English Grammar

she dare or she dares

Why the sentence "She dare not interrupt Bruno while he's working" is correct. I thought it the "s" was compulsory with she.

Thank you for your help


  • She dare not.... is a subjonctive. Indicative, it should be She dares ... Perhaps there is a context where subjonctive is requested ? Or it's a mistake from the GG Team (?).
  • The answer why 'She dare not interrupt Bruno' is correct is quite simple to answer.

    We must look at the fact that the verb 'dare' can be treated both as an [b]ordinary, transitive verb (1)[/b] and as a [b]modal auxiliary verb (2)[/b]

    (1) An ordinary, transitive verb is conjugated with an 's' for the third-person singular (he/she/it) and followed by the 'to'-infinitive form of the object's verb, as in

    [b][i]'She dares to interrupt Bruno'[/b][/i]

    As widely known, in order to negate a normal verb, we have to put a form of 'to do', conjugated with respect to the person:

    [b][i]'She doesn't dare to interrupt Bruno.[/b][/i]

    (2) In contrast, a modal auxiliary verb is not conjugated with respect to the person and always needs an object. Furthermore, the verb for the object is NOT preceded by 'to'.

    Typical modal auxiliary verbs are: [b]can, may, might, must[/b] or [b]'dare'[/b] as well.

    [b][i]'She dare interrupt Bruno'[/b][/i]

    or, in the negated form

    [b][i]'She dare not interrupt Bruno'.[/b][/i]

    If this sounds strange, bear in mind that with another auxiliary verb, 'can', the sentence has basically the same structure: [b]'She can interrupt Bruno'[/b] or [b]'She cannot interrupt Bruno'[/b].

    To my knowledge, there is no strict rule as when to use 'dare' as ordinary verb or modal auxiliary verb.
    I suppose ('I dare say') that in written English, 'dare' as ordinary verb is preferred.

    Basically, both versions 'She doesn't dare to interrupt Bruno' and 'She dare not interrupt Bruno' are equivalent.

    As to the list of possible answers in the exercise, I assume 'She doesn't dare to interrupt' was not the list.

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