Modality is the selection of words used to express how definite we are about something. It can express from being uncertain (low modality) to very certain (high modality). It is used when we are discussing a point of view.
Point of view
Regular exercise may improve the health of your heart.
Regular exercise will improve the health of your heart.
Degrees of modality
Low modality → high modality
Might go → should go → will go will → definitely go → could possibly go.
It could be hot outside. → It is probably hot outside. → It is hot outside.
Modality can be expressed through various language features:
- have to
- ought to
- might not
- had better
- most certainly
- probable, likely