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Transcript of modal verbs
The modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings:
There are several modal verbs used to show possibility. They
are Might, May, Could, and Must. All of these are different
ways to say maybe.
Modal Verb + Base Verb
I may eat dinner at 7:00pm.
She might work late tonight.
May shows possibility in the present or the future.
Present: Where are my keys? They may be in the car.
Future: I may go to the party tonight.
Might shows possibility in the present or future.
Where are my keys? They might be in the car.
I might go to the party tonight.
Could shows that something is possible in the present or
Present: Where are my keys? They could be in the car.
Future: We could go to the party tonight.
Modal Meaning Example
can to express ability I can speak a little Russian.
can to request permission Can I open the window?
may to express possibility I may be home late.
may to request permission May I sit down, please?
must to express obligation I must go now.
must to express strong belief She must be over 90 years old.
There are various kinds of modal verbs:
The following modal verbs can be used to express ability: You use ‘ can ’ to talk about ability in the present and in the future. You use ‘ could ’ to talk about ability in the past. You use ‘ be able to ’ to talk about ability in the present, future, and past.
Modal verbs are used to ask for permission. The two verbs
is a polite modal verb used to ask for permission. Here
are some examples:
I use a calculator on the test?
I have another piece of cake?
The polite answers using may are as follows:
Yes, you may.
No, you may not.
is also used to ask for permission. It is less formal than
using may. Here are some examples with could:
I have some more juice?
I bring a friend to the party?
is the least formal of the modal verbs used to ask
permission. Here are some examples with can:
I play music?
I wear shorts?
There are three modal verbs used to show ability:
Be Able To
play the guitar.
is always followed by a base verb.
I could sing very well when was young.
She could read when she was 2 years old.
I will be able to drive a car in 2 years.
He will be able to buy a house next year.
Modals can be used for giving advice.
are used for giving advice.
and ought to are basically the same in meaning however usage varies.
is typically used to describe moral obligations and duty whereas should is typically used for general advice.
go to church every week.
study grammar more frequently.
tell her everything.