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Verb and Verb Phrase (V)

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1 Verb and Verb Phrase (V)
Lecture Eight Verb and Verb Phrase (V)

2 Modal auxiliaries Morphologically, modal auxiliaries have no non-finite forms and are not marked for concord with the subject. Syntactically they can only the initial element of a finite verb phrase and are invariably followed by a bare infinitive. In semantics, they have lexical meanings and no two modals can co-occur in a verb phrase.

3 Epistemic and non-epistemic use of modals
He can do it. -- He is able to do it. -- He is allowed to do it. -- It is possible for him to do it.

4 Modals non-episemic use epistemic use Can/could Ability, permission possibility May/might permission Will/would volition predictability Should/ought to obligation Logical necessity must

5 A: Who is playing the piano upstairs?
B: It might be Bob. may could can should ought to would will must It is Bob.

6 It might be warmer there tomorrow.
It might be warmer there now. It might have been warmer there yesterday. It can’t be warmer there tomorrow. It can’t be warmer there now. It can’t have been warmer there yesterday. Cf. He can’t have been there yesterday. He couldn’t be there yesterday.

7 Can/could He can drive a car. (ability)
Can I have a few words with you? (permission) What he said can’t be true. (possibility) How can you be so rude? Can I help you? I can hear the phone ringing upstairs.

8 He could speak four languges when he was ten. (ability)
They knew it could be dangerous. (possibility) The police told him that he could not leave his car on the road. (permission) Could the news be true? (possibility) If I could type, I wouldn’t waste my money having you do the job. (ability) I wonder if I could park my car on the road. (permission) He can’t have missed the train. He couldn’t have missed the train.

9 May/might He may be in the office. (possibility)
May I use your dictionary? (permission) May you be happy! He told me that she might be the right person for the job. (possibility) He asked if he might smoke in the room. (permission) She might be watching TV now. (possibility) I wonder if I might borrow this book. (permission) You might type the letter after lunch. You may have arrived earlier than he had expected. They might have been here a moment ago.

10 Can vs. may Cf. There may be life on Mars. There can be life on Mars.
Cf. Look at the traffic jam. The road may be blocked not far from here. Technically speaking, bank notes can be counterfeited.

11 Will/would Who will go with me? (willingness)
I’ll get some drink. (intention) If you will eat too much pastry, you can’t complain if you get fat. (insistence) I don’t think it’ll rain in the afternoon. (predictability) He will be 30 next year. (future) That will be Tom playing the piano. (present) You will have heard the news last night. (past)

12 She would marry him in spite of my warning that it was unwise
She would marry him in spite of my warning that it was unwise. (insistence) John told me that the exam would be put off until Friday. (predictability) She asked if I would help her with homework. (willingness) He promised that he wouldn’t do that again. (intention) Would you do me a favor? (present) That would be the postman at the door. (present) If I were you, I wouldn’t do that. A: Someone telephoned you last night. B: That would have been Jenny, I would say.

13 Shall/should We shall not get there until Friday. (predictability)
We shall leave here about 2 o’clock. (intention) I shall come and help when you ask. (willingness) We shall not leave the room before the police come. (insistence) If you work harder, you shall have higher wages.

14 Should He should be in London by now. (predictability)
You shoud listen to your parents. (obligation) Cf. They should have left an hour ago. It serves you right. You should have listened to me. It is ridiculous that she should wear such an ugly dress. If you should see him, give him my phone number.

15 Ought to He ought to be home by now. (predictability)
He ought to be more careful next time. (obligation)

16 Should vs. ought to Should I give him a call when he comes back?
You should/ought to consult your advisor before you decide to register for a course.

17 Must He must be in London now. (predictability)
He can’t be in London now. You must be back by ten o’clock. (necessity) I mustn’t do that. (obligation) You must have read a lot. (past)

18 Need Need you see the doctor? (necessity)
No, you needn’t, but you must tomorrow. Cf. You needn’t have carried the parcel home. The shop would have delivered it if you had asked. You didn’t need to carry the parcel home because the shop has delivery service.

19 Have (got) to He has (got) to be ill. (predictability)
He has to speak English because he doesn’t know Chinese. (necessity) Cf. You must do as you are told. I’m sorry I can’t come to the party because I have to attend a meeting.

20 Dare I dare not go there. How dare he say such rude things about me?
He didn’t dare (to) do anything about it. I wonder how he dares (to) do such things.

21 Semi-auxiliaries be about to, be able to, be likely to, be willing to, be to, be certain to, be bound to, be going to, be liable to, be supposed to, be sure to, appear to, had better, happen to, seem to, turn out to It appears/seems that he has many friends in China. He appears to have many friends in China.

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