Category : 8th Class

*    Modal


The following are the modal verbs in English grammar:

(i) Shall    

(ii) Will         

(iii) Should       

(iv) Would

(v) Can     

(vi) Could       

(vii) May         

(viii) Might

(ix) Used to 

(x) Ought to    

(xi) Need to      

(xii) Dare


*                Use of 'shall' / 'will'

Generally shall is used with "I and we" and will is used with the rest. In another words we can say that shall is used with first person and will is used with second and third person.




  •   We shall take this initiative.
  •   They will prosecute him in the court of law.


*               But

If a sentence refers to

(i) Promise

(ii) Willingness

(iii) Certainty

(iv) Determination and

(v) Threat in that case "shall" is used in the place of "will" and "will is used in the place of "shall".




  •   I will go to Mumbai tomorrow anyhow. (Certainty)
  •   You shall not move out of this house without my permission. (Threat)
  •   I shall achieve my goal. (Determination)


*                Use of 'Should'

(i)          Should is used for active suggestion

You should work sincerely

I don't think you should smoke so much.

(ii)         Should is used for opinion

What should I wear?

John should initiate this through proper channel.

(iii)        Should is used for duty or obligation

You should reach on time.

Smith should have been more careful.

(iv)       Should is used for probability or expectation

They should have reached Mumbai.

Steve should have submitted the report.



*                Use of 'Would'

(i)          Would is used for past

For Example: He would go for a walk when he was young.

(ii)         Would is used for polite request

For Example: Would you like to take a cup of coffee or tea?

(iii)        In indirect sentence 'would' is used in place of will

Direct: He said, "He will come".

Indirect: He said that he would come.

(iv)       Would is used to express opinion or hope

For Example: I would like to inform you about it.

(V)        Would is used for wish

For Example: I wish I would be a successful man.


*                Use of Can

(i)          Can is used to show power

The government can allow him to go abroad.

(ii)         Can is used to show ability

I can tame the wild animal.

(iii)        Can is used to show possibility.

He can come any moment.

(iv)       Can is used to take/ give permission

Can I sit here?

You can go now.

(V)        Can is used for polite request

Can you do me a favour?

Can I talk to Steve?

(VI)      Can is used to show nature

He can speak lies.


*                Use of 'Could'

Could is the past form of can.

(i)          Could is used to show possibility in past

I could win the race last year

He could be there.

While climbing up the hill we could hardly talk to each other.

(ii)         Could is used to show ability in past

She could speak English when she was young.

He could speak three languages when he was young.

(iii)        Could is used for polite request

Could you tell me the way to the nearest post office?

Could you help me, please?

Could you lend me some money?



*                Use of 'May'

(i)          May is used for formal permission

May I come in sir?

May I borrow your pen?

(ii)         May is used to show possibility

It may rain today.

Death may come any time.


*                Use of 'Might'

(i)          Might is used for weak possibility

He might come any time.

(ii)         Might is used for past possibility

She might have attended the meeting.


*                Use of 'Must'

(i)          Must is used for necessity and obligation.

I must attend the class.

(ii)         Must is used for compulsion

You must obey the rules of your country.

(iii)        Must is used for emphatic advice

You must not miss the class.

Use of 'Need To'

(i)          Need to is used to show requirement

You need to work hard.


*                Use of 'Use To'

(i)          Used to is used to show past habit

I used to go to school when I was young.

We used to go out for dinner when we were in Delhi.


*                Use of 'Ought To'

(i)          Ought to is used for social binding and moral respect

You ought to follow the norms of society.

You ought to respect your elders.


*                Use of Dare

(i)          Dare is used to show courage

How did you dare to answer back him?


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