9.1. AUXILIARY HAVE AND MODAL SYNTAX

Modal verbs narrate on thought, let us say, if we think something is a fruit, is a possible fruit, or maybe it even must be fruit, but we do not know the kind.
Whatever theory to make, it is first of all our thought process we need to manage.

Auxiliary HAVE can be quite some handle. Let us begin with visualizing the infinitive and head time.

38. I remember to exercise.

Our main grammatical time could be the PRESENT, as well as PAST or FUTURE. Let us think about the effect of our exercise on ourselves. The exercise makes us physically fit and happy.

MAIN GRAMMATICAL TIME: THE PRESENT
38a. I am happy to exercise.

If we recall our exercise as something prior, ■→ANTECEDENT, we might say:

MAIN GRAMMATICAL TIME: THE PRESENT
38b. I am happy to HAVE exercised.

MAIN GRAMMATICAL TIME: THE PAST
39. I was happy to have exercised.

MAIN GRAMMATICAL TIME: THE FUTURE
40. I will be happy to have exercised.

Auxiliary HAVE generally can make antecedent reference to grammatical main time; we could say it gives an auxiliary time extent, as in the picture above.

Antecedent time is not the same as a past time.
If we say we have learned something, we say we began learning some time before speaking about it, that is, the PRESENT.
If we will have learned, or we had learned something, respectively, we begin learning some time before a FUTURE or PAST time.

With the Perfect Aspect, auxiliary HAVE makes an open time frame. With the infinitive, the time frame is closed on the main grammatical time.


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We may return to our hypothetical fruit. Let us say we do not expect to find the stalk. The frame for our guesswork will be closed.

PROBABILITY
41. The handle MAY HAVE broken off.
41a. It MIGHT HAVE broken off.
41b. It COULD HAVE broken off.

The target grammatical time can be PRESENT or PAST: if we say we did not expect to find the stalk or we do not expect to find it, we use the same Modal syntax.

The Modal form shows the theory making, not the target grammatical time. Let us compare some more Modal syntax.

CERTAINTY
42. The handle MUST HAVE broken off.

CONTINGENCY
43. You SHOULD HAVE checked on the handle.
43a. The handle OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN checked.
43b. You NEEDN’T HAVE manipulated the handle.

Let us now say we allow for the stalk on the other side of our hypothetical fruit. Our guesswork would be,
44. There CAN / MAY / COULD / MIGHT be a handle on the other side.

The Modal frame here is open; we could say, finding the handle is an open matter. Modal frames differ from those for real-time, in management of the grammatical Aspect. Feel welcome.
■→9.2. THE MODAL NET

■→This text is also available in Polish.


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