Modal Verbs

Mark  Twain
Slide Set by Mark Twain, updated more than 1 year ago
Mark  Twain
Created by Mark Twain about 4 years ago
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Description

This explanaton outlines the different Modal Verbs and how they are used

Resource summary

Slide 1

    A modal is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases (or semi-modals) are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition to. The modals and semi-modals in English are: 1.    Can/could/be able to 2.    May/might 3.    Shall/should 4.    Must/have to 5.    Will/would
    Modal and Modal Phrases (Semi-Modals)

Slide 2

    Can, could and be able to are used to express a variety of ideas in English: Ability/Lack of Ability Present and Future: can/can’t + base form of the verb 1.    Tom can write poetry very well.2.    I can help you with that next week. 3.    Lisa can’t speak French. am / is / are / will be + able to + base form of the verb am not/ isn’t / aren’t/ won’t be + able to + base form of the verb 1.    Mike is able to solve complicated math equations 2.    The support team will be able to help you in about ten minutes. 3.    I won’t be able to visit you next summer.
    Can, Could, Be Able To

Slide 3

    could / couldn’t + base form of the verb 1.    When I was a child I could climb trees. was / were + able to + base form of the verb wasn’t / weren’t + able to + base form of the verb hasn’t / haven’t + been able to + base form of the verb 1.    I wasn’t able to visit her in the hospital. 2.    He hasn’t been able to get in touch with the client yet. Note: Can and could do not take an infinitive (to verb) and do not take the future auxiliary will. ·         Incorrect: I can to help you this afternoon. ·         Correct: I can help you this afternoon. ·         Correct: I will (I’ll) be able to help you this afternoon.
    Past:

Slide 4

    can/can’t + base form of the verb1.    You can catch that train at 10:43.2.    He can’t see you right now. He’s in surgery.could + base form of the verb1.    I could fly via Amsterdam if I leave the day before.
    Ask Permission / Give PermissionCan + Subject + base form of the verb (informal)1.    Can you lend me ten dollars?Can + base form of the verb (informal)1.    You can borrow my car.Could + subject + base form of the verb (polite)1.    Could I have your number?2.    Could I talk to your supervisor please?Make a suggestion – To make a suggestion use:Could + base form of the verb (informal)1.    You could take the tour of the castle tomorrow.
    Possibility / Impossibility

Slide 5

    Formal Permission / Formal Prohibition may / may not + base form of the verb 1.    You may start your exam now. 2.    You may not wear sandals to work. Polite Request May + subject + base form of the verb 1.    May I help you? Possibility / Negative Possibility may/ might + base form of the verb 1.    We may go out dinner tonight. Do you want to join us? 2.    Our company might get the order if the client agrees to the price.
    May, Might
    may not / might not + base form of the verb1.    Adam and Sue may not buy that house. It’s very expensive.2.    They might not buy a house at all.To Make a Suggestion (when there is no better alternative)may as well / might as well + base form of the verb1.    You may as well come inside. John will be home soon.2.    We might as well take Friday off. There’s no work to be done anyway.Polite Suggestionmight + base form of the verb1.    You might like to try the salmon fillet. It’s our special today.

Slide 6

    To Offer of Assistance or Polite Suggestion (When you are quite sure of a positive answer) Shall + subject + base form of the verb 1.    Shall we go for a walk? Note: Shall is only used with I or we. It is used instead of will only in formal English. To Offer of Assistance or Polite Suggestion (When you are not sure of a positive answer) Should + subject + base form of the verb 1.    Should I call a doctor?
    Shall, Should, Ought to
    A Prediction or Expectation that Something Will Happenshould/shouldn’t + base form of the verb1.    The proposal should be finished on time.2.    I shouldn’t be late. The train usually arrives on time.To Give Adviceshould / ought to + base form of the verb1.    You should check that document before you send it out.2.    You ought to have your car serviced before the winter.To Give Advice (about something you think wrong or unacceptable)shouldn’t + base form of the verb1.    James shouldn’t teach him words like those.

Slide 7

    Necessity or Requirement Present and Future: must / have to / need to + base form of the verb 1.    You must have a passport to cross the border. 2.    Elisabeth has to apply for her visa by March 10th. 3.    I need to drop by his room to pick up a book.
    Must, Have to, Need to, Don’t have to, Needn’t
    Past:had to / needed to + base form of the verb1.    I had to work late last night.2.    I needed to drink a few cups of coffee in order to stay awake.Note: have to and need to are often used in the same context, but many times, need to is used to express something that is less urgent, something in which you have a choice.

Slide 8

    Almost 100% Certainmust + base form of the verb1.    Thomas has lived in Paris for years. His French must be very good.To Persuademust / have to + base form of the verb1.    You must try this wine. It’s excellent.2.    You have to visit us while you’re in town.Prohibited or Forbiddenmust not / mustn’t + base form of the verb1.    You must not drive over the speed limit.2.    You mustn’t leave medicines where children can get to them.
    Lack of Necessitydon’t /doesn’t /didn’t + have to + base form of the verb1.    You don’t have to park the car. The hotel valet will do it for you.2.    Tim doesn’t have to go to school today. It’s a holiday.3.    You didn’t have to shout. Everyone could hear you.needn’t + base form of the verb1.    You needn’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.
    Must, Have to, Need to, Don’t have to, Needn’t

Slide 9

    will / won’t + base form of the verb 1.    John will pick you up at 7:00am. 2.    Beth won’t be happy with the results of the exam. Polite Request or Statement Will / Would + base form of the verb 1.    Will you please take the trash out? 2.    Would you mind if I sat here? 3.    I’d (I would) like to sign up for your workshop.
    Modals: Will / Would
    Habitual Past ActionWould/Wouldn’t + base form of the verb1.    When I was a child, I would spend hours playing with my train set.2.    Peter wouldn’t eat broccoli when he was a kid. He loves it now.
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