Modal Auxiliary verbs

Modal verbs are the verbs that denote the mood of the main verb. Auxiliary means helping. Modal Auxiliary verbs are the helping verbs.

By Sheetal Desarda

These denote the mood of the main verb in the sentence.

Here are the modal auxiliary verbs:-

1.Can: 

Here are the uses and examples:

A. Ability:-We use the verb to express the ability of the subject.

Examples: 

1. She can pass the exam with distinction.

2. Suman can write an excellent Thesis for Ph. D.

B. Suggestion:- We use the verb to give suggestions to someone.

Examples: 

1. You can go by bus.

2. Rutuja can go for medical help.

C. Permission:- We use the verb to ask for permission.

Examples: 

1. Can I use your pen?

2. Can I go to the market?

D. Possibility:- We use the verb to express that something possibly happens.

Examples: 

1. If you attend classes, you can complete the course on time.

2. She can be late.

2. Be able to: We use this to express ability.

Examples:

1. She will be able to dance after she recovers from injury.

2. I will be able to solve this problem.

3. Can’t: We use this to express certainty that something is impossible.

Examples: 

1. You can’t do this to me.

2. They can’t talk in this manner.

4. Could:

Here are the uses & examples:

A. Ability:- We use this verb to show that the subject was capable of doing something in the past.

Examples: 

1. I could walk for several miles when I was younger.

2. She could bake tasty cakes earlier.

B. Suggestion:- We use the verb to suggest something.

Examples: 

1. You could go by bus.

2. Rutuja could go for medical help.

C. Request:- We use ‘Could’ to request someone.

Examples:

1. Could I use your pen?

2. Could I go to the market?

5. May: 

Here are the uses & examples:

1.Possibility: We use this verb to show that something is possible at present or in the future.

Examples:

1. The film may hurt the feelings of Muslims.

2. Raman may top the exam.

2.Request: We use this to request someone or to ask for permission.

Examples:

1. May I borrow your pen?

2. May I serve you?

6.Might: 

Here are the uses & examples:

A. Possibility: We use this verb to show that something is possible at present or in the future.

Examples:

1. She might be in college.

2. Neha might attend the lecture.

B. Possibility in the past: We use this verb with present perfect tense to express possibility in the past.

Examples:

1. He might have answered properly in the interview.

2. She might have caught the bus.

7.Must:

Here are the uses & examples:

A. Obligation: We use this modal auxiliary verb to express obligation.

Examples:

1. He must attend the lectures.

2. Rahul must pay the fees.

B. Certainty: We use this modal auxiliary verb to express certainty.

Examples:

1. It must have rained outside.

2. You must have cheated during the exam.

8. Have to: We use this to express obligation.

Examples:

1. You have to come with me.

2. She has to complete the task on time.

9. Need to: We use this to express obligation.

Examples:

1. You need to work hard.

2. They need to go there quickly.

10. Needn’t: We use this to express a lack of obligation.

Examples:

1. You needn’t have a passport to travel there.

2. She needn’t  have a beautiful face to work in a company.

11. Mustn’t: We use this to express prohibition.

Examples:

1. You mustn’t smoke as it is injurious to health.

2. She mustn’t drink & drive.

12. Don’t have to: We use this to express a lack of obligation.

Examples:

1. You don’t have to stay with him.

2. She doesn’t have to go with them.

13. Should: We use this to give opinions or advice.

Examples:

1. You should complete your homework on time.

2. She should take it seriously.

14. Ought to: We use this to give opinions or advice.

Examples:

1. You ought to complete your homework on time.

2. She ought to take it seriously

15. Would: Here are the uses & examples.

A. Polite request: We use this to request someone.

Examples:

1. Would you please help me?

2. Would you pass the bowl, please?

B. Action in the past: We use this to narrate an action in the past.

Examples:

1. He wouldn’t drink coke when he was young.

2. She would chew chewing gum when she was a kid.


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