modal auxiliary love

modal auxiliary

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A verb characteristically used with other verbs to express mood or tense. In English, the modal auxiliaries are can, may, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would. Also called modal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a verb used to express the mood (or tense) of another verb

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of the auxiliary verbs of English, such as can, may, will, shall, must, might, could, would, or should, which are used together with the infinitive form of another verb to express distinctions of mood{2}, such as uncertainty, possibility, command, emphasis, and obligation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an auxiliary verb (such as `can' or `will') that is used to express modality

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • In “I may bollix up this explanation,” may is the modal auxiliary that sets the conditional mode, sometimes called “subjunctive mood,” of the verb bollix, a verb whose ancient nautical coinage has its genesis in genitals.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

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