Dare to — auxiliary verb
Dare to is used as a modal auxiliary verb and an ordinary verb that we use to encourage someone to be courageous or daring in what could be some kind of act. So, let’s take a deeper dive.
Used as an auxiliary and an ordinary verb. Used for encouraging someone to be courageous or daring
Auxiliary form (with “to”)
- I dared 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 dared 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?
A quick lesson with context and analysis
- Hey James, I dare you to skip class with me today.1
- I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, Jake.
- Come on! It’ll be fun.2 I dare you to.
- I don’t like dares, you know.3
- Look, I don’t mean to dare you,4 but I just thought it would be kind of fun.
- OK, well, just this one time.
- I dare you to skip class with me today. Used as modal auxiliary verb in this sentence. The ordinary verb is ‘skip’.
- It’ll be fun. ‘It’ll’ is the contraction of ‘it will’. All contractions of ‘will’ are: I’ll, you’ll, he’ll, she’ll, it’ll, we’ll, you’ll (plural), they’ll.
- I don’t like dares, you know. ‘Dares’ in this example is the plural noun form. ‘Dare’ without ‘to’ also functions as a noun. I.e. I love dares, especially if the dares are scary.
- Look, I don’t mean to dare you. ‘Dare’ in this sentence is being used as an ordinary verb. The auxiliary verb in this sentence is ‘do’, and it’s being used in the negative form, ‘don’t.
Modal auxiliary verbs:
- Articles (a/an, the, zero article)
- Pronouns: subject, object and possessive
- Question tags
- English conditionals
- Interrogatives in English
- Phrasal verbs
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Reported and direct speech
- Punctuation: apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, commas, dashes, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, and quotation marks
- Numbers: cardinal, ordinal, and Roman numbers
- The verb: “get”
- ‘Get’ vs. ‘go’ and ‘got’ vs. ‘gotten’
- Copular verbs
- Cleft sentences
- Subjunctive in English
- Vulgar and taboo in English
- Split infinitive
- Emphasis with inversion
- Gerunds in English
- To + infinitive
- Bare infinitive
- British and American spelling