What is a "simi-modal verb"?

Hi my great teachers!!

I was wondering if you would tell me what a [size=150]Simi-modal verb[/size] is?

Thanks in advance!


Semi-auxiliary verbs: be able to, have to, be going to, etc.

Marginal modal auxiliary verbs: used to, ought to, dare, need

Modal idioms: had better, would rather, have got to, be to

Look them up under those terms for more information for the group you are speaking of.

Outstanding, Mr. Micawber! :smiley:

I often wonder how you got such an astonishing command of the terminologies of the English grammar! (And you seem to remember them all) Is it only books? Could you please give us some tips too?


Tom, I’m an old man, and I have a mind like a sieve. I have a whole wall of books within arm’s reach to help me out, as well as all the internet resources.

The only advice I have is to be interested and keep involved. I’ve re-researched some points so frequently that-- sometimes-- I actually remember them!

Oh thanks you very much ideed teacher for your help.

However, i still wonder because due to the thory Modal verbs, it can form question by their own, yet never have i found the verbs [color=blue]be able to, have to, be going to or [color=blue]had better, would rather, have got to form a question.

Could you please tell me about this?

thanks in advance!!


Semi-auxiliaries, etc, as their names imply, exhibit some of the characteristics of modals.

Modals form questions without the do-operator:

Normal verb (e.g. eat): Do you eat sushi?
Modal (e.g. can): Can you eat sushi? (no do)

However, many of the verbs in our list (especially the ones that include be, the copula, which does not use the do-operator anyway) can also form questions without it:

Are you able to stand on your head?
Are you going to eat the rest of your french fries?
Hadn’t we better get started on our project?
Would you rather wash or dry?

Have to can appear either with or without the do-operator; with is more common, but especially in BrE the form without is still in use:

Do you have to use the washroom?
Have you to use the washroom?

Interestingly, have got to forms questions only as a modal does:

Have you got to stand there and look at me like that?

what so a great explanation teacher!!

Thanks, now i get the hang of it.