modal verb Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “modal verb” in the English Dictionary

"modal verb" in American English

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modal verbnoun [C]

 us   /ˈmoʊ·dəl ˈvɜrb/ (also modal auxiliary,  /ˈmoʊ·dəl ɔɡˈzɪl·jər·i/ )
grammar a verb used with another verb to ​express an ​idea such as ​possibility that is not ​expressed by the ​main verb: The modal verbs in ​English are "can," "could," "may," "might," "must," "ought," "shall," "should," "will," and "would."
(Definition of modal verb from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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