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Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Meant to teach about modal auxiliary verbs to 4th graders

Jocelyn Tobias

on 27 April 2013

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Transcript of Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Saying that something was possible, but did not actually happen
Example: You saw me standing at the bus stop! You might have stopped and given me a lift! Might They are used to talk about possibilities in the past, present, or future (“could” is also sometimes used).
May is sometimes a little bit “more sure”; whereas might expresses more doubt
They are used when:
Talking about the present or future with uncertainty. Example: I may go shopping tonight, I haven’t decided yet. OR England might win the World Cup, you never know.
Talking about the past with uncertainty. Example: Students may not borrow equipment without written permission OR I’m surprised he failed. I suppose he might have been ill on the day of the exam May & Might You shouldn’t have ordered that chocolate dessert- you’re not going to finish it.
The equipment should be inspected regularly.
The letter should get to you tomorrow- I posted it first class.
I shouldn’t have spent so much time on that first questions. Examples of Should Giving advice
Obligation: weak form of must
Things which didn’t or may/may not have happened Should If you want some help with your writing, you can come to classes, or you can get some one-on-one help OR We could go to Stratford tomorrow, but the forecast’s not brilliant
When I leave university I might travel around a bit, I might get a masters or I suppose I could even get a job.
I think you could be right you know OR that can’t be the right answer, it just doesn’t make sense.
If I’d known the lecture had been canceled, I could have stayed in bed longer. More examples of can & could Can you speak Mandarin? (present) OR She could play the piano when she was five. (past)
Can you give me a ring at about 10? OR Could you speak up a bit please? (slightly more formal)
Can I ask you a question? OR Could I ask you a personal questions?
He asked me if I could pick him up after work.
You can drive me when you’re 17. (present) OR Women couldn’t vote until just after the First World War. Examples of Can & Could Talking about ability
Making requests
Asking permission
Reported speech (could is used as the past of can)
General possibility
Choice and opportunities
Future probability (could is sometimes used in the same way as might or may, often indicating something less definitive)
Present possibility Can & Could “The next meeting will be in a month’s time” -> He said the next meeting would be in a month’s time
I’d like the roast duck, please
If I rule the world, every day would be the first day of Spring.
I wish you wouldn’t keep interrupting me.
When I was small, we would always visit relatives on Christmas Day.
The assassination would become on of the key events of the century Examples of would As the past of will, for example in indirect speech
Polite requests and offers (a ‘softer’ form of will)
In conditionals, to indicate ‘distance from reality’: imagined, unreal, impossible situations
After ‘wish’, to show regret or irritation over someone (or something’s) refusal or insistence on doing something (present or future)
Talking about past habits (similar meaning to used to)
Future in the past Would Talking about things that can happen in certain situations
Example: If the monitors are used in poorly lit places, some users may experience headaches.
With similar meaning to although
The experiment may have been a success, but there is still a lot of work to be done -> Although it was a success, there is still a lot of work to be done May Shall is a form of will, used mostly in the first person.
The only time you need to use it is in questions, when:
making offers
making suggestions Shall I doubt if I’ll stay here much longer.
There’s a letter for you. It’ll be from the bank: they said they’d be writing.
I won’t be in the office until 11; I’ve got a meeting.
I’m sure you will have noticed that attendance has fallen sharply.
It’ll be all right! You won’t have to speak by yourself.
I’m very tired. I think I’ll stay at home tonight.
Sign this, will you?
You stay there! I’ll fetch the drinks
I’m not surprised you don’t know what to do! You will keep talking in class.
You can count on me! I’ll be there at 8 o’clock sharp. Examples of Will Making personal predictions
Talking about the present with certainty (making deductions)
Talking about the future with certainty
Talking about the past with certainty
Reassuring someone
Making a decision
Making a semi-formal request
Offering to do something
Insistence; habitual behavior
Making a promise or a threat When to use “Will”... The meaning is usually connected with ideas of doubt, certainty, possibility and probability, obligation and permission (or lack these)
They are not used to talk about things that definitely exist, or events that definitely happened What sort of meanings do modals give other verbs? They are NEVER used with other auxiliary verbs such as do, does, did, etc...
The negative is formed simply by adding “not” after the verb
Questions are formed by inversion of the verb and subject
Modal verbs NEVER change form: you can never add as “-s” or “-ed”
Modal Verbs are NEVER followed by to, with the exception of ought to Rules applying to modal verbs The verbs can, could, will, would, should,may, might, must, ought, and shall are verbs which ‘help’ other verbs to express a meaning
They have no meaning by themselves What are they? http://library.bcu.ac.uk/learner/Grammar%20Guides/3.07%20Modals.htm Modal Auxiliary Verbs It usually has the same meaning as should, particularly in affirmative statements in the present
You should/ought to get your hair cut. Ought to Shall I fetch you another glass of wine?

Shall we go to the movie theater tonight? Examples of Shall
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