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Where is the 'do'?

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Where is the 'do'?

Postby Enigma » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 am

I need not go home--need is a semiauxiliary, instead of a lexical/ordinary verb.

It is clear 'need' is an auxiliary, because it is followed by a bare infinitive, not a full infinitive.

Below, however, are not examples of verbs that can function as both auxiliaries and ordinary verbs, but of verbs that leave out the modal 'do' and sound slightly non-standard and contrived.

What is it about these verbs that allow them to exhibit these unique structures without the auxiliary 'do'?

I wish not to renew my subscription-instead of-I do not wish to renew my subscription.

I want not to go home-instead of-I do not want to go home.

:D
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Postby saparris » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:51 pm

What is it about these verbs that allow them to exhibit these unique structures without the auxiliary 'do'?

I wish not to renew my subscription-instead of-I do not wish to renew my subscription.

I want not to go home-instead of-I do not want to go home.


Certain verbs that are not true modals can serve the same purpose. Need is one. Dare is another.

The true modals (and those that serve as modals) all use modal + not + bare infinitive. (I could not go, I dare not do, I need not go, etc).

Wish is not one of these verbs and uses the more standard syntax: modal + not + full infinitive (I wish not to go, I tried not to go, etc.).

When the syntax changes to do + not + modal + infinitive, the full infinitive is used with wish, want, and need--but not with dare. Strange.
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Postby Enigma » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:35 am

Wish is not one of these verbs and uses the more standard syntax: modal + not + full infinitive (I wish not to go, I tried not to go, etc.).


Right, good to know, thanks.

So 'wish' is a modal that uses the to-infinitive basically.

What is the reason for some modal verbs taking the to-infinitive?


And why did you say 'standard syntax' when modals always use the bare infinitive?
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Postby saparris » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:53 am

So 'wish' is a modal that uses the to-infinitive basically.

What is the reason for some modal verbs taking the to-infinitive?

And why did you say 'standard syntax' when modals always use the bare infinitive?


Wish can "serve" as a modal, but it maintains some of the syntactical characteristics of true verbs.

And when I said "standard syntax," I was referring to true verbs. as in "I tried not to eat," "She claimed not to know," and so on.
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Postby Enigma » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:18 am

Righteo.

And when I said "standard syntax," I was referring to true verbs


Ah, thought that may be what you were saying.


The structures (is there a name for them??) without 'do,' are more common in BrE than AmE, correct?
Last edited by Enigma on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby saparris » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:21 am

I believe they are more common in British English.
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Postby Enigma » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:23 pm

saparris wrote:
So 'wish' is a modal that uses the to-infinitive basically.

What is the reason for some modal verbs taking the to-infinitive?

And why did you say 'standard syntax' when modals always use the bare infinitive?


Wish can "serve" as a modal, but it maintains some of the syntactical characteristics of true verbs.

And when I said "standard syntax," I was referring to true verbs. as in "I tried not to eat," "She claimed not to know," and so on.


I just picked up on something. Are you saying that 'tried' in your example quoted above is a full verb, because in your first post of this thread you gave it as an example of a modal alongside 'wish'? (Or were you using it to show the likeness in syntax between a full verb, such as tried, and a modal, such as wish?)
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Re: Where is the 'do'?

Postby Slava » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:25 pm

Enigma wrote:I need not go home--need is a semiauxiliary, instead of a lexical/ordinary verb.

It is clear 'need' is an auxiliary, because it is followed by a bare infinitive, not a full infinitive.
Perhaps you will find of additional interest the idea that if we do use the full infinitive, we have a completely different meaning.

"I need to not go home" means there is a very specific reason to stay away. Our example sentence above simply states there is no particular reason to go home, it's indifferent.

To all who would criticize splitting the infinitive, don't bother. It's not a valid discussion anymore. Long dead and buried, except in pedantic schools that haven't caught up to 19th century usage.
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Re: Where is the 'do'?

Postby Enigma » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:40 pm

Slava wrote:
Enigma wrote:I need not go home--need is a semiauxiliary, instead of a lexical/ordinary verb.

It is clear 'need' is an auxiliary, because it is followed by a bare infinitive, not a full infinitive.
Perhaps you will find of additional interest the idea that if we do use the full infinitive, we have a completely different meaning.

"I need to not go home" means there is a very specific reason to stay away. Our example sentence above simply states there is no particular reason to go home, it's indifferent.

To all who would criticize splitting the infinitive, don't bother. It's not a valid discussion anymore. Long dead and buried, except in pedantic schools that haven't caught up to 19th century usage.


Ah yes, of course. And splitting the infinitive is fine to me too. If it can be avoided without changing the meaning, I won't split it, though.

It's also interesting how the verb forms with 'do' are also different in meaning to the forms without do.
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Postby saparris » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:55 pm

Wish is not one of these verbs and uses the more standard syntax: modal + not + full infinitive (I wish not to go, I tried not to go, etc.).


Clarification: There is some disagreement on whether wish can be a semi-modal. The example above (I wish not to go) could easily be considered S + V + not + infinitive, with wish being the inflected verb.

I cannot find an example of a sentence using wish as a semi-modal, although there are numerous references to the use thereof on the internet.

If someone can find one, I would be less frustrated than I am right now.
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