daresay

< Previous | Next >

Labrador33

Member
France, French
Is dare in "I daresay" lexical or auxiliary?

Hello there,
Well, everything is in the question above. The problem is, there's no "to" in the construction I daresay, and semantically speaking DARE is much more abstract here than in canonical lexical uses (Don't you dare to tell her that). :confused:
Does anyone know what linguists say about this set use?
Thanks a lot,
Ben from Paris

Moderator note: this thread has been moved from Fr-En grammar.
 
  • JD-Styles

    Senior Member
    Canada, English & French
    Well I'm not 100% sure what the question is, but there's never a "to" after "dare". It's "don't you dare tell her that". So, daresay is just dare and say put together.
     

    Labrador33

    Member
    France, French
    Thanks alot Kelly for the links mentioned. Very interesting indeed, but you're right, they don't answer the question. I suppose the answer is, the boundary between lexical and auxiliary verb is a pretty permeable one.
    I hope my students will buy that ! :D
    Labrador 33
     

    Ynez

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Dare and need appear in grammar books as especial verbs, sometimes modals, sometimes not. Maybe you can call dare a semimodal?
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Dare and need appear in grammar books as especial verbs, sometimes modals, sometimes not. Maybe you can call dare a semimodal?

    Hello,

    Need, dare, and used are sometimes called the semi-modals.

    I dare you to prove I'm wrong. I would say that we can always ommit to. The only exception is when dare means challenge.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Is dare in "I daresay" lexical or auxiliary?
    The simple answer is that it's a modal auxiliary. You can tell because it's got no "to".

    It's easier to see, I suppose, if daresay is written as two words. But mindful of Kelly B's injunction, I'm not going there:D
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The OED gives two sub-definitions for the construction "dare say". The first is marked "properly":
    a. properly. To be as bold as to say (because one is prepared to affirm it); to venture to assert or affirm.

    The second is marked as a "transferred sense":
    b. transf.To venture to say (because one thinks it likely); to assume as probable, presume. Almost exclusively in the parenthetic ‘I dare say’; rarely in oblique narration, ‘he dared say’.

    The spelling as one word is noted, but it is not counted as a headword.

    The second sense, I dare say, is the one most commonly inferred today. The construction in general has been around since the 14th c. As far as I understand, "dare say" was the original construction and it is not a degraded "dare to say". The OED also states that the construction takes its meaning from "dare" as in "to have boldness or courage (to do something)" or "to be as bold as to".
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    As far as I know, there are only three auxiliaries in English: be, have and do.
    The speciality of auxiliaries in any case is that
    1) they have no meaning (so they cannot be translated) this is why
    2) they are always followed by a main verb (when the nature of the action/happening, etc. has to be expressed, which is not the case in short answers like "Yes, I have." or No, I'm not.", etc.)
    3) they're mainly used to form different verb tenses.
    (In "j'ai fait / I have done" "have" is not the translation of "ai". They're both auxiliaries necessary to form a given verb tense in each language.)

    Dare has a (translatable) meaning on its own (so it can be a main verb), however, sometimes can be followed by a main verb (with to). In that case it modifies the meaning of that main verb (and serves as a modal verb).
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Zsanna

    Modal verbs are often seen as a subset of auxiliary verbs.

    Which is why I used the term 'modal auxiliary' a couple of posts back;)
     

    Ynez

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I now realize what the question is exactly. My answer is that dare in daresay is a modal auxiliary, as Loob said.

    The same way as it is also a modal auxiliary in:

    I daren't say...
    How dare you....

    And it would be a normal verb in:

    I dare to say...
    I don't dare to say...
    Do you dare to...

    Maybe some of the options above are not normal, but they are all grammatically possible.
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Correction: in the negative and the interrogative it can be followed by "to" (although often omitted), so it has nothing to do with it being a main/auxiliary/modal verb.

    Modal verbs are often seen as a subset of auxiliary verbs.
    I daresay they are :), but I find the term "modal auxiliary" very confusing when you want to explain things to somebody who is learning the language.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Correction: in the negative and the interrogative it can be followed by "to" (although often omitted), so it has nothing to do with it being a main/auxiliary/modal verb.
    Zsanna, for the distinction between dare modal and dare ordinary/normal/lexical verb, see Ynez's post 14; and this post in the first thread referenced by Kelly B.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Is dare in "I daresay" lexical or auxiliary?

    Hello there,
    Well, everything is in the question above. The problem is, there's no "to" in the construction I daresay, and semantically speaking DARE is much more abstract here than in canonical lexical uses (Don't you dare to tell her that). :confused:
    Does anyone know what linguists say about this set use?
    Thanks a lot,
    Ben from Paris
    It strikes me that your question is like the question "Is the o' in o'clock a preposition?" The answer is no: It was historically a preposition but is no longer one in the current word o'clock.

    Daresay is a verb. Its parts cannot be separated into parts of speech (the etymology of the term is another matter entirely). If it were, say, a phrasal verb, then perhaps we could discuss the parts of speech of its elements, but we can't with the verb as it stands. That would be like saying that "to table uses a noun as a verb." It doesn't. Table there is a verb.
     

    Ynez

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Yes, that's another possible way to look at it. Many of these questions regarding name-calling can be viewed from different angles.
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    The only good thing about my appearance here was that Labrador now has now plenty to check up (but please, ignore my errors!).

    Thanks for the link, Loob! :)
    (A good grammar book could be even more useful for other rainy days, provided one reads them calmly without haste...)

    I'm glad about mplsray's contribution because I felt it particularly to the point.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm glad about mplsray's contribution because I felt it particularly to the point.
    Yes, it is very much to the point - for that section of the English-speaking world which writes "daresay" as opposed to "dare say".

    Which, as you'll have guessed, excludes me;)

    Since the OP mentioned "daresay", I dare say it includes him:)
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    What is the difference for you, Loob?

    In the (perfectly classical BE) A Practical English Grammar (by A.J. Thompson and A.V. Martinet), it is "I daresay" that is discussed ("I dare say" appearing only once in brackets) and the only difference mentioned (after the two idiomatic meanings given) as:
    "dare say is used in this way with the first person singular only".
    (But they were all mentioned with the "I" beforehand, so where is the surprise...?)
     

    Labrador33

    Member
    France, French
    Yes, it is very much to the point - for that section of the English-speaking world which writes "daresay" as opposed to "dare say".

    Which, as you'll have guessed, excludes me;)

    Since the OP mentioned "daresay", I dare say it includes him:)
    Spot on, Loob, especially with regard to Matching Mole's post referring to the OED's definition of dare say in two words.
    As for the syntax, Huddleston and Pullum 2002 say it's a catenative (excuse my French) structure (a term which includes modal periphrases). So, everything well considered, I'll agree with you it's a semi-modal - and maybe a preterite-present as well, like its 'central' modal chums? Anyone durst think about it? :)
    Thanks all anyway for a thrilling debate.
    L33
     

    sami33

    Senior Member
    arabic
    Hi

    I wonder whether or not "I daresay" means "I dare to say". This is the context:

    The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
    `Perhaps it doesn't understand English,' thought Alice; `I daresay it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.'

    Source: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland- CHAPTER II -The Pool of Tears

    Thanks a lot
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    When we say "I dare say" we may or may not be thinking of the risk of being branded a liar. When we say or write "I daresay" as a single word we are probably not.

    The OED on dare (verb 1):

    6. dare say.

    a. properly. To be as bold as to say (because one is prepared to affirm it); to venture to assert or affirm.

    b. transferred sense. To venture to say (because one thinks it likely); to assume as probable, presume. Almost exclusively in the parenthetic ‘I dare say’; rarely in oblique narration, ‘he dared say’. (In this use now sometimes written as one word, with stress on the first syllable.)
    Some dialects make the past daresaid, darsayed, dessayed.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top