Presentation on theme: "Lecture 9: Auxiliaries. 1. Classification of Auxiliaries As has been pointed out before, English verbs, in terms of their functions in forming verb phrases,"— Presentation transcript:
Lecture 9: Auxiliaries
1. Classification of Auxiliaries As has been pointed out before, English verbs, in terms of their functions in forming verb phrases, fall into two major categories: main verbs and auxiliaries. Auxiliaries can again be divided into primary auxiliaries, modal auxiliaries, and semi- auxiliaries.
It is generally acknowledged that English has 13 modal auxiliaries (or "modals" for short). They are can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must, ought to, dare, need, used to.
2. Modals and modal meanings This section examines, in terms of semantics, modality and the English modals incorporating some related semi-auxiliaries.
1) Ability and possibility The modals used in these senses arc cat:, could, may, ; tight and be able to. a) To talk about "ability", we can use can, could, and be able to. He got so drunk that he couldn't / wasn't able to find the door.
b) To talk about "possibility", we can use may, might, can and could. Where can he be? He may be in the office. He may 'not go tomorrow. (prohibition) He 'may not go tomorrow. (impossibility) If you don't have a guide, you could lose your way. Can / Could the news Ix: true? It can't / couldn't be true.
2) Permission, and prohibition The modals used in these senses are can, could: may and might.
a) To ask for permission, we can use can g could g may, might. Compared with can / could, tray / might sounds more formal; compared with can / may, the past forms sound more polite, implying no difference in time reference. In colloquial English, can is very frequently used to ask for permission, eg: Can I smoke in here? Could I use your phone? Yes, of course you can. In those days anyone might / could enroll for this course.
b) To refuse to give permission, we can use may not (with stress on not ) or cannot, eg: Can I go out for' a moment? No, you can't. May I use your car for a few days? No, you may not.
3) Obligation and necessity The modals used in these senses arc should, ought to, must and have to / have got to.
a) To talk about "obligation", we can use should, ought to and must. Used in this sense, these three modals vary slightly in tone. You should what your teachers tell you to. You should / ought to have asked permission first.
Must is even stronger than should, Used in the sense of “obligation”, must usually implies that speaker is the person in authority, the one who gives the orders, binding both on the listener and on the speaker himself eg: You must be back by ten o’clock. I really must stop smoking.
“Obligation” with future time reference is normally expressed by “will / shall have to”, eg : We’ll have to do it again. As must has not a past form, “obligation” with past time reference is usually expressed by had to,though in past time contexts, must can also be used to denote an obligation in the past, eg: I had to leave at 6:30 yesterday. I told him that he must mind his own business.
Need not / needn’t denotes absence of obligation or necessity, Alternative forms of needn’t are “don’t need to ”, “don’t have to ”,and “haven’t got to ”with corresponding past forms “didn’t need to ”, and “didn’t have to ”,eg : A: Must you leave so soon? B: No, I needn’t. He didn’t need to do it at once.
b) Should and ought to can be used to denote assumptions arrived at by inference, not by direct experience, eg: That should not be a difficult problem for Mary. These young trees ought to provide shade in ten years. Ought to in this sense is synonymous with must denoting “necessity”, while in questions and negative statements, can and can’t should be used instead, eg: You must have difficulty getting the tickets. =You oughtn’t to have any difficulty getting the tickets.
4) Prediction and predictability The modals used in these censes are will, shall, would, should, ought to and must.
a) The shall / will future can be used for predicting. Although shall and, particularly, will, are the closest approximations to a pure future, they do not form a future tense comparable to the present and past tenses. Shall in the sense of future is restricted to the first person in Standard BrE, whereas will can be used in the same sense in all persons throughout the English speaking world.
b) The modals relating to predictability or assumption are will and would apart from should,ought to and must. Predictability denoted by will and would can be classified into specific predictability, habitual predictability and timeless predictability. eg: A: Who’s that man over there? B: That will be George, no doubt. B: That would be George, I expect.
5) Willingness, intention and determination The modals used in these senses are will. Would and shall.
a. Will in the meaning of willingness or weak volition is found with subjects of all three persons. Will so used is normally unstressed and can be contracted to ’ll, eg : I will / I’ll lend you the money if you need it. Who will / who’ll go with me?
Another type of weak volition is intention that can be expressed by will in all persons. Will in this sense is unstressed and is generally contracted to ’ll, eg : I’ll get some drinks. What’ll you have? He won’t help me unless I accept his offer. Past intention can be expressed with would, eg ; He said he wouldn’t have any cold drinks.
6) Other modal meanings The modals dealt with here are should.would, dare, need and used to.
In specific contexts, should can denote emotional feelings of sorrow, joy displeasure, surprise, wonder, etc. Should in this sense is especially common in certain that-clauses, in rhetorical questions and in some idiomatic exclamations. eg : It’s unbelievable that he should have finished the work so soon. How should I know? That he should dare to attack me!
b ) Would can be used to make a tactful statement,a polite request, and a tentative suggestion, eg : It would be a shame to stop our work halfway. Would you like to stay here for the night? Wouldn’t it be better for us to start off a little earlier tomorrow morning?
As a modal, dare (except in “I dare say”) is restricted to questions and negative statements. Modal dare commonly occurs in its present form. It may refer to present time as well as to past time. Likewise, daren’t, the negative form of dare, can also be used for both present and past time reference, eg : I dare not go there. How dare he say such rude things about me? My brother went alone, but I daren’t.
Used to is commonly used to denote a past habitual action or an existence in the past. The use of this modal stresses the notion that the habit has been given up or the state no longer exists. He didn’t use to smoke cigarettes. = He usedn’t to smoke cigarettes. Didn’t Maria use to be interested in the theatre? =Usedn’t Maria to interested in the theatre?
2. Epistemic and non-epistemic use of modals Epistemic modals modals non-epistemic use epistemic use can / could ability, permission possibility may / might permission possibility will / would volition predictability should / ought to obligation logical necessity must obligation logical necessity
2) Syntactic features of epistemic modals The following five syntactic features are common to all epistemic modals; a) All epistemic modals can combine with a perfective infinitive, eg: You must have beers disappointed. b) All epistemic modals can combine with a progressive infinitive, eg: He must be working late at the office. He must haw been working late at the office. c) All epistemic modals can be used in existential sentences, eg: There must be some mistake.
d) All epistemic modals can combine with stative verbs, eg: He must understand that we mean business. e) All epistemic modals can be used with an inanimate subject, eg: It must be George. Not all these features arc shared by non- epistemic modals.
3) Time reference of epistemic modals First, indirect speech, the modal statement is invariably made with present time reference, because judgments or deductions arc usually made at the moment of speaking, eg: He might haw lost his way. He couldn't be still working at the office. Secondly, the time reference of the contents of the judgment or deduction is determined by the form of the infinitive that follows the modal. eg: He must be calling tonight. = I'm sure he is calling tonight.