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modal verb

Syllabification: mod·al verb

Definition of modal verb in English:

noun

Grammar
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.
Example sentences
  • 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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