MODAL VERBS

By | December 6, 2020

MODAL VERBS

A MODAL VERBS is a Type of Helping verb that is used to express ability, possibility, permission or obligation.

The use of Modal Verbs is determined by the meaning which the speaker whises to express the situation in which the verb is used.

List of Modal Verbs :

CAN

One of the most commonly use modals in English. It is used to express ideas, such as capacity, permission or request.

Examples :
She can swim. (capacity/ability)
You can go now. (permission)
Can you please help me? (request)
Can I do that for you?  (offer)

COULD

It express possibility, past ability as well as suggestions and requests.
Examples :
Could you please clean the table after you’ve eaten? (request)
He could be waiting for us at the other entrance. (possibility)
The child lift the box. (ability)

SHALL

It indicates a futue action. It is more commonly used with the first person singular an plural ( I and We).
It’s often used to express suggestions, promises or predestinations.

Examples :
I shall never let you go down. (promise)
Shall we go for the a movie?  (suggestion)
He shall become our next king. ( predestination/inevitability)

SHOULD

This modal is more commonly used to give recommendations or advices. It also be used to talk about obligation
and expectation.
Examples
You should focus on your studies. (advice)
You shouldn’t drink and drive. (obligation)
The roads should be less crowded today. (Expectation)

WILL

It is more commonly used to talk about future actions. It can also be used to talk about the present when we make
a request. It is also used in situations in which we make instant decisions.

Examples
I will finish this story by tomorrow. (future action)
Will you help me cook dinner, please? (request)
Oh no, he has fallen! I’ll help him cleaning his shirt. (Instant decision)

WOULD

It is used to express habit, wish and create the past form of the modal verb “will” and conditional tense.

Examples
I would like to eat rice for dinner. (wish)
They would go to the same beach every summer. (habit)
I knew that she would reach this position. (past from of “will”)

MAY

It is most commonly used to express possibility. It can also be used to give or ask for permission.

Examples:
May I leave now? (asking for permission)
You may leave now. (Giving permission)
It may rain today. (Possibility)

MIGHT

It is more commonly used to indicate possibility. It can also be used to make suggestions/requests.
However it’s a rear case.

Examples
It might happen again. (possibility)
He might have missed his train. (possibility

MUST

It can be used to talk about certainty. It can also be used to talk about obligation, prohibition, necessity,
or strong recommendation.

Examples:
She must see a doctor. (strong recommendation)
You must take the medicine regularly. (necessity)
You must always do your homework. (obligation)

DARE

It is used commonly in questions and negatives to express shock or outrage.

Examples:
How dare you contradict me? (question)
I dare say he will agree to our proposal. (Possibility)
He daren’t do such a thing. (negative)

NEED

Need/Need not is used commonly in questions and negatives to express necessity.

Examples:
He need not wait any longer. (negative)
Need he wait any longer? (question)

OUGHT TO

It is used to advise or make recommendations. It can also express assumption, expectation or strong probability
when the context implies that something is deserved.

Examples:
You ought to avoid eating sugar. (recommendation)
You ought to serve your motherland. (obligation)
Rahul ought to get the promotion. (probability)

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