Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: More Modals?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. STCrowley's Avatar
    Newbie
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #1

    More Modals?

    Hey, all!

    I was recently home and, you know, conversing in English when I realized something: I use 'gotta' as a modal verb.

    My family, I can assure you, wasn't ready to discuss my discovery: a modal verb that I'd never taught my students. The rest of the time home, I tried to be alert for more slang that worked like a modal verb, but, well. . . I can't find any. I wondered if anybody here has some ideas? It could be a cool way to wind up a lesson on a slow day, ending with "Well, I guess we gotta go. . ."

    Alright. Thanks for your time,
    -Toby

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,547
    #2

    Re: More Modals?

    Call me old-fashioned, Toby, but I reckon an English teacher should stick to standard English when talking to students.

    They'll pick up enough slang from their peers.

    Rover

  3. STCrowley's Avatar
    Newbie
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #3

    Re: More Modals?

    Rover:

    For lower level students, I agree. But the students I had in mind speak really good standard English (they're all engineers) and they want to be more confident in conversation. I figure I have to expose them to stuff like these before they hit on it, feel stupid, and blame me for not doing my job.

    I think that 'gotta' could almost be considered 'standard slang' (like other words I teach: doohickey, thingamajig, jerk, 'my in-laws,' and 'wheels' or 'ride' for car) and students should be at least exposed to it, given my interpretation of what it means and what I think about the speaker when I hear it (as well as warned that this is just my 'language feeling') and allowed to decide if it's the kind of thing they want in their active vocabulary or not.

    -Toby

  4. youandcorey's Avatar
    Junior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 79
    #4

    Re: More Modals?

    I think natural English should be taught whenever possible. Contractions like "gotta" and "gonna" need to understood by esl students.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,853
    #5

    Re: More Modals?

    If the British English teacher were from Scotland, they might teach that form as they might use it.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,853
    #6

    Re: More Modals?

    Many people say 'we gotta go', but does that make it a modal? I'd start worrying if you find yourself saying 'we gottan't to go'.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 25,447
    #7

    Re: More Modals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Many people say 'we gotta go', but does that make it a modal? I'd start worrying if you find yourself saying 'we gottan't to go'.
    I think it does make it a modal verb. Just as 'wanna' is a modal in "I wanna go to Macdonalds", but not in "I wanna hamster."

    I wouldn't teach it though.

    PS: Some more non-standard modals: gonna, woulda, shoulda, coulda, would of, should of, could of ...
    Last edited by Raymott; 27-Jul-2010 at 12:08.

  8. STCrowley's Avatar
    Newbie
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #8

    Re: More Modals?

    You know, I already teach 'gonna' as a reduction (is that the right word?) of the so-called 'going to future.' Because I don't really use 'should of,' 'would of' and 'could of,' I also don't teach the gonna, woulda, coulda. But I think I'll include them in my non-standard modals discussion.

    Do we use any others? I mean, non-standard modals?
    -Toby

  9. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,074
    #9

    Re: More Modals?

    Is "woulda" a contracted form of "would of"? I though it was a contracted form of "would have"... What does "would of" mean? I have never heard it.

  10. STCrowley's Avatar
    Newbie
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 17
    #10

    Re: More Modals?

    It means the same thing. So does 'I should of gone to the doctor.' I don't like it, because I associate it with less intelligent Americans. (And I like to think I'm one of the more intelligent ones.) So, I don't normally teach it, but I think maybe my students should hear it at least once.

Posting Permissions

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