Modal

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A modal expression indicates the attitude of the speaker with respect to the truth value of the proposition expressed.

Examples

Examples of modal expressions are maybe, probably, possibly, may, can, etc.

Comments

Modal verbs (or 'auxiliaries' because of their defective flexion) are known to allow a non-modal interpretation. Thus you may go can either mean that the speaker feels that it is possible that you will go (the so-called epistemic reading) or it can mean that you are allowed to go (the so-called root interpretation).

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

Other languages

German modal (de)