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    #1

    The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Hi,

    Are the following correct?

    He dared say this.
    He dared not speak.
    Dared he abuse you?

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    #2

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Dare requires "to" in the positive, so number 1 is incorrect.

    None of them are common in AmE. Number 2 is the least unlikely.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Does it still require when it is used as a modal verb?

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    #4

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    I don't think dare is used as a modal verb in affirmative statements in AmE. The (British) Cambridge Dictionary has examples of such use, but they don't sound natural to me. I agree with this site's article about dare.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Yes, dare is still used by some as a modal verb in BrE. I myself might use it in the negative form, such as in He daren't speak. The positive and questions forms sound awkward to me, though.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Hi,

    Are the following correct?

    He dared say this.
    He dared not speak.
    Dared he abuse you?
    In American English, it's old-fashioned but not wrong.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    He dared say this.
    He dared not speak.
    Dared he abuse you?
    The first two are just about possible in BrE. Even a conservative old pedant like me would not say the third.

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    #8

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    Thank you for the responses.

    Here is a summary of what I have understood from your posts as a non-native English speaker. Please help if I am wrong.

    He dare say this. (It is correct but not natural or is not used.)
    He dared say this. (Same as above)

    He dare not speak. (It is correct because "dare" is mostly used in negative sentences but it is still not very common.)
    He dared not speak. (Same as above)

    Dare he do it? (It is correct because "dare" is mostly used in interrogative sentences but it is still not very common.)
    Dared he do it? (Same as above)

    Am I right?

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    #9

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    I think the safest course for a learner is never to use 'dare' as a modal verb.

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    #10

    Re: The past of ''dare'' as a modal verb

    @Piscean

    Can you please correct what I have understood? I won't use it but I want to clear my understanding.

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