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    • Join Date: Apr 2005
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    semi modals

    What are semi-modal verbs?


  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: semi modals

    From Politely Getting Things Done, Chapter Seven:
    Modals also have phrasal or periphrastic counterparts which act more like regular verbs with verb agreement, tense and the addition of to before the verb. Sometimes these are called semi-modals. They are fairly recent grammatical developments. They appear mostly in speech, where most grammatical changes first appear, rather than in writing, which tends to be more conservative.
    can, could >>> be able to
    will, shall >>> be going to (gonna), be about to
    must >>> have to (hafta), have got to
    should >>> be to, be supposed to
    may, might >>> be allowed to, be permitted to
    There's another list here Grammar and Mechanics (page 2).

    Click here also Modals in English Language Teaching and scroll down to What are modal verbs? It explains how linguists deal with semi-modals.

    And there's also this one:Uses of Modals and Semi-modals

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