Must the verb that follow let always be an infinitive regardless of the context, even in a reported speech? For example,
He told us to let him saw her one last time.
Is that correct?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
TO LET is not a modal verb. It is different from them semantically and formally.
A speaker or writer can express certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity and ability by using modal words and expressions.
Speakers often have different opinions about the same thing.
Here are the main verbs we use to express modal meanings:
Core modal verbs: can, could, may, might, will, shall, would, should, must.
Semi-modals: dare, need, ought to, used to.
Other verbs with modal meanings: have (got) to, be going to and be able to." (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/modals-and-modality/modality-introduction)
TO LET is an action verb. It means 'to allow'. It is also used as a polite way of making or responding to a suggestion, giving an instruction, or introducing a remark.
// Could you let the dog out?
// Let's have a drink!
// They've let out their house.
// A tiny window that let in hardly any light.
"Let's have a drink" is definitely of the hortative mood.
to say "let's do..." in Spanish you use the imperative mood, which as in many languages also covers hortative modality. NB. I'm a native english speaker
"Let me do this" is imperative but that's just the imperative form of let. This isn't "let" as a kind of modal verb itself.
Other uses of "let" are simply synonymous with "allow" or "permit" and work the same as them in indicative constructions.
I think let also used to be a modal subjunctive verb in older English, ie. "Let God bless you". "let them eat cake" might also be a jussive (but im not sure on that last bit)