Modals

Category : 9th Class

*       Modals

 

Introduction: All the auxiliary verbs except be, do and have are called modals. Unlike other auxiliary verbs, modals only exist in their helping form; they cannot act alone as the main verb in a sentence.

The modal verbs are: Can, Could, May, Might, Must, Shall, Should, Ought to, Will, Would  

 

*            Uses of Modal Verbs  

Model      Example Use
Can

     They can control own budgets.

     We can't fix it can I smoke here?

     Can you help me?

Ability/possibility /inability /impossibility asking for permission request
Could

     Could I borrow your dictionary?

     Could you say it again more slowly?

     We could try to fix it ourselves.

     I think we could have another gulf war.

     He gave up his old job so he could work for us

Asking for permission

Request

Suggestion

Future possibility

Ability in the past

May

     May I have another cup of coffee?

     China may become a major economic power

Asking for permission

Future possibility

Might

     We'd better phone tomorrow, they might be eating their dinner now

     They might give us a 10% discount

Present possibility

Future possibility

Must

     We must say good bye now.

     They mustn't disrupt the work more than necessary 

Necessity / Obligation

Prohibition

Ought to      We ought to employ a professional writer. Saying what's right or correct
Shall

     Shall I help you with your luggage?

     Shall we say 2.30 then?

     Shall I do that or will you?

Offer

Suggestion

Asking what to do

 Should

     We should short out this problem at once.

     I think we should check every thing again.

     Profits should increase next year.

Saying what's right or correct recommending action uncertain prediction
Will

    I can't see any taxis so I'// walk.

    I' // do that for you if you like.

    I'// get back to you first thing on Monday.

    Profits will increase next year.

Instant decisions

Offer Promise

Certain prediction

Would

     Would you mind if I brought a colleague with me?

     Would you mind waiting a moment?

     Would three o' clock suit you? ' - ' That'd be fine.'

     Would you like to play golf this Friday?

     'Would you prefer tea or coffee ?'-'I'd like tea please 

Asking for permission

Request 

Request 

Making arrangements

Invitation

Preferences

 

Modals express the mood a verb, such as ability, possibility, necessity, or another condition. They are used with a main verb to form a sentence or a question. Models are not conjugated, have no tense, and cannot be used without a main verb.

When used with modal verbs (except ought), main verbs always remain in the Infinitive with out to.    

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