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MODAL VERBS

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Cristina Ruiz Susanna Vergés

on 12 December 2010

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Transcript of MODAL VERBS

Modal Verbs A modal verb is a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality. Characteristics What are the modal verbs? They do not agree in the third-person singular, as do other auxiliaries and lexical verbs.


They are followed by a bare infinitive form of another verb. Most other verbs use the infinitive with to. Ought is an exception to this rule. It does require a to-infinitive but otherwise behaves like other modal verbs.

They have no non-finite forms (present participle, past participle or infinitive). As a consequence, they cannot appear in places in the verb phrase where one of these forms would be required:

Types Could/Couldn’t (for general ability).
Was able to/Couldn’t (for specific ability).
Could+have+past participle (an ability someone had in the past, but didn’t use). Have to/Don’t have to:
Positive: strong obligation (possibly from outside), sometimes ‘have got to’.
Negative: no obligation.

Must/Mustn’t
Positive: strong obligation (possibly based on the speaker’s opinion).
Negative: no obligation.

Should/Shouldn’t
Positive: mild obligation or advice
Negative: mild negative obligation or advice. Obligation
The difference between "mustn't" and "don't have to" is:
-"Mustn't" means it's not allowed, or it's a bad idea.
-"Don't have to" means you don't need to do something, but it's fine if you want to do it. Be careful with Ability Something you have to do. Present General ability: This is something that once you have learned you can do any time you want.
Specific ability: This mean something that you can or can't do in one particiular situation. Past Had to/Didn’t have to:
Positive: obligation in the past.
Negative: no obligation in the past.

Should have+pp/Shouldn’t have+pp
Positive: a past action which didn’t happen, the advice or regret is too late.
Negative: a past action which didn’t happen, the advice or regret is too late. Can/Can’t (for both general and specific ability). Past Present Here ends our work about modal verbs, thanks for watch.
Cristina Ruiz and Susanna Vergés
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