10 examples for modals22,523 Reads
In this lesson, we will learn about modal verbs, and how they are used to convey different conditions.
Types of Modal Verbs:
- ought to*
Modal Verbs Examples:
Can is used...
Could is used...
May is used...
Might is used...
Will (and its contracted form 'll, and negative form won't) is used...
Would (and its contracted form 'd, and negative form wouldn't) is used...
Shall is used...
Should (and the negative contracted form shouldn't) is used...
Ought to is used...
Must (and its negative contracted form mustn't) is used...
- There are ten types of modal verbs: can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must, ought to.
- Can (or cannot/can't) shows ability, in the sense of knowing how or being able to do something. In informal situations, it expresses permission, in the sense of being allowed to do something. It also shows possibility, in the sense that an action is theoretically possible. It expresses or inquires about willingness. Lastly, in the negative, it shows inability or impossibility.
- Could (or couldn't) shows ability in the past, and expresses or inquires about permission or willingness in a more polite form. It also identifies a possibility in the present, or a possibility in the future that is dependant upon a present action. Lastly, it can be used to make requests or for giving suggestions.
- May is used in formal situations to express permission, in the sense of being allowed to do something. It also expresses possibility in the present and future.
- Might is used in formal situations, and also to express permission in the sense of being allowed to do something. It also expresses possibility in the present, future, and past.
- Will (or won't) shows willingness or interest, expresses intention, and makes predictions. It is also used to reassure someone or help them make a decision, to make a semi-formal request, to show habitual behavior, to make a promise or a threat, and to talk about the future or the past with certainty
- Would (or wouldn't) enquires about willingness, shows habitual activity, comments on someone's characteristic behavior, comments on a hypothetical possibility, and comments on a likely truth. It also is used for asking permission, making a request, and to express preferences. It can be used to talk about the past, talk about the future in the past, or to talk about a situation that is dependant upon another action.
- Shall is used in England, to form the simple present for I and we, and to indicate a promise in the future. It's used in the United States to form polite questions that include a polite request for permission, and universally in formal or legal situations. It can also be used for offering someone help, for suggestions, or for asking what to do.
- Should (or shouldn't) conveys the idea of an obligation or makes a suggestion.
- Ought to is used in the same situations as should, but with a stronger sense of obligation or intensity.
- Must (or mustn't) makes a conjecture, but with some certainty. It also makes a command in a more respectful way, and it is used in similar contexts to should and ought to, but with a sense of external obligation. It can also express prohibition in the negative form.