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Modality as an extralingual category expressing the relation of content to reality has in English and Ukrainian common means of

realization. These include:

a) phonological means (stress and intonation);

b) lexico-grammatical means (modal verbs);

c) lexical means (modal words and modal expressions) con­veying subjective modality;

d) grammatical means (mood forms of the verb) conveying

grammatical modality.

The expression of modal meanings by phonological means has often an identical realization in both languages, though in Ukrain­ian the lexical means such as modal particles and modal adverbs are mostly preferred here. These means may also express the most subtle meanings of suggestion, admonition, supposition, doubt, assuredness, etc. Among the most frequently used particles, which create such and other meanings, are аж, ж, хоч, б, би, і, й, -но, -то, саме, таки, etc., and also adverbs авжеж, адже, надто, певне, напевне, все ж, все ж таки, мов, немов, ніби and some others. The choice of the particle or modal adverb is predetermined by the content, though sometimes it rests only -with the translator, who may employ stronger or weaker means to convey the modal meaning in the sentence. Thus, the modal meaning in the proverb sentence below may have two expressions - a weaker and a stronger one (more enphatic) in Ukrainian:

After us the deluge.
Після нас хоч потоп. or: Після нас хоч і потоп.

Since the phonologically expressed modality is always con­veyed by translators as they themselves subjectively perceive the relation of content to reality, there may naturally be various ways of its individual realization in the target language. This can be seen from some possible interpretations of the modal meaning in the sen­tence where modality is expressed via the emphatic and logical stress laid on the predicate centres and on the pronoun you. Hence, there may be at least five different ways of expressing the modal meaning of the sentence in Ukrainian:

«I do really wish it hadn't been you.» (Greene)

«Мені й справді хотілося, щоб це був не ти»

«Мені аж ніяк не хотілося, щоб це був ти.»

«Мені-такижаль, що це був ти.»

«Якжаль, що це був ти.»

«Я й справді жалкую, що це був ти.»

When under the emphatic or logical stress happens to be the English modal word, the expression of modality may coincide in both languages:

Jane is sure to be at her birth- Джейн неодмінно/обов 'яз-
day party to-night. (Hailey) ково буде в неї на іменинах

сьогодні ввечері.

This same modal meaning of certainty (assuredness) may equally be expressed in Ukrainian by means of the modal adverb певне/напевне and the particles ж, таки:

Джейн напевне ж буде в неї сьогодні ввечері на іменинах.

Джейн напевно-таки буде в неї сьогодні ввечері на іменинах.

The meaning of unsertainty or doubt expressed in English through prosodic means finds its full realization in Ukrainian with the help of particles and the corresponding intonation and stress as well, Cf.:

«What if I don't pass the examinations», said Charlie (D. Lessing)

«Що ж воно буде, якщо я не складу іспитів», промовив Чарлі.

As will be seen below, Ukrainian particles and adverbs .may also be used to render modality which is expressed in English by some other lingual means.




This kind of modality is realized in both languages via modal verbs/their lexical equivalents plus the infinitive of the notional verb. These constructions perform the function of the compound modal verbal predicate and express different meanings predetermined by the modal verb in the main, which can be observed in many citations and their Ukrainian translations on the forthcoming pages.

1. Thus, the modal verb can/could expressing physical or mental ability is usually translated into Ukrainian with the help of the modal verbs могти, вміти or by means of their equivalents мати змогу/можливість, бути в змозі/мати силу:

a)l saw that he could hardly Я бачив, що він не може/не take his eys off her. (Maugham) має сили очей відірвати від неї.

«Now, you pray, Harold,» she said. «I can't», said. Krebs. (Hemingway)

«I haven't been able to do what I meant.» (E. Warton)

«А тепер ти молись, Гарольде,» - сказала вона. «Я не вмію.» відповів Кребс.

«Я не мав змоги зробити те, що надумав зробити ...»

b) When expressing doubt, distrust, uncertainty, etc. (mainly in interrogative and negative sentences) the meaning of can/could is mostly enforced in Ukrainian with the help.of the particles невже, хіба or the adverb навряд:

«Невже (хіба) ви мені не вірите, мамо?»

«Навряд чи це той самий чоловік.»

«Та невже/хіба то Волтер?»/ Навряд чи то Волтер.

«Can't you believe me, mother?» (Hemingway)

«It can't be the same man -


It can't possibly be Walter.» (Maugham)

с) When expressihg the meaning of reproach, surprise or per­mission the lexical equivalent of the modal verb can in Ukrainian is mostly the stative можна:

Як можна таке обіцяти/ такого наобіцяти?

«Можна прийти й подивитись ваші картини?»

«Маючи все це, не можна залишати жінку без шеляга.»

«How can one promise that?» (Greene)

«Can I come up and see your pictures?» (Hemingway)

«Having it all, one can't leave a woman without a bob.» (Maugham)


d) When the modal verb can expresses irrefutability of action or assuredness of statement, it may be conveyed in Ukrainian, where this kind of modal meaning is usually expressed implicitly, through a definite word-order and sentence stress (prosodic means):

«You can't teach an old dog «Старого вчити - тільки
new tricks.» (D. Lessing) час даром марнувати.»

There was nothing, the boy Хлопцеві нічого не could do but run. (J.K. Jerome) залишалось, як тікати.

Can the leopard change his Горбатого могила вип-
spots? (Saying) равить.

e) Some modal meanings of can/could are expressed in Ukrainian either lexico-grammatically or through phonological means. The choice of the means rests then exclusively with the translator. Thus, in the sentence below the meaning of the modal verb could is under logical (or emphatic) stress which may be marked (pointed out) accordingly in Ukrainian: / could know it without your telling me. (B.Shaw) Я міг довідатись про це і без тебе.

The same could in the isolated sentence may also be treated as a form of the subjunctive mood, marked by the participle б/би: Я довідався б/міг би довідатись про це і без твоєї допомоги.

«І can't recollect him.» «Я щось не пригадую/не
(Greene) можу його пригадати.»

«Why can't he go to a hospi- «Чому він не може лягти в
tal?» (Christie) шпиталь?/Чому він не лягає

до шпиталю?»

Note. Some English modal meanings of can have no corre­sponding equivalents in Ukrainian. Cf.: / can see in this picture. Я бачу на цій картині... І can hear you well. Я добре чую тебе. Сап you see me? Ти бачиш мене?

f) In some contextual environment the modal meaning of can may be expressed in Ukrainian through other modal verbs:

«How can you talk to me like «Як ти смієш зі мною так
that.» (Fitzgerald) розмовляти.»

«We had an awful time get- «Повинен тобі сказати. ting back, I can tell you.» (Ibid.) дорога назад була страшенно


The modal verb can/could followed by the perfect infinitive


and expressing a probable, doubtful, uncertain, incredible, etc. ac­tion is usually translated into Ukrainian depending on its contextual meaning. The latter may be expressed: 1) through the past form of the corresponding verb (indicative mood) or 2) through its subjunc­tive mood form (умовний спосіб). For example:

1) «She can't have neglected all that.» (F.King)

«Невже вона всім цим знехтувала?»

«Вона не могла всім цим знехтувати»

2) «How could she have been like that?» (Fitzgerald)

Nobody could have saved him. (W.Trevor)

But he could have lived, this boy. (Hailey)

«Як вона могла так поводитись/бути такою?»

Ніхто його не врятував би/ Навряд чи хто врятував би його.

Проте хлопчина той міг би й жити/міг би й вижити.

Exercise I. Offer appropriate Ukrainian particles or modal adverbs (or both) to convey the phonologically expressed (through emphatic stress or intonation) modality in the English sentences below.

Model: «I did have ideas that way. For a time.» (Hailey) Таки закрадалися спершу такі думки/У мене й справді закралися були спершу такі думки, (modal particle таки', modal particle й plus the modal adverb справді).

1. «Wouldn't you like me to read?» she asked. 2. «Wouldn't you like some broth?» 3. «I wouldn't know what to do. Honestly.» 4. «Behave yourself.» «Why don't you try behaving?» (Hemingway) 5. «Oh, I am longing to see it,» Iris said. 6. «Sweety, I don't honestly like this very much.» (F.King)?. «I know you didn't mean to. but you did it (hurt).» (Fitzgerald) 8. «John, it was you who initiated the Joe Black Memorial Award.» (B. Glanville) 9. «I do apologise, Madam. I feel so... I would not have troubled.» (S.Hill) 10. «Now I caught you!» she said. «Now you can't get away!» 11. «It (music) seems to be right in them.» 12. «Wait till I tell him I met Walter Williams,» she said. 13. «Why don't you have another concert, some time?» 14. «Well, I'll be there. ГИ be there, if I possibly can. You can count on me.» 15. «I just caught myself in time.» (D.Parker) 16. «You think so?» «Why not.» I said. (Hemingway) 17. «I'm not hungry. Dave. I wouldn't lie to you.» (Caldwell)

Exercise II. Identify the modal meaning of can/could, to be able to (physical ability, mental ability, etc.) and translate the


sentences into Ukrainian.

1. Anyone can be a fisherman in May. (Hemingway) 2. «Can you draw?» 3. «I could wash the floors.» (Dreiser) 4. Suleman-ibn-Daoud could hardly speak for laughing. (Kipling) 5. «You have done everytning you could for me.» (Hemingway) 6. « ... but I can't make head and tail of it.» (Maugham) 7. She couldn't bear the sight of him. (Christie) 8. «I was able to do the commissioner a favour once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year.» (Fitzgerald) 9. Dorian seemed to be able to exercise whenever he wished. (Wilde) 10. Still there are many individuals who have never been able to work. (D.K.Stevenson) 11. A man can do no more than he can. 12. No man can serve two masters. (Proverb) 13. «Can't I go with you, Holden? Can't I?» (Salinger) 14. It could scarcely be said that he did this in a fatherly spirit. (Dreiser) 15. And there followed, of course, squeals and gaffaws of delight - so loud that they could be heard for half a mile. (Dreiser) 16. As for Mrs.Gerhardt, one could better imagine than describe her feeling. (Ibid.) 17. For a moment the set of his face could be described in just that fantastic way. (Fitzgerald) 18. He was unable, however, to long keep silence. (Galsworthy) 19. You cannot burn the candle at both ends. (Proverb) 20. «I suppose, Joe, there couldn't be any doubt about that blood test on Mrs.Alexander?» (Hailey) 21. All that could be truly said of him now. (Dreiser) 22. «How could it have mattered then?» 23. How could she have been like that?» (Fitzgerald) 24. «I couldn't have missed that.» 25. «I could have forgiven it if fallen desperately in love with someone and gone off with her.» 26. «That's just why they couldn't have had the key.» 27. «She could have gone back to Strove,» he said irritably. (Maugham) 28. «Oh,» cried Fleur. «You could not have done it.» 29. There could not have been such relentless unforgiveness. (Galsworthy) 30. We could have stayed in Paris or gone elsewhere. (Hemingway)

Exercise III. Choose the most fitting meaning of the two pertained to the modal verb can/could and translate the sen­tences faithfully into Ukrainian.

1. If we ignore this problem, we can easily find ourselves in an embarrasing situation. (Stevenson) 2. «I don't think I can stand it.» 3. «I'd send you a certain sum of money and you could give it him gradually, as he needed it.» 4. «Even now I can hardly believe it's true.» 5. «I can tell you why he left his wife - from pure selfishness and nothing else whatever.» 6. «Why can't you write yourself?» 7. «I could not hear what he said.» 8. «Why can't he go to a hospital?» 9.


«May I speak now? (Maugham)

«May I offer you some fruit?» (E.Bates)
I could not tell how they were getting on. (Maugham) 10. «It's more than he's worth, I know, but it can't be helped now.» (Dreiser) 11. «If it wasn't for the mist, we could see your home across the bay.» 12. Neitner of them can stand the person they're married to. Can they?» (Fitzgerald) 13. He couldn't say the word «dead». (W.Trevor) 14. «You'll have no trouble. I can assure you.» (Christie) 15. «Pardon, but could you tell me if a Mr. or Mrs.Kobinson resides here?» (Ibid.) 16. «I couldn't take the chance of letting it be known that there was doubt.» (Hailey) 17. «I can't bear the look of that horrible muzzle.» (C.S.Lewis) 18.1 could not believe that Strickiand had fallen in love with Blanche Stroeve. (Maugham) 19. I could think of no excuse. (Christie) 20. «You can't expect me to think it's a very good system.» (Hemingway) 21. «I couldn't expect you to understand it.» (Maugham) 22. «What's your opinion, Joe?» «It could be a bone tumor?» (Hailey)

Exercise IV. Find appropriate Ukrainian equivalents forthe explicitly and implicitly expressed meanings of can/could in the sentences below and translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

1. Thus, you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees ... (C.S. Lewis) 2. There are lots of fellows who would be delighted to have your chance, I can tell you. (Dreiser) 3. «It can't possibly be Walter.» (Maugham) 4. Vivian could see he was puzzled, not knowing what to make of it. (Hailey) 5. Love cannot be compelled. (Proverb) 6. «You can't wait in the dining-room, Miss.» (Mansfield) 7. She could not help giving ear to the sounds surrounding her. (Dreiser) 8. «I wish I could see him.» (Hemingway) 9. How weakened she was I had not been able to imagine until I saw her at the railway station ... (Buck) 10. You could see they were being careful as hell not to drink up the minimum too fast. (Salinger) 11. «Your sister? I can't believe it.» (Greene) 12. If we ignore this problem, we can easily find ourselves in an embarrassing situation. (D.K.Stevenson) 13. «I'm sorry, Granger. I wish I could help.» (Greene). 14. Can it really be true, then, that a non-commercial, non­profit public network is the largest. (D.K.Stevenson) 15. « ... you can't expect me to «believe a word you say.» (Galsworthy) 16. «I can't bear it.» (Christie) 17. She used to be able to understand. (Fitzgerald)

18. «We had an awful time getting back, I can tell you.» (Fitzgerald)

19. «Oh. If only I could return back to my flower basket.» (B.Shaw)

20. «I cannot have you call on me here.» (Dreiser) 21. «I can't say anytning in this house, old sport.» (Fitzgerald) 22. «You can't talk to me like that.» (Ibid.) 23. «You can't live on air, you know.» (Christie) 24. Love and cough cannot be hid. (Proverb) 25. « her

with that poor Mrs. Osborne who could say boo to a goose.» (W.Thackeray) 26. A fog cannot be dispelled with a fan. (Proverbs) 27. He was not old, he could not have been more than forty. (Galsworthy)

2. The modal verb may/might with its lexical equivalents to be permitted I to be allowed has also some peculiarites of use and expression of meaning. The latter predetermines the use of its Ukrain­ian lexical equivalents. Thus, when the modal verb may/might ex­presses permission it is usually translated into Ukrainian as the stative можна. For example:

a) «Now may I go?» (Christie) «To що, можна мені йти?»
At the hospital they told me І «У шпиталі сказали, що
might wait.» (Ibid.) мені можна почекати.»

This meaning of may, as can be seen below, coincides with the meaning of the modal verb can in the indefinite personal or im­personal sentences as in One can count it/It could be counted on the fingers of one hand - це можна(можна було) порахувати на пальцях однієї руки.

b) The meanings of permission expressed by the modal verb may/might can equally be conveyed by the Ukrainian verbs дозволяти, не заперечувати:

« Тепер дозволяєте/можна мені говорити?»

«Можна запропонувати вам/Не заперечуватимете проти фруктів?»

с) When the verb may/might expresses possibility (coincid­ing with the verb can/could) or probability, assumption, uncertainty, admonition, advice, etc., it is usually translated into Ukrainian with the help of the polysemantic verb могти.

This verb is therefore homonymous in its meaning incorporat­ing in Ukrainian the meanings of can and may wnich can be seen from the following sentence:

«I think I may, remind him of а «Я могтиму/матиму
time he prefers to forget.» змогу, думаю, пригадати йому
(Christie) той чаСІ Пр0 якии в;н Єол/є не




pelled from the organisation by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. (Charter of the United Nations)
d) When expressing assumptio.ri,^rQ^!:|J||:^,.:.p)i^sumability, wish, advice, etc., the verb may andI its^ pasf ^o^subjunctive) form might often acquires some additional modal meaning.which is mostly rendered into Ukrainian with the help of different modal particles. The most frequently employed of them are б, ще/ще й, хай, etc.

«Let's wait a little more, she «Зачекаймо трохи, вона ще
might return in a couple of min- може (може ше й) прийде за
utes.» (Bailey) кілька хвилин.»

Bass said we might get some Бас каже, що ми могли б
of the laundry of the men at the брати в пожителів^готелю
hotel to do. (Dreiser) білизну прати (для прання).

«We shall never be married.» «Ми ніколи не одружимось.»

«Some time-we mightsaid «А може, колись і одружи-
Dorothea in a trembling voice, мось,» відповіла Доротея
(Seghal) тремтливим голосом.

e) When expressing wish, the subjunctive meaning of may is conveyed in Ukrainian either with the help of the particles хай or щоб, initiating the sentences:

May they live a long life. Xmi їм щастить.
May damnation take him. Шобвінбув проклятий./Хай

йому трясші!

f) Some modal meanings (supposition, assumption, desire, etc.) expressed in English by may/might are rendered into Ukrain­ian through modal particles and a peculiar logical word order:

«May He (God) support me «Допоможи й мені Боже.»
too.» (H.Hawthome) (Хай Бог помогає й мені)

Between the cup and the lip a He кажи гоп, доки не
morsel may slip. (Proverb) перескочиш (Скажеш гоп, як


«Might he not, later, be pun- «А його за це часом/згодом
ished for a thing like this?» не покарають?»(А його це_
(Dreiser) можуть потім покарати?)

g) The-modal verb may is often used in the language of docu­ments to express polite though severe warning:

A Member of the United Na- Держава - член Організації' tions which has persistently vio- Об'єднаних Націй, яка lated the Principles contained in постійно порушує зазначені в the present Charter may_be ex- цьому Статуті принципи,

може бути виключена з ООН Генеральною Асамблеєю згідно рекомендації Ради Безпеки. (Статут Організації' Об'єднаних Націй).

h) The modal verb may/might followed by a perfect infinitive often expresses supposition, desire, uncertainty, probability, etc., of actions which might not have been carried out. When isolated from a contextual environment, the construction of may/might with the per­fect infinitive may be treated as polysemantic and consequently of­fered different interpretatations in Ukrainian. Thus, the sentence «She may have forgotten, you know; or got the evening mixed.» (Galsworthy) may have the following five faithful (from the transla­tor's point of view) interpretetions/variants:

1) «Знаєте, вона мабуть забула чи сплутала вечір.»

2) «Вона певне забула або сплутала вечір.»

3) «Можливо, вона забула чи сплутала вечір.»

4) «Цілком імовірно, що вона забула чи сплутала вечір.»

5) «Знаєте, а може вона забула чи сплутала вечір.» і) There appears still more uncertainty while conveying the meaning of may/might with the negated perfect infinitive as in the sentence «The aircraft might not have been downed in the action.» (USA Today) The lexical ambiguity of the construction can be seen from the following possible variants of its interpretation in Ukrainian:

1) Літак може й не збито в тім бою.

2) Літак мабуть не збито в тім бою.

3) Цілком імовірно, що літак не був збитий у тому бою.

4) Навряд чи літак був збитий у тому бою.

5) Може літака й не збили в тому бою.

These meanings of may/might are naturally realized through the infinitive forming the content core of the modal predicate in the sentence.

In many sentences the modal verb might adds a subjunctive meaning to the predicate, which it is a part of, as in the following example:

Mrs.Gerhardt thought of all Дженні Ґергардт перебрала
the places to which she might й усі інші місця, де можна було
apply. (Dreiser) б спитати про роботу.



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