English Modal Verbs
The modal verbs of English are a small class of auxiliary verbs used mostly to express modality (properties such as possibility, obligation, etc.). They can be distinguished from other verbs by their defectiveness (they do not have participle or infinitive forms) and by the fact that they do not take the ending -(e)s in the third-person singular.
The principal English modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will and would. Certain other verbs are sometimes, but not always, classed as modals; these include ought, had better, and (in certain uses) dare and need. Verbs which share some but not all of the characteristics of the principal modals are sometimes called "semi-modals".
Read more about English Modal Verbs: Modal Verbs and Their Features, Syntax, Past Forms, Replacements For Defective Forms, Contractions and Reduced Pronunciation, Double Modals, Comparison With Other Germanic Languages
... Many English modals have cognates in other Germanic languages, albeit with different meanings in some cases ... Unlike the English modals, however, these verbs are not generally defective they can inflect, and have forms such as infinitives, participles and future tenses (for ...
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