"
    By Constantinos in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-May-2006, 17:33
  3. dismayed to the word "may"
    By leolyy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 23-Mar-2006, 13:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •