A Linguistic View on the Use of Will and Shall as Auxiliaries or Inflections
Communication and Linguistics Studies
Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages: 18-22
Received: Mar. 15, 2019; Accepted: Apr. 17, 2019; Published: Jun. 4, 2019
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Larice Toko Lumanda, Department of English Letters and Civilization, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
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In the English grammar lessons, will and shall are taught in schools and universities as modal verbs. Almost all famous grammarians confirm that will and shall are modal verbs. Modal verbs are considered as auxiliaries apart from the main or primary auxiliaries be, have, and do. Considering the definitions and characteristics of auxiliaries and inflections, a deep understanding of will and shall is required. This paper examines the definitions and characteristics of both auxiliaries and inflections and the uses of will and shall in order to know whether will and shall are auxiliaries or free inflections of the Future Tense. However it is worth mentioning that time is divided into past, present, and future. In modern English, almost grammarians say that there are two tenses in English namely present tense and past tense. According to them, the future tense does not exist. They believe so simply because there is no inflection for future tense; the futurity is expressed through modal verbs (will and shall). Generally speaking, modal auxiliaries help lexical verbs to express a variety of meanings, different attitudes, such as mood, aspect, etc. whereas inflections help verbs to express tenses. For instance, -ed is a bound inflection that helps regular verbs express the simple past tense. The –s is also a bound inflection that expresses the third person singular in the Simple Present Tense whereas –Ø is an invisible inflection which expresses the first persons (singular and plural), second persons (singular and plural), and the third person plural of the Simple Present Tense). Is there any inflection for the Future Tense? This paper is an attempt to answer this question.
Will, Shall, Auxiliaries, Modal Auxiliary Verbs, Inflections, Lexical or Ordinary Verbs
To cite this article
Larice Toko Lumanda, A Linguistic View on the Use of Will and Shall as Auxiliaries or Inflections, Communication and Linguistics Studies. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2019, pp. 18-22. doi: 10.11648/j.cls.20190501.14
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