Are they the same thing, just one meaning with two vocabulary items?

Thanks!
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kenny1999Are they the same thing, just one meaning with two vocabulary items?

Thanks!
Hi,

No. A modal verb is an auxiliary verb but an auxiliary verb is not necessarily a modal verb.

To be, to have, to do are primary auxiliaries. That is, they can function both as main verb (lexical verb) and as auxiliary.
- I have a car. (lexical use of 'to have', meaning 'to own')
- I have seen her. (auxiliary use of 'to have', to form the present perfect)

May, might, can, could, shall, will et cetera are modal auxiliaries. They cannot function as main verbs, which means they require a lexical verb to come after them.
- I will be the best chess player in the world.

http://www.grammarforteachers.co.uk/Guide/Verbs/auxiliaryverbs.html (This link no longer works—Moderator)

Kind regards,

- DJB -
dokterjokkebrokA modal verb is an auxiliary verb but an auxiliary verb is not necessarily a modal verb.
Correct. But it would be better to just use the terms 'auxiliary' and 'modal' because while many auxiliaries and many modals do use a verb (the part of speech -- noun, pronoun, verb, etc), they are not necessarily verbs by their function and behavior and not all modals include verbs (a modal is anything that expresses mood).
dokterjokkebrokTo be, to have, to do are primary auxiliaries. That is, they can function both as main verb (lexical verb) and as auxiliary.
- I have a car. (lexical use of 'to have', meaning 'to own')
- I have seen her. (auxiliary use of 'to have', to form the present perfect)
This has been the traditional explanation for the past 50 years or so but it's not quite correct in that it misses a few key points. First, the auxiliaries are 'be, have, and do' and not 'to be', to have, and 'to do'. There is really no reason to ever refer to a verb with 'to' like that. Mainly though the problem is that it leads to misunderstandings of why 'to' is there in the first place.

First, it's important to try some terminology that is a bit clearer. Consider the following:

"Mary likes John." This sentence has a subject "Mary", an object "John", and a verject "likes".

The first sentence is actually a shortened form for:

"Mary does like John." Same thing: Subject "Mary" Object "John" Verject "does like".

From a definition standpoint the subject is the person or thing that acts. The object is the person or thing that is acted upon. The verject is everything else (the bridge between the subject and object).

In English, the verject must have at least one vector and at least one auxiliary. The auxiliaries are used to carry agreement with the subject for person and number, and normally to express tense, aspect, mood, and perfection. Auxiliaries are said to subordinate (pronounced like 8 at the end) the verbs that follow them (either another auxiliary or a vector). The verb that follows an auxiliary is called its subordinate (pronounced at the end like the a in about). The vector is a verb that conveys the overall direction or idea content of the sentence.

Different auxiliaries require their subordinates to take different forms. Some auxiliaries don't do anything to their subordinates (like 'do'). Others require their subordinates to take on the preposition 'to' (like 'be+going', 'want', 'ought'). Some require their subordinates to take on a specific form ('be' requires the present participle as in "I am winning" while 'have' requires its subordinate to be in the past participle form "I have eaten").

So 'to' is not part of the verb (as in part of speech). It's also neither part of the vector (a verb used to convey and idea) nor is it part of the auxiliary. Thus there is no such auxiliary as 'have to' or 'going to'. 'To' is simply an effect of the preceding auxiliary.

There are four types of auxiliary by function:

Aspectual auxiliaries (in English these are 'do' and 'be' and express lack of duration (do) or duration (be) for the vector)

Perfecting auxiliaries (in English this is 'have' and sometimes 'get' and express completion of the vector)

Modal auxiliaries (there's a big list, but any auxiliary that expresses moods like possibility, or willingness, or necessity, etc)

Vocal auxiliaries (in English 'be' when used to signify the passive voice which makes the subject of the sentence the person or thing which the verject acts upon).

In the example above "Mary likes John." the subject is Mary (she likes), the object is John (he is liked). The verject of that sentence is "does like". It's not obvious in the example because in affirmative statements in the non-durational aspects (usually called 'simple' in grammar books), the aspectual auxiliary 'do' can be combined with the vector in a form of 'linguistic shorthand' resulting in an 'inflected form' where the ending of the auxiliary shown in the vector. For regular verbs it is simply added to the end (I do walk = I walk (zero ending); He does walk = He walks; You did walk = You walked). With irregular verbs a special form is often used (I do eat = I eat (zero ending); He does eat = He eats; You did eat = You ate). The auxiliary to the immediate right of the subject always carries agreement with the subject for person and number. That means the 's' in Mary likes) is not actually part of the vector 'like' but just a representation of the hidden auxiliary 'does'.

English is said to have an SVO word order meaning that in most sentences the subject comes first, the verject comes second, and the object comes last. In English every verject has at a minimum one vector conveying meaning and one auxiliary establishing aspect and handling agreement.

The subject of a sentence can be a single noun (Mary) or pronoun (it), a combination of these, a group of them, etc. It also includes anything which modifies the nouns of pronouns such as articles (a, an, the), adjectives (big, red), and even phrases or clauses that describe the nouns or pronouns (who eats fish, with the large paws). So in the example above the subject is a single noun "Mary". However in the following example everything before 'does' is the subject: "The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

Let's break it apart: The verject is always the most important part of a sentence. So begin by identifying the verject (doesn't like). Now ask yourself "who/what doesn't like"?

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

--which dog? (perhaps there are lots of dogs)

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

--which red dog? (there may even be lots of red dogs)

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."
--which big red dog? (red dogs tend to be large)

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

--which big red dog with the large paws? (large dogs do tend to have large paws)

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

Ahh! THAT dog! Ok so ALL of that is the subject.

So now we know that we have a subject and subjects 'act' which means there is a verject for the subject. So we know from this that "The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like something.

--What does he not like?

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."
--which cats does he not like?

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."
--which yellow cats?

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

Ok so now we have the subject (in black), the verject in red, and the object in blue. But what's that last bit? "When he is hungry" is clause acting as an adverbial phrase. Adverbs are any unit that modifies a verb. Verbs when used in a sentence are either auxiliaries or vectors which means they are in the verject. Because "when he his hungry" tells us when the subject "doesn't like" the object, it is also part of the verject so it should be red:

"The big red dog with the large paws who eats fish doesn't like yellow cats with fleas when he is hungry."

-------------------------------------

All of our examples so far have had only a single auxiliary (the aspectual auxiliary 'do' in the form 'does' which agrees with the subject for person (3rd) and number (singular). It is 'unmarked' for tense and with no further information about time, this expresses the present. Without the presence of the perfecting auxiliary have, it's unperfected, and without a modal it's said to be the indicative (neutral) mood. So these examples are unperfected non-durational aspect sentences in the present tense and indicative mood.

Several things can change a sentence. Consider the first example "Mary does like John":

You can change to the emphatic mood: "Mary really does like John."

You can further qualify it "Mary really does like John sometimes."

You can put the sentence in the past tense "Mary did like John"

and you can qualify that too "Mary did like John until he said she was fat".

So far though no new auxiliaries have been used. Auxiliaries also can change the meaning:

"Mary should like John because he's a nice guy." (mood)

"Mary has liked John since the day she met him" (perfection)

"John is liked by Mary." (passive voice)

This post is already far too long so I won't go into more detail about them, but any unit that occupies those verbal positions before the vector are auxiliaries.

Looking back on this statement:
dokterjokkebrokTo be, to have, to do are primary auxiliaries. That is, they can function both as main verb (lexical verb) and as auxiliary.
- I have a car. (lexical use of 'to have', meaning 'to own')
- I have seen her. (auxiliary use of 'to have', to form the present perfect)
Be certainly acts as a vector (John has been a doctor since he was 30). Be also acts as an aspectual auxiliary for the durational aspect (John is doctoring a patient.) and subordinates to the present participle form (-ing). Be also acts as modal auxiliary expressing obligation or expectation (You are to arrive no later than 7.) and subordinates with the preposition 'to'. Be also acts as a vocal auxiliary signifying the passive voice (A Patient is being doctored by John.) in which usage takes on the same form as the active voice in expressing tense, mood, aspect and agreement, while subordinating the vector to past participle form.

Have is similarly used as a perfecting auxiliary (subordinating to the past participle) and a modal auxiliary (subordinating to the 'to' form). And, it is of course used as a vector meaning 'possess' (I have a car), 'be inflicted with' (I have the flu), 'host' (I'd like to have you as my guest), and many more meanings.

Do's only use aside from its vector meaning is as the non-durational aspectual auxiliary.

In "I (do) have a car," have is the vector and do is the auxiliary.

In "I have seen her," have is the auxiliary and seen is the vector (which is in the past participle form because is the subordinate of 'have' as a perfecting auxiliary).

I hope this helps...
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Gee, Drew... you really put in a lot of effort there. Emotion: smile I'm not sure if I understand all of it myself, but it's impressive to say the least – provided that it's all correct of course. Emotion: wink Good job, I guess!

- DJB -
dokterjokkebrokGee, Drew... you really put in a lot of effort there. I'm not sure if I understand all of it myself, but it's impressive to say the least – provided that it's all correct of course. Good job, I guess! - DJB -
It's not a 'good job', because it's not correct. It's a flight of fancy containing factual errors and non-existent terminology.

BillJ
drew.wardI hope this helps...
It’s highly unlikely that anyone will find your reply helpful. It’s actually a whimsical flight of fancy with fictitious terminology and, in many cases, incorrect explanations. ‘Vector’ and ‘verject’ are not terms used in Standard English grammar, the latter no doubt being a blend invented by yourself from ver(b). To respond to all the points in your post would be impractical, but I’ll deal with a few of the earlier ones.
drew.wardCorrect. But it would be better to just use the terms 'auxiliary' and 'modal' because while many auxiliaries and many modals do use a verb (the part of speech -- noun, pronoun, verb, etc), they are not necessarily verbs by their function and behavior and not all modals include verbs (a modal is anything that expresses mood).
You’ve got your facts muddled.
(i) Modal auxiliaries are a special subclass of auxiliary verb. You cannot treat them as an altogether different class of verb. When we use the term ‘modal’ we know it means ‘modal auxiliary’ and when we use the term ‘auxiliary’ we take it to mean the higher category which includes both modal and non-modal auxiliary verbs.
(ii) "Many auxiliaries and many modals don’t ‘use’ verbs". Auxiliaries and modals are verbs.
(iii) The function of a verb is head of a verb phrase and thus head of the clause.
(iv) A modal is not ‘anything that expresses mood’ as you put it. It’s the other way round: mood expresses modality.

Let’s get the basics correct. Mood is a grammatical category associated with the semantic dimension of modality. Mood is to modality as tense is to time: tense and mood are categories of grammatical form, while time and modality are the associated categories of meaning.

It’s modality (not mood) that can be expressed by other means than by modal auxiliaries: lexical verbs (“You don’t need to tell me”) adjectives (“You are likely to be fined”), adverbs (“Perhaps you are right”).
drew.ward
dokterjokkebrokTo be, to have, to do are primary auxiliaries. That is, they can function both as main verb (lexical verb) and as auxiliary.
- I have a car. (lexical use of 'to have', meaning 'to own')
- I have seen her. (auxiliary use of 'to have', to form the present perfect)
This has been the traditional explanation for the past 50 years or so but it's not quite correct in that it misses a few key points. First, the auxiliaries are 'be, have, and do' and not 'to be', to have, and 'to do'. There is really no reason to ever refer to a verb with 'to' like that. Mainly though the problem is that it leads to misunderstandings of why 'to' is there in the first place.
Yes, but you should explain why. Traditional grammar treats, “to succeed”, for example, as a form of the lexeme “succeed” as if “to” were an inflectional prefix, comparable to the inflectional suffix that marks the infinitive in such languages as French and Latin. “To” (which derives from the homophonous preposition - notice the similarity between “I went to the doctor” and “I went to see the doctor”) is not syntactically in construction with the verb base, let alone morphologically bound to it. “To succeed” is not a verb; it is two words, the subordinator “to” and the verb “succeed”. This is evident from the fact that it can stand on its own in elliptical constructions as in “I haven’t read it yet but I hope to shortly”, and in can be separated from the verb by an adverb in the so-called ‘split infinitive construction’ “He wants to really succeed”.
drew.wardFirst, it's important to try some terminology that is a bit clearer. Consider the following:
"Mary likes John." This sentence has a subject "Mary", an object "John", and a verject "likes".
The first sentence is actually a shortened form for:
"Mary does like John." Same thing: Subject "Mary" Object "John" Verject "does like".
Your terminology does not in fact make things clearer; quite the opposite in fact. In “Mary likes John” “likes” is a verb; it’s the head of the verb phrase “likes John”. “Mary likes John” is not a shortened form of “Mary does like John”, the latter being a do-support construction where ‘does’ is used purely for emphatic polarity. The clause “Mary likes John” is a straightforward clause with unemphatic polarity.
drew.wardFrom a definition standpoint the subject is the person or thing that acts. The object is the person or thing that is acted upon. The verject is everything else (the bridge between the subject and object).
In clause structure ‘everything else’, as you put it comprises the other dependents of the verb which may be complements or adjuncts.
drew.wardIn English, the verject must have at least one vector and at least one auxiliary. The auxiliaries are used to carry agreement with the subject for person and number, and normally to express tense, aspect, mood, and perfection. Auxiliaries are said to subordinate (pronounced like 8 at the end) the verbs that follow them (either another auxiliary or a vector). The verb that follows an auxiliary is called its subordinate (pronounced at the end like the a in about). The vector is a verb that conveys the overall direction or idea content of the sentence.
There is no syntactic rule that says a clause must have at least one auxiliary verb, though of course many do. And to say that the auxiliaries are used to ‘carry agreement for person and number…’ is incorrect, as evidenced by the fact that the modal auxiliaries show no agreement with the subject, having only a single present tense form. There are no special 3rd person singular forms (*cans, *mays, *musts etc.) The non-modal auxiliaries, however, are characteristically used as markers of tense, aspect, mood and voice. They are used in conjunction with a verb bearing one of the secondary inflections (though they’re not called ‘subordinate’); this is referred to as the core use of auxiliaries. The verb that contains, as you put it, the ‘direction or idea content’ (I prefer to say the main determiner of the situation) is called the head verb. It’s usually a lexical verb, though the auxiliary ‘be’ can also be a head verb as in “He is my father”.
drew.wardDifferent auxiliaries require their subordinates to take different forms. Some auxiliaries don't do anything to their subordinates (like 'do'). Others require their subordinates to take on the preposition 'to' (like 'be+going', 'want', 'ought'). Some require their subordinates to take on a specific form ('be' requires the present participle as in "I am winning" while 'have' requires its subordinate to be in the past participle form "I have eaten").
The verbs you mention (the idiomatic “be going”, the idiomatic “ought” and “want”) take a to-infinitival complement but, as I explained in detail earlier, the word “to” is not a preposition; it’s a subordinator. You omitted to mention that ‘be’, when it’s used in a passive construction requires (usually) a past-participle.
drew.wardAspectual auxiliaries (in English these are 'do' and 'be' and express lack of duration (do) or duration (be) for the vector)
English has an aspect system marked by the presence or absence of the auxiliary “be” contrasting progressive (“She was writing a novel”) and non-progressive (“She wrote a novel”). The dummy auxiliary “do” is restricted to the do-support constructions (as I mentioned earlier) and to negative and emphatic imperatives. It’s not an aspect marker.

The remainder of your post contains more-or-less the same kind of errors, and still more use of fictitious terminology.

Note that EF deals with STANDARD GENERAL PURPOSE ENGLISH GRAMMAR. It is intended as a practical help for learners of English as well as a useful tool for more advanced students who are interested in grammar. It is not a platform for voicing personal unadopted theoretical grammar.

BillJ
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Bill while I appreciate your reluctance to consider any system that is not inline with that which you have been trained in or taught, or that which has been commonly used for many years (regardless of whether it's correct or functional or not), I find your hostile tone to be quite offensive.

All that your long response does is take what I've said and point out where it differs from the system to which you are accustomed. Perhaps a more logical approach would be to consider the purpose and merits of the two fields.

Your response and criticism is well thought out, and certainly a considered response disputing something is appreciated versus one that just says that something is wrong or a flight of fancy (as your first post said). However, many of your assumptions as to the root of terminology, usage, etc that you've based your response on are in fact incorrect. I would be more than happy to discuss the reasons why and share research with you or anyone else that would more than resolve this. However, I believe in discussion based on logic and polite consideration of things, approached with an open mind and especially mutual civility. What you've provided thus far is a somewhat mocking, hostile retort that expresses more than anything your discomfort with the possibility of an alternative to what you think you understand. This thread is probably not the best place to have such a discussion because there is far more that must be covered for you to understand why much of what you've written is incorrect than is within in the scope of the question considered in this thread.

As unlike your responses, I do not wish mine to offend you, please understand that I am not accusing you of being incorrect within your understanding of the topic, nor am I accusing you of being unknowledgeable. But, keep in mind that linguistics as we know it is a fairly young field with much of our basic understanding of language only coming about after the 1920's and almost all of our core remaining still the domain of theory. Because the field is in relative terms "new", major aspects of our understanding change quite often. We simply realize through further research and understanding that what we thought we knew one day is proven entirely incorrect the next. Much of the basis of English 'grammar' upon which your arguments are based was written in the 1600's and was absolutely incorrect even then. There had been no established English grammar until the first dictionary was published. Thinking no one would buy merely a list of words, Dryden took a grammar of classical Latin and literally forced English into it. He tried to sculpt the rules of the English language to fit the mold of Latin because that was the model he had. Most scholastic study of language up to that time had been of classical Greek and classical Latin both of which have very similar linguistic properties. Their grammars are very similar. His thinking was that every language must work approximately the same way so he simply took the same rules and substituted in English for Latin. This is actually the root of many of the now long discredited "rules of grammar" such as not allowing prepositions at the end of a sentence or prohibiting split infinitives. Fortunately for Dryden however and unfortunately perhaps for the rest of us, the basic grammar of English is close enough to the basic grammar of Latin most of the time, or at least enough of the time that Dryden's system was accepted as close but not quite perfect. Grammar books since then, and in fact the generally accepted understanding of English grammar since, have been based around attempts to improve and update that original system. The original system being that of Latin and not of English, was inherently flawed, and no matter how many times it's been revised and revised again, a revised and updated flawed system is still a flawed, incorrect system. So while I'm not arguing that your understanding of the English grammar you've been taught is incorrect, I am saying that that grammar itself IS incorrect and that simply opposing my post based on its being out of line with your own personal views on grammar and without considering the merits and accuracy of both your system and mine, is counterproductive and does little other than set a very negative tone.

The method used in my post for explaining what is going on in the grammar of the language in regard to the original poster's question is based on sound linguistic analysis of the English language carried out without any preconceptions of what that grammar should be (looking at English as if it were a newly discovered language that nothing is known about). This approach is the same as would be used to analyze a language found in today and never before encountered in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. It ensures no bias is involved and such an analysis is seen to be successful only when a grammar is produced that is accurate and functional. This means a set of rules must be documented and these rules must work the same way all the time. It also means that the workings of this language must mesh with the understanding of the universals of linguistics which all languages deal with. This also requires having a true understanding of exactly what these universal concepts are and what they are not (things like tense and aspect and mood). The English grammar upon which you are purporting my response to be incorrect is not based on such an analysis. In fact it was carried out centuries before people even began to realize that tense and aspect were not the same thing, and even what mood/modality actually is. The English grammar you are arguing in support of says the language has "rules" and then follows most of those supposed rules with "exceptions to the rule". A major basis of any scientific method is that rules have no exceptions. If a rule doesn't work 100% of the time, it means you've gotten it wrong and have to try again. Your system has as much wrong as it has right. My system has rules based on proper analysis. They work all the time and there are no exceptions to the rules within this system. If you can figure out how reword your 'grammar' to get rid of all the exceptions, then I'd be glad to allow that your system is correct, but so far, no one in the past 4 or so centuries has managed to do that so it might be a waste of your time.

I could just as easily as you have berated my approach point out that ideas like "dummy auxiliary" and "do-support" have absolutely zero linguistic justification and demand that before arguing against my post that you explain these assumptions fully and in a way that works 100% of the time, but I already know you can't because no one can. I simply ask that before you attack something you don't understand simply because it's different from what you think you do understand that you provide due consideration to the information provided and that you expose your own assumed correct ideas to the same scrutiny to which you have so readily given mine.

You have made one point that I will address because it's quite predictable. The terminology used is somewhat native to this approach. This is because the standard use of terminology is either ambiguous and confusing or because there is no established term for the concept used. Your first complaint is that of the use of 'verject'. It is in fact based on a combination of verb and -ject. However if is is not my own creation, nor is it the same as verbject. Verbject is used in various fields with an entirely unrelated meaning. Verject was first proposed by a Japanese linguist studying Spanish in the mid 90's. It had a similar usage in his proposal -- that being the "verbal section of a sentence". It has been repurposed and expanded upon in this system in order to rectify problems with the functional analysis of sentences. It is chosen for two primary reasons. First, it begins with a V and is similar to the word verb which means that it would fit with the established word order classifications of SVO - SOV - VSO - OSV - OVS - VOS. Second, it provides a term for referring to that part of a sentence that is neither subject nor object that maintains a similar nomenclature so that Subject -Verject-Object is used versus the less congruent Subject-Verb-Object nomenclature. If you are to argue against 'verject' you would likely have to argue as well against the use of subject and object. When the word subject was proposed for use in grammar, it was mistakenly thought that everything but the noun head of a sentence was the predicate and that this predicate 'predicated' itself onto that noun head. Or, the predicate 'threw itself' onto that noun. Thus a combination of latin sub (meaning onto or under) and ject (a form of the verb jacare meaning 'throw') was chosen with the idea that a 'subject' is that which the predicate acts upon. Likewise, the term object (with the opposite meaning of 'thrown from') was chosen to define the part of the predicate after the verb. With time, understanding of how sentences work showed that the noun head is not the target of the verb but the source of it and that what was thought to be the source (the object) is in fact the target. Yet, with the now known incorrect terminology in place, subject and object were left as they were in name. Keeping with the original thinking used to form the terms subject and object, and acknowledging that there would be no value in proposing they be changed, the root "ver-" meaning word/words (it has this general meaning versus 'verb' which is in fact the word for 'word' specifically) and the same suffix "-ject" is used to form verject (or "words for throwing"). This provides for (with the corrected understanding of roles from the original) subject (that which throws), verject (words for throwing), and object (that which is thrown).

Verject does not replace the word 'verb'. It does however provide a singular term for referring to those parts of a sentence that connect the subject and object (which is generally called 'verb' because it has verbs in it, sometimes called predicate, sometimes called connector, and a slew of other names). The problem with using 'verb' to refer to this concept is that verb is also used to denote verb phrases, verb the function, verb the part of speech, and any number of components within a sentence that either behave like a verb in some way or have a verb (the part of speech), even are of the same form as a verb. So under the traditional usage a verb can be made of verb which work with verbs and have verbs in them which sometimes control verbs. Seems a bit confusing to me. In addition, use of 'verb' to refer to this functional part of a sentence also misleads many to believe that only 'verbs' can be part of the 'verb' which leaves them not knowing what to do with things like propositional phrases or subordinate clauses that are the domain of this part of the sentence, especially if they are not directly connected. Verject avoids all of these problems and is never used to mean anything else which makes it clearly one thing and one thing only.

The term vector (although not a word limited only to linguistics as it is used in math and science) does not have a usage in grammar or linguistics other than this one. It is used to describe the functional unit of a verject that conveys verbal meaning. It is always a form of a verb and always consists of a single word which can be the finite verb (eat), the present participle (eating), past participle (eaten), or what is commonly called the 'to infinitive' (to eat). It cannot be marked for agreement nor for tense nor mood. Its sole purpose is to convey the verbal idea of the sentence and provides no information other than this idea as defined by the meaning of that verb. This usage is inline with the scientific and mathematic uses of the word vector as that which carries something or provides direction. It also provides (as with verject) a unique term for describing a functional element of a sentence without confusing that function for the part of speech used to form that element (a verb).

Auxiliary (and this is not a unique usage) refers to any element which contains a verb (the part of speech) that is not a vector, is used to express mood, tense, aspect, perfection, and/or voice, and/or agrees with the subject for person and number. In simple terms, it's a verb (part of speech) within the verject whose job is not too convey the main 'idea' and that is not part of some other phrase or clause.

All verbs when used this way are auxiliaries. Mood, tense, aspect, and such are not ALWAYS expressed using auxiliaries even though auxiliaries always express one or more of these concepts. Modality is the blanket term for any added qualification within language. This covers things like possibility, obligation, necessity, politeness, fear, etc. These individual ideas such as these are called moods. Mood may be expressed via auxiliaries (shall - obligative, will - volitive, need - necessitative, might - probable, would - conditional, etc). A single auxiliary may express multiple moods and likewise, the same mood may be expressed by quite a few different auxiliaries. Mood may also be expressed via a number of other methods which do not involve auxiliaries at all. Raising your voice in one manner may express the emphatic mood, another the imperative mood, and another the cohortative mood, and yet another may express fear or worry or concern -- all moods. Changes in word order may be used to express mood. Adverbs such as really or definitely or hopefully express mood as well. By definition ANYthing that expresses mood, is a MODAL. So, while all modal auxiliaries are modals, not all modals are modal auxiliaries.

-------------------------------------

I would be glad to explain any other concepts you're unsure about in another discussion as well if you're willing to objectively discuss them. However, as you can see with the above paragraph on mood/modals/modality, I do not simply throw words out there for the hell of it and everything described in my original post is 100% correct and easily proven as such. So if your only purpose in continuing this discussion would be to dispute things due to their differing from what you're used to, please don't waste our time. If you'd like to understand how and why what I'd written is correct, and consider reasons why alternatives could be incorrect, please let me know.

--Drew
Alright guys, look...let's not let this turn sour, okay? Emotion: smile

Drew, I think the point is this. Clearly you are very knowledgeable on grammar, whether or not you're in line with standard grammatical conceptions. But what I always try to bear in mind is that this is a forum where students of English, often with only a very meagre understanding of grammar, are asking us to help them. In fact, I´m a student myself and undoubtlessly still obvlious to a lot of things. Broaching an almost scientific debate of almost essay-like proportions is not helping these people, even if you're full of good intentions. What they need above all, in my view, is a very straightforward answer that is as short as possible. Surely you must think so too, right? Emotion: smile

Bill, do you agree?

- DJB -
Drew - How strange then that less than a month ago, on a website called Lingforum.com, under the heading "Need some words guys", you submitted a post that merely proposed the use of the word "verject". Here are some brief excerpts from your post on that website:

"I need some ideas on naming a few things and would like your input .....So here's what I need. First, a name for the verbal portion of an utterance (not predicate as that is everything but the subject) that starts with a V and is close to the word verb but is something different from that term (in some languages the verb of an utterance always is simply a single verb but in most it's not). This needs to be a name for that part of the utterance that fills the gap between S and O. ........Verb pretty much just means 'word' with ver being the greek/latin form of wer from PIE. Although it wouldn't be perfect from an etymology standpoint, verject would fit the mold and do the job as 'word/words that throw' ......Ok that was long but basically what do you think of:

Subject - Verject - Object? Assuming that works, the verject in many languages is composed of more than just a single verb. In most, it's a combination of verbs (or things behaving as verbs) functioning as auxiliaries, and very limited verbs functioning as 'content verbs' or the verb which establishes the "idea" of the verject."

I think those excerpts speak for themselves.

Moving on:

drew.wardMuch of the basis of English 'grammar' upon which your arguments are based was written in the 1600's and was absolutely incorrect even then
My grammar is largely based on the 'The Cambridge Grammar of The English Language' by Huddleston & Pullum published in 2002 (not in the 1600's). Not only are the authors recognised world-wide generally as being fine grammarians, Huddleston is probably the finest grammarian alive today. The grammar, which you've evidently never heard of, was the 2004 winner of the prestigious Leonard Bloomfield Book Award, awarded by the Linguistic Society of America. I'll be sure to let the authors know what you think about their grammar.

BillJ
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