Chapter 9. Mood and Modal Verbs (Cont'd...)
9.2 Modal verbs
Some auxiliary and defective verbs are now called modal verbs, as they used
to express various mode of action of verbs. The manner of speaking and the
intention (will/ ability/ obligation etc.) of the speaker are throughly expressed
through such verbs.
The verbs like may, can, shall, will, need, dare, must, ought have not all the
three forms; - present, past, past participle. They only have present and past
forms; for this reason they are called defective verbs. Table 9.1 illustrates it.
Table 9.1 Auxiliary/ modal/defective verbs
|Present ||Past ||Past Participle
| May || might || -
| Can || could || -
| Shall || should || -
| Will || would || -
| Must || - || -
Be have dual functions. It can do the function independently i.e as a principal verb
and it can help other verbs to form tense. Different irregular forms of the verb be are be, am, is,
are, was, were, being, been. Except be/ being/ been, they can act principal verb and as an auxiliary verb. For example:
I am very happy. Here `am' is principal verb.
I am going home. Here `am' is assisting the verb to `go' to form continuous tense. So it is performing the function of an auxiliary verb.
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