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semi-modal Line breaks: semi-modal

Entry from British & World English dictionary

Definition of semi-modal in English:


A verb that functions to some extent like a modal verb, typically in the way it forms negative and interrogative constructions. English semi-modals include need and dare.
Example sentences
  • The marginal modal verbs, sometimes called semi-modal verbs, are dare, need, ought to, used to.
  • In this paper I focus on scope phenomena connected with semi-modal (and modal) verbs and mainly on the syntactic behaviour of these groups of verbs.
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