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    #1

    modality (dare)

    The English verbs dare and need have both a modal use (he dare not do it), and a non-modal use (he doesn't dare to do it). The Dutch verb durven is not considered a modal (but it is there, nevertheless) because its modal use has disappeared, but it has a non-modal use analogous with the English dare. Other English modal verbs include want, wish, hope, and like. All of these differ from the main modals in English (i.e. most of those in the table above) in that they take the particle to in the infinitive, like all other English verbs (may; to want), and are followed by to when they are used as a modal (may go; want to go). Some may be more than one word, such as "had better" and "would rather."
    The above paragraph is from Wikipedia (Modal verb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    I have always had problems with understanding the notion of modality. They don't teach it in Polish schools (except English lessons - but I didn't have this subject in school). I read this article hoping it might help me. But it seems to confuse me even more.

    They make a distinction between he dare not do it and he doesn't dare to do it. They say the first uses "dare" as a modal verb, and the second as a non-modal verb. I can't see any explanation for it in the article.

    I think both utterances mean the same. This may be my mistake in the first place. But assuming that I'm right, I don't see how the modality of "dare" in the first sentence disappears in the second. I understand they are different. "Dare" in the second sentence isn't an auxiliary verb. But, as I read in the further part of the paragraph, being an auxiliary verb has nothing to do with being a modal verb.

    So my question is: why is the word "dare" in the second sentence not modal?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: modality (dare)

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    The above paragraph is from Wikipedia (Modal verb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    I have always had problems with understanding the notion of modality. They don't teach it in Polish schools (except English lessons - but I didn't have this subject in school). I read this article hoping it might help me. But it seems to confuse me even more.

    They make a distinction between he dare not do it and he doesn't dare to do it. They say the first uses "dare" as a modal verb, and the second as a non-modal verb. I can't see any explanation for it in the article.
    I agree. I can't see the difference either.
    "He dare not sing", "He doesn't dare to sing", He doesn't dare sing".
    These all mean the same, and all use 'dare' as a modal verb.
    A non-modal use of 'dare' would be "I dare you to sing".

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