General Writing and Grammar Help/modality

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Question
Dear Ted,

Thank you, once again, for your help with my previous questions about “modality” where you helped me to understand that “modality” can be expressed with modal verbs and with the subjunctive verb mood.

Can you please tell me whether or not “modality” can also be expressed with other verbs that are not in the subjunctive - if these verbs indicate something that is possible, probable, likely, certain, or permitted.

For example:  the verb “to recommend”

If I said:    “I acted as you recommended”  would “as you recommended” be a modal phrase?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

Thank you, once again, for your help with my previous questions about “modality”
where you helped me to understand that “modality” can be expressed with modal
verbs and with the subjunctive verb mood.

Can you please tell me whether or not “modality” can also be expressed with
other verbs that are not in the subjunctive - if these verbs indicate something
that is possible, probable, likely, certain, or permitted.

For example:  the verb “to recommend”

If I said:    “I acted as you recommended”  would “as you recommended” be a
modal phrase?

****

It has taken me longer than usual to answer, because I have been trying to find new ideas about how to present "modal verbs" to you.  

There are two basic problems that I have had difficulty in overcoming:

First, although you can find "modal verbs" in SOME English grammar books, their mention is slight.  The term is used more often in other languages, such as Italian.

Second, the terminology differs from one language to another.  In English, we usually call these verbs "auxiliary" or "helping verbs."  For example:  "The Lord is my shepherd; I SHALL not WANT."  Although some people may call "SHALL not WANT" a modal verb phrase, I am not among them.  I consider WANT to be the main verb and SHALL to be an auxiliary/help verb that indicates the future tense.

If you take my view, then you will have MANY helping verbs that are not "modal."  I prefer to use "modal" only when the subjunctive mood is clearly indicated.

Here is how I would parse your example:

I = subject
acted = verb

as you recommended = adverbial clause, modifying "acted" by telling HOW I acted

as = subordinating conjunction
you = subject of the adverbial clause
recommended = verb of the adverbial clause

Rich, I am afraid that I have exhausted my knowledge of and suggestions about modal verbs.

In looking for other ways to explain them, I came across another website that offers extensive explanations.  The site is new to me.

http://www.grammaring.com/types-of-modals

I found the page on modals by typing the word in the search box at the upper, right side of the screen.

At the home page, there is a tab at the top -- "Book Tree" -- and it serves as a list of chapters.  According to the site, Grammaring contains the following:

373 book pages
74 diagrams
38 quotes
3055 users
Home

*** I hope this helps.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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