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Exercise I. Point out all the modal words and define their meaning.



§ 1.The modal wordsexpress the attitude of the speaker to the reality, possibility or probability, of the action he speaks about.


§ 2. According to their meaning modal words fall under the following main groups:

(1) words expressing certainty (certainly, surely, assuredly, of course, no doubt, apparently, undoubtedly, etc.);

(2) words expressing supposition(perhaps, maybe, possibly, probably, etc.);

(3) words showing whether the speaker considers the action he speaks about desirable or undesirable (happily unhappily; luckily unluckily; fortunately unfortunately).


§ 3. In the sentence modal words are used as parentheses.1 Sometimes they are used as sentence-words.2

1 See Chapter XV, The Simple Sentence.

2 Modal words used as sentence-words are similar to the words yes and no expressing affirmation and negation, which are also sentence-words.

Certainly you’ll admit we could finish all this in a month. (Wilson)

“Will you allow me to detain you one moment,” said he. “Certainly,”replied the unwelcome visitor. (Dickens)

§ 4. Most modal words have developed from adverbs, so very often there exists a formal identity between modal words and adverbs. For instance such modal words as certainly, surely, happily are homonymous with the adverbs certainly, surely, happily.

Such modal words as possibly, probably, indeed, also derived from adverbs, have no corresponding homonymous adverbs because the latter ceased to be used in Modern English.

Though formally identical with adverbs, modal words differ from them in meaning and syntactical function.

If he were not married as happilyas he was, might notsomething come of it? (Dreiser) (ADVERB)

...she hauled me to the washstand, inflicted a merciless, but happilybrief scrub on my face and hands with soap water, and a coarse towel... (Ch. Bronte) (MODAL WORD)

Lamlein rose. “We have fulfilled our obligations,” he said pompously, and yet not quite certainly.(Heym) (ADVERB) Soames smiled. Certainly, uncle Jolyon had a way with him. (Galsworthy) (MODAL WORD)

Slowly, surely, with the secret inner process that works the destruction of an old tree, the poison of the wounds to his happiness, his will, his pride, had corroded the comely edifice of his philosophy. (Galsworthy) (ADVERB)

Over the ridge she would find him. Surelyshe would find him over the ridge. (Wells) (MODAL WORD)

Exercise I. Point out all the modal words and define their meaning.

1. Over the ridge she would find him. Surely she would find him. (Wells) 2. He had stopped their mouths, maybe, but at what a cost. (Galsworthy) 3. She s just engaged to him. Of course she is frightfully excited about it, and naturally he wants her to come away and marry. [Wells) 4. Winifred could barely get a word out of him, he ate nothing, but he certainly took his liquor and his face kept getting whiter. (Galsworthy) 5. She was probably dissatisfied just as he was. (Dreiser) 6. Knowledge of something kept from her made him, no doubt, unduly sensitive. (Galsworthy) 7. The Buccaneer, watching him go so sadly, felt sorry perhaps for his behaviour to the old man. (Galsworthy) 8. Thorp was actually too sick to see anybody. (Heym) 9. "Allow me, Sir, the honour of grasping your hand — permit me, Sir, to shake it," said the grave man. "Certainly," said Mr. Pickwick. (Dickens) 10. My dear Ma'am, you deserve a very excellent husband—you do indeed. (Dickens) 11. Bertine and I are just on our way home, truly. (Dreiser) 12. He saw Fleur, standing near the door, holding a handkerchief which the boy had evidently just handed to her.. (Galsworthy)



Date: 2015-12-18; view: 1851

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