Definition of semi-modal in English:



  • A verb that functions to some extent like a modal verb, typically in the way it forms negative and interrogative constructions. English semi-modals include need and dare.

    • ‘The marginal modal verbs, sometimes called semi-modal verbs, are dare, need, ought to, used to.’
    • ‘In this paper I focus on scope phenomena connected with semi-modal (and modal) verbs and mainly on the syntactic behaviour of these groups of verbs.’