Date: [this is an updated old posting, previous to LSEG4 edition]
Q4: ". . . I cannot believe I am ever going to master English grammar appropriately, particularly after reading the LSEG book. There is so much new information in that book that I feel disoriented . . ."

". . . what is the difference between semi-modal defectives and semi-auxiliaries?"

From:  S D - Singapore
A4. We are not machines, dear readers, therefore the process of learning is slow and repetitive in nature for us. Learning the knowledge presented in LSEG takes some time, and a lot of patient work. [Note that working practically with the 14000 exercises of L4EW is going to build a lot a confidence in your personal skills!]

Now, the difference between semi-modal defectives and semi-auxiliary verbs is clearly presented in LSEG4 theoretically [please study section M6.7.7, and subsections M6.7.7.1, M6.7.7.2] and in L4EW exercises [presented in subchapters M6.4, M6.5, and M6.6].

The category of semi-modal defectives groups those verbs that are both principal and modal defectives. The most outstanding representative from this category is the verb "to dare":
     1. dare - dared - dared - daring (principal verb)
     2. dare - durst
(modal defective)

Particular to semi-modal defective verbs is, they are followed by a short infinitive--this is, in addition to other characteristics common to all modal defectives.
     How dare you come in here!
     I dare/durst not talk about what happened.
["Durst" is an archaic form.]

The category of semi-auxiliary verbs is further structured into:
     1. group one--all copulative verbs ("to appear", "to seem", "to look", "to happen" etc.)
     2. group two--
phrasal verbs containing "to be"/"to have" embedded ("to be about to", "to have got to" etc.)

Particularly confusing is the fact that the verbs from group two above exhibit usage limitations, meaning, they may be considered modal defectives. However, there is no way the forms of the semi-auxiliary verbs from group two could be confused for semi-modal defectives. 
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