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MODALS VERBS. All the auxiliary verbs except be, do and have are called modals. Unlike other auxiliary verbs modals only exist in their helping form; they cannot act alone as the main verb in a sentence. e, do, and have also differ from the other auxiliaries in that they can also serve as ordinary verbs in a given sentence.

MAY: is a polite request, formal permission, less than 50% certainty Example: May I borrow your book? You may leave the room? Where’s David? He may be at the University.

Might: less than 50% certainty and polite request (rare) Example: Where’s David? He might be at the University Might I borrow your book?

Should: Advisability, 90%certainy. Example: I should study tonight She should do well on the test. I should have studied last night She should have done well on the test.

Ought to: advisability, 90% certainty. Example: I ought to study tonight. She ougth to do well on the test. I ought to have studied last night She ought to have done well on the test.

Can: Ability ,Possibility, Inability, Impossibility, Asking for permission Request. Example: They can control their own budgets. We can’t fix it. Can I smoke here? Can you help me?

Could: Asking for permission,Request, Suggestion, Future possibility and Ability in the past. Example: Could I borrow your dictionary? Could you say it again more slowly? We could try to fix it ourselves. I think we could have another Gulf War. He gave up his old job so he could work for us.

MUST: Necessity, Obligation, Prohibition. Example: We must say good-bye now. They mustn’t disrupt the work more than necessary.

Shall: Offer, Suggestion, Asking what to do. Example: Shall I help you with your luggage? Shall we say 2.30 then? Shall I do that or will you?

Will: Instant decisions, Offer, Promise, Certain prediction. Example: I can’t see any taxis so I’ll walk. I'll do that for you if you like. I’ll get back to you first thing on Monday. Profits will increase next year.


Asking for permission, Request, Making, arrangements, Invitation, Preferences. Example: Would you mind if I brought a colleague with me? Would you mind waiting a moment? "Would three o`clock suit you?" - "That’d be fine."

Would you like to play golf this Friday? "Would you prefer tea or coffee?" - "I’d like tea please."

Have To:

is used to express certainty, necessity, and obligation.

Examples: This answer has to be correct. The soup has to be stirred continuously to prevent burning. They have to leave early.

Have Got To:

is used to express necessity and obligation.

Examples: Drivers have got to get a license to drive a car in the US. necessity I have got to be at work by 8:30 AM. Obligation.

Had Better:

is most commonly used to make recommendations. It can also be used to express desperate hope as well as warn people. Examples: You had better take your umbrella with you today. recommendation That bus had better get here soon! desperate hope You had better watch the way you talk to me in the future! Warning.

Used to:

is used to express an action that took place in the past, perhaps customarily, but now that action no longer customarily takes place.

Example: We used to take long vacation trips with the whole family. I used to visit my grandparents every weekend.

Be able to: to talk about ability. Example: I was able to drive... I will be able to drive... I have been able to drive…

Be supposed to: to talk about expectation. Example: He's supposed to help us. Class is supposed to begin at 10. Class was supposed to begin at 10.

Be going to: to talk about 100% certainty and definite plan: Example: He's going to help us. I’m goint to paint my bedroom I was goint to paint my room, but I didn’t have time.

Modals Verbs  

It's about the use and form the modals verbs.

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