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Dare to

Modal auxiliaries are helping verbs that connect with normal/ordinary verbs to express a meaning, ask a question or negate. Modal auxiliaries are never used with the main auxiliaries; be, have and do, and do not make sense on their own, therefore, they must be connected with a normal verb in order to make sense. Modal verbs also never change form (they cannot be conjugated). Dictionary definition according to Merriam Webster: ”an auxiliary verb (such as can, must, might, may) that is characteristically used with a verb of predication and expresses a modal modification and that in English differs formally from other verbs in lacking -s and -ing forms”. 

Here, we are going to elaborate on the modal auxiliary verb, dare to.  (Note that modal auxiliaries are never followed by ‘to’ before the infinitive, except with, need to, ought to and dare to).

(1) ‘Dare to’ is used as an auxiliary and an ordinary verb. We use the modal auxiliary verb, dare to’ to encourage someone to be courageous or daring in what could be some kind of act.
Auxiliary form (dare to): 
  • I dare you to leave twenty minutes early.
  • My friend dared me to jump off the cliff, but I didn’t do it.
  • People dare one another to do things all the time.
Ordinary form (dare): 
  • He didn’t dare me to buy it because he knew it wouldn’t be a good decision.
  • Harry’s sister dared him to cross the road on a red light, thank God he didn’t do it.
  • You really must dare him to take some risks every so often, eh?

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