QUESTION #4 - SEMI MODALS VS. SEMI AUXILIARY VERBS
Date: [this is an updated old posting, previous to LSEG4 edition]
. . 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
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 M220.127.116.11, M18.104.22.168] and in L4EW exercises [presented in subchapters M6.4, M6.5,
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
2. dare - durst
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"
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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