An auxiliary verb that expresses necessity or possibility. English modal verbs include must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might. See also auxiliary verb.
- He shook his head impatiently. ‘We instruct the computer to ignore what we call grammatical words - articles, prepositions, pronouns, modal verbs, which have a high frequency rating in all discourse.
- The negative modal verb maun't (mustn't) is sometimes used in rural areas, but the positive form maun, as used in Scots and in Northern Ireland, is rare.
- That minimum is represented in English by verbs such as must and ought, which are modal verb with no preterite (inflected past tense).
Definition of modal verb in:
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