English Modal Verbs Having not Aways Modal Verb Equivalents in Ukrainian

Apart from the afore-mentioned there are four more modal verbs in English, which practically lack direct lexical equivalents in Ukrainian. These modal verbs are: shall, will, would and partly should, the latter being only historically the past form of shall, which, like the modal verb iv/7/and would, may sometimes have implicit meanings but lacking explicit lexical equivalents in Ukrainian. This is partly explained by the complicated nature of shall, will, would and should, which mostly combine their modal meanings with that of the auxiliary one, pertained to some of these verbs.

A. Shall in its modal meaning is most of all used with the second and third persons plural and sometimes (though mostly in interrogative sentences) with the first person singular and plural. Depending on the intention of the speaker, the modal verb shall may express in combination with the notional infinitive the following main meanings:

1. Will or intention which can be conveyed in Ukrainian either with the help of the verbxom/mu or through the logical stress on the verb that implicitly expresses this meaning plus the corresponding intonation (prosodic means) of the sentence. Cf.:

«Shall I tell you how I felt as а «Розповісти вам, як я,
mate of my high school stu- дорослий, почувався учнем в
dents ?» (С. Schimmels) одному з коледжів ?»

The principal clause shall I tell in this sentence has the im-

plicit contextual meaning corresponding to the Ukrainian «Хочете/ бажаєте, щоб я розповів вам...? «

A similar meaning of wish or will of the person addressed has the modal verb shall with the infinitive in the following sentence:

Their eyes met. «Shall І їхні погляди зустрілися, serve ?» said Doris. (Maugham) «Допомогти (вам) ?» - запитала Доріс.

Shall I serve? can also be translated as Хочете/бажаєте, щоб я допомогла? or Треба/потрібно моєї допомоги?

The modal meaning of the verb shall may often incorporate some other meanings inherent in the lexical meaning of the infinitive with which it is used. Hence, different explicit variants may sometimes be suggested in the target language for one and the same modal word-group. The modal verb sha//with the infinitive may also express in the simple or composite sentences some other meanings:

2. Promise or promised assurance, consent:
«You shall entertain as much «... Запевняю, ти будеш і
as you please.» (B.Shaw) далі розважатися, як твоя

душа забажає.»

«Shall we say four pounds а «Погодишся (працювати)
week?» (D.Lessing) за чотири фунти за


3. Warning, threat or resolute demand which is usually conveyed in Ukrainian through the imperative verb forms. Cf.:

«I shall want your account of «Вимагаю звіту про те, як how this happened.» (B. Sha w) ви таке допустили.»

«You shall not have it - not «Ніколи - ніколи ти цього
ever. I will take care of that.» не матимеш. Це вже я про це
(Ibid.) подбаю.»

4. Compulsion, obligation, order or demand (both in simple and composite sentences), which is also often conveyed through the imperative mood forms of the Ukrainian verb:

«You shall not run away be- «He втечеш, доки не
fore you answer.» (Ibid.) відповіси. Тобі/ не втекти,

доки не відповіси.»

«You shall not stay another «Щоб я за годину тебе hour in my house. Get out!» тут не бачив. Геть звідси!» (Dreiser)


The modal verb shall, expressing compulsion or obligation according to law or a prearranged agreement, is mostly used in texts of different regulations, proclamations, charters, treaties, contracts, etc. The verb srta//forms with the infinitive a sense unit, which is conveyed in Ukrainian through the verb-predicate forming a logical centre in the sentence. For example:

Збори всіх членів Організації Об'єднаних Націй створюють Генеральну Асамблею. Вісник Генеральної Асамблеї ООН публікується робочими мовами.

The General Assembly shall consist of all the Members of the United Nations. (Charter of the United Nations)

The Journal of the General

Assembly shall be used in the working languages. (Ibid.)

It should be added in conclusion that in other cases the use of the modal verb shall is restricted to formal or even archaic speech style. In some context the meaning of shall may coincide with that of the modal verb dare asin the following sentence:

«After such a picturesque «Після такої колоритної
love affair in high society, who любовної пригоди у вищому
shall say that romance is dead?» світі хто наважиться сказати.
(Dreiser) що романтика вмерла ?»

В. Will as a modal verb together with the infinitive, with which it forms a word-group, may also express different meanings, the main of which are volition, insistence, determination, intention. The modal verb will is used with all persons in singular and plural, never losing its auxiliary function (to express the future tense). In a number of cases the modal meanings of will may coincide with those expressed by its past form would. As a result, their lexical equivalents in Ukrainian may be close or even identical as well.

The modal verb will may be endowed in different contextual environment with various meanings, the main of them being the following:

1. Volition, demand or assurance whichis expressed in Ukrainian through the corresponding verb, stative or logical/emphatic stress: «I will not have these re- «Я не хочу/мені не треба, щоб pealed scenes within hearing of розігрувались ці сцени і щоб їх

the servants.» (B.Shaw) «І will be another kind of president,» said Constantinescu. (Kyiv Post)

слухала/чула прислуга/челядь». «Я буду/обіцяю бути зовсім іншим президентом,» - заявив Константинеску.

2. Will as well as assurance or promise:

Mrs. Warren: «And you'll be Miccic Воррен: «І за це ти
good to your poor old mother for будеш добре ставитися до
it, won't you?» своєї сердешної старої

матері. Будеш?»

Vivie: «I will, dear». (B.Shaw) Віві: «Обіцяю, люба.»
Trench: «I will save you the Тренч: «Я вже допоможу
trouble.» (Ibid.) вам вибратися з цієї халепи.»

The answer of Vivie / will contains assurance and promise for the future, because of which its explicit form in Ukrainian is only Обіцяю. A similar construction is displayed in the second sentence in which Trench assures (promises) the poor man (Sartorius) to relieve him of his trouble.

3. Determination, perseverance or promising threat which
is often rendered through lexically explicit Ukrainian verbs, express
ing also the future tense at the same time:

«I will examine them (ас- «Я зараз перевірю їх(гроші

counts and money) and settle й рахунки) і порішу з вами.»
with you presently.» (В.Shaw)

«І will prosecute you myself.» «Я сам вас судитиму.» (Ibid.)

«I will survive. I will escape. І «Я переживу це. я втечу

will not give in.» (Dreiser) звідси, нізащо не здамся.»

4. Willingness, consent(in conditional clauses after fol
lowing the conjunction if):

«IfyouwillJeJlmeallaboutit «Якщо ти захочеш мені in a chatty way, I can communi- розповісти про це щиро, я cate it to Lady Roxdale (Ibid.) перекажу'тоді'всеЛедіРоксдейл.»

The meaning of the modal verb will (will tell) in the sentence above may also be expressed in Ukrainian through a logical or emphatic stress laid upon the notional verb (predicate) :Якщо ти розкриєш/розповіси все чисто, то я тоді перекажу це Леді Роксдейл...

As has been pointed out, the modal meaning of the verb will may go parallel with that of its past form would. This is observed when iv/7/and would are used to express the following meanings:

5. Polite requestwhich may be expressed as follows:
«Will you walk into my «Чи не зайдеш/зайди-но до

parlour?» (Dreiser) моєї вітальні?»


«I want you to do a most terrible favour. Will you? Will you please?» (D.Parker)

« When would you like to come over?» (Galsworthy)

«Яхочу, щоб ви мені зробили страшенно велику послугу. Зробите?Благаю, зробіть?»

«Коли б ви хотіли (могли) навідатись/зайти?»

6. Suppositionwhich is usually expressed in Ukrainian with the help of modal words or by means of the subjunctive mood of the predicate verb:

«І expect he will have had his tea.» (Smith) «This will be the place where they reposed.» (W.Maken) «Well, this would interest you.» (Fitzgerald)

«... навряд щоб він ще не снідав/не пив чаю»

«Це напевне/мабуть і є те місце, де вони перепочивали.» «Це тобі було б цікаво/ Напевне зацікавило б тебе.»

7. Habitual volitional actions which are conveyed as follows:
After this accident he will Після того нещастя він

lock himself and not show off. став замикатися в собі і не
(Ibid'.) показуватись.

In the afternoon he would go out alone and walk for hours. (Galsworthy)

Після полудня він, бувало, йшов із дому і годинами не вертався з прогулянки.

8. Resistance to an action referring to the present or to the future, which is observed only in English. Consequently, it has no corresponding modal expression in Ukrainian. Cf.:

Двері ніяк не відмикаються.» ...дощ заливав лобове скло автомашини, а «двірник» не працював (не хотів працювати).

«Help him, please. The door «Допоможіть, будь ласка, йому, will not unlock.» (Jacobs) ... it (rain) blinded the wind screen and the wiper wouldn't

work. (Greene)

9. Conditionwhich is equivalently expressed in Ukrainian through the subjunctive or conditional mood forms in subordinate clauses of real and unreal condition:

«If he wouldn't mind. I would «Якби він не був проти (не
to come.» (Maxwell) заперечував), то я б охоче

прийшов.» «You may go, if you will, but «Іди собі/можеш іти, якщо

no one will follow you. I'm sure.> (Hudges)

хочеш, але я певен, що за тобою ніхто не піде.»


10. Determination or persistence, which is expressed with the help of set constructions like / (he, we) won't/would not.This modal meaning is rendered into Ukrainian by means of the verb дозволяти/не дозволяти, допускати/не допускати as well:

«Ten or eleven», the Sheriff said, «I won't stand for it.» (Saroyan)

Several times Eckerman tried to get away, but Gothe would not let him go.» (Maugham)

«Десять чи одинадцять років, - сказав шериф, - я все одно не дозволю цього.»

Не раз Екерман намагався піти, але Ґете не відпускав (не_ погоджувався відпустити) його.


11. Preference choice and other meanings as in the set expressions I'd rather/I would/I'd sooner, which are usually rendered into Ukrainian with or without the help of the subjunctive mood forms plus such adverbs of manner as краще, радніше/ліпше:

«So we had better go to supper,» said Mary. (Joyce)

Mother said she would much rather watch him fish and not try to fish herself. (Leacock)

He will/would never set the Thames on fire. (Proverb)

He will die as he lived. (Ibid.)

He who would catch fish must not mind getting wet. (Ibid.)

«Чи не краще б піти на вечерю,» -запропонувала Мері.

Мати сказала, що вона радніше спостерігала б. як він вудить, ніж самій вудити.

Він навряд чи порох вигадає./ Він зірок із неба не знімає.

Горбатого (тільки) могила виправить.

Хочеш рибки - лізь у воду./Лежа-тимеш на печі, не їстимеш калачі.


С. Will and would are used in many set/idiomatic expressions having both subjunctive and non-subjunctive meaning:

He would give a penny for the young fellow's thoughts. (Galsworthy)

« You'd make a saint swear.» (Ibid.)

Він багато дав би. щоб дізнатися, що цей молодик задумав.

«Ти навіть святого виведеш/вивів би з рівноваги.»

The range of modal meanings, which the modal verbs will and would may express, is not exhausted by those enumerated above.

There may be some others, as for example: 12. To express favour, benevolence:

«He wants to know ... if you'll «Він хоче знати ... чи ви не
invite Daisy to your house some зволите запросити колись на
afternoon ...»(Fitzgerald) обід до себе Дейзі...»

D. Should as a modal verb is very often used both in reference to present and to future (and to express the subjunctive meaning). It conveys a variety of meanings some of which may be close to the meanings of the modal verbs ought to, have to, to be to, must. Thus, the sentence «I'm sorry. /shouldn't have said that.» (Cusack) may be translated, when out of its broader context, as follows:

1) Пробачте: мені не треба було цього казати/
Перепрошую: мені не слід було це казати.

2) Пробачте: мені не слід було цього казати.

3) Пробачте: я не мав був цього казати.

There may be one more variant of the sentence with the intonational/supersegmental expression of this modal meaning: Жаль/жалкую, що я це сказав/що це зірвалось у мене з язика.

The most common direct meaning of the modal (non-subjunctive orfuture-in-the-pastform) verb should'in Ukrainian corresponds to the statives слід, треба, or to the modal word and phrase потрібно/є потреба. These equivalents (depending on the contextual environment) are also mostly employed in order to express the following meanings of the modal verb should:

1. Obligation/moral obligation, necessity.

"What do you think he should «\ що, по-твоєму, йому слід/

do?» (Trevor) треба робити?»

«You should have told me so «Вам слід/треба було

before.» (В. Sha w) раніше сказати мені про це.»

2. Regret, grief, sorrow:

"/ shouldn't have said that.» «Меніне слід/не треба було
(Cusack) цього казати.»

The structure of the Ukrainian sentence here may also be different and not correspond to its English original above: Навіщо мені було тільки казати це?/І треба мені було сказати це.

3. Advice/recommendation, admonition:

«You shouldn't have consulted «Тобі не треба/не слід було
те, Esme.» (S.Hill) радитися зі мною, Есме.»

« You shouldn't talk bitter like « Ти не повинен стільки зла
that, Albert,» Miss Jackson re- виливати, Альберте,»-докір-
proved. (K. C. Prichard) пиво зауважила міс Джексон.

The meaning of the modal verb should in this sentence may also be rendered through the imperative sentence: He виливай стільки зла, Альберте ...

4. Supposition/suggestion, which can be expressed in Ukrainian with the help of modal words or particles, as in the following sentences:

«Perhaps I should introduce «Може б мені представити
ту friend Cocane to you.» вам мого друга Кокейна?...»/
(В. Sha w) Мабуть представлю вам мого

друга Кокейна.

«Itshould be about five now.» «Зараз десь/певне біля
(Cusack) п 'я тої.»

The modal verb should in the first sentence may also be translated through the particle бодай: Може, бодай представити вам мого друга Кокейна?

5. Doubt, indignation and some other emotions expressed
through the modal verb should may be also rendered with the help
of some Ukrainian particles and the implicit meaning of the sentence:

Sartorius: «I don't know. How «Я не знаю. Та й звідки мені
should I?» (B.Shaw) знати/Та й звідки б я довідався ?»

« Why should I wait?» (Ibid.) « Чому б це мені чекати

6. Surprise, indignation or pleasure (with the indefinite or
perfect infinitive following the modal verb should). These meanings
of the modal verb should are mostly rendered in Ukrainian through
the logical emphatic stress, intonation, particles or through some
modal verbs:

«God forbid that /should ever «Воронь Боже мені сказати/

say a good word for you!» щоб я коли-небудь сказав хоч

(L. P. Hartley) одне добре слово за тебе!»

«І don't know why should I «He знаю, чому це я ше маю

think about him.» (W. Trevor) думати про нього.»

«/shouldn't have done that.» «(Ну) навіщо я це зробив.»

(B.Shaw) (Мені неслідбуло цього робити.)

The modal verb shouldIn these same sentences above may

also be understood and conveyed, when taken isolated from the text, in some other ways. For example, in the second sentence (under point 6) the meaning of should may also be expressed in Ukrainian through the modal verb повинен:

«I don't know why should I «He розумію, чому це я

think about him.» (Trevor) повинен думати про нього.»

The modal verb should In the third (last) sentence above may also be translated with the help of the modal word слід:

«/ shouldn 't have done that.» «Мені не слід було цього
(B.Shaw) робити.»

7. The modal verb should may also express reproval or protest, disappointment, etc., which may be expressed in Ukrainian with the help of the modal words or stativesтреба, слід, потрібно or with the help of some modal particles. Cf.:

«I don't know why sometimes «He збагну, чому це іноді з
І should be sneered at.» мене треба покепкувати/
(Galsworthy) поглузувати.»

«She really should have worn «їй справді слід/треба було
the coat.» (Cusack) носити пальто.»

In the last sentence above the meaning of should have worn. when under logical or emphatic stress, may be expressed in Ukrainian via the modal words треба/слід and the particles таки, і: їй і справді-таки треба було/слід-таки було носити пальто. Hence, before rendering the meaning of the modal verb should or any other modal verb belonging to those of indistinct or polysemantic contextual meaning, as shall, will, would, the following factors have to be taken into account:

1) the meaning and nature of the modal verb itself;

2) the lexical meaning of the infinitive with which this modal
verb forms a predicative unit;

3) the contextual environment of the predicative unit and

4) the traditional preference/choice of the modal verb in the
national/target language.

Consequently, in case of the modal verb should preference may often be given not to its seemingly closer Ukrainian equivalent слід, as it could naturally be expected, but to its stronger modal word/stative треба, (cf. треба йти, треба думати, не треба забувати), which is more common in our language.

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