Modality and Modal Verbs

Trimis la data: 2014-08-21
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Liceu
Pagini: 10
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Autor: lauram
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Modality means the attitude of the speaker or writer towards the content of the sentence he or she utters or writes. You, as a writer, are never indifferent to the content of sentences and you consider this content as real, possible, impossible, probable or necessary. Modality appears in almost any sentence being "the soul" of that sentence. If you say: "She must be there", you consider that the action is probable; the sentence "She must be there" means "She is probably there"; "must" and "probably" represent the modality (attitude) existing in the sentence.
The means through which modality is rendered are numerous and these means can be grouped into: 1. phonetic means (intonation, accent); 2. lexical means (words whose meaning express modality or attitude: "to order", "desire"); 3. grammatical means (the moods of the verb); 4. stylistic means (figures of speech, repetitions). You should know that, in many cases, all these work together and express modality). I will give you examples of modality means and following my examples you can try to form your own sentences.

You may say: "Come here!" using a rising intonation; if you use this type of intonation in such a context, you give an order. In the sentence, "I want to go to the seaside. This is my desire", the word "desire" expresses modality because you see the action as desired and possible. If you want to express modality, you may use the subjunctive mood: "I wish I had money"; in this case, you see the action as improbable or even impossible. You can also use repetition in order to express modality: "She is singing on and on even if I told her to stop singing"; in this sentence you express an attitude of annoyance by repeating the particle "on".

The highest degree of modality is expressed by the Modal Defective Verbs. These verbs are lexical means of expressing modality. There is a difference between modal defective verbs and simple modal verbs. Simple modal verbs can be conjugated at all tenses and moods and have the infinitive, the past tense and the past participle; for example: to like - liked - liked; in this case "to like" is the infinitive, "liked" is the past tense and the third form "liked" is the past participle. You had better pay attention to the following examples:
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