Now if you know what are modals…let’s have a look at semi-modals as well as their usage in the sentence.


-Let’s look at some examples-

Don’t you dare leave me here.

Not a thing need change on this page.

He used to walk for miles.

You ought to know that by now.

In these sentences, words like dare, need, used to, ought to, are semi-modals.


What are semi- modals?

It is a verb that functions to some extent like a modal verb, typically in the way it forms negative and interrogative constructions.In English, semi-modals include need and dare used to and ought to. they are an auxiliary verb that modifies the main verb, but can’t really function alone.


1. Need

  • It is used in present or future tense only.It indicates speaker’s authority.
  • It is used in Negative and Interrogative sentences only. It is not used in Affirmative sentences.

          Ex- you need not to type this letter.

                  – Need I speak to him.

                  – You needn’t come if you’re busy.

                  -You need not worry about her.

2. Dare

  • It signifies to being courageous and bold.

Ex- You dare tell our parents what happened yesterday.           (affirmative)

– I dare not disturb him. (negative)

– How dare you? (interrogative)

3. Used to

It is used to express a discontinued past habit i.e a habit which was common in past but no longer takes place now.

I used to smoke before.

I used to eat at sharp 8 o’clock.

She used to go for a night walk.

They used to sing and dance on their birthday.

4. Ought to

Ought to come first in the verb phrase (after the subject and before another verb).

It is used to express duty, Moral Obligation or Advice.

It seems similar to the regular verb because we have to add “to” after it.

She ought to spend more time practicing piano.

He ought to speak now.

We ought to respect our elders.

We ought to love our neighbors

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