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Tips Info Blog Cinta: Modal Auxilary Verb Definition and Examples in English Grammar

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Modal Auxilary Verb Definition and Examples in English Grammar


Modal Verb Auxilary are used to express ideas such as possibility, obligation, necessity etc. In English, the modal are can, could, have to, must, shall, will, should, would, may, might. The main function of modal is to allow the speaker or writer to express their opinion of, or their attitude to, a proposition.




Structure of Can

subject
auxiliary verb
main verb

+
I
can
play
tennis.
-
He
cannot
play
tennis.
can't
?
Can
you
play
tennis?

Use of Can
can: Possibility and Ability
•           She can drive a car.
•           John can speak Spanish.
•           I cannot hear you. (I can't hear you.)
•           Can you hear me?
can: Requests and Orders
•           Can you make a cup of coffee, please.
•           Can you put the TV on.
•           Can you come here a minute.
•           Can you be quiet!
can: Permission
A: Can I smoke in this room?
B: You can't smoke here, but you can smoke in the garden

Structure of Could


subject
auxiliary verb
main verb
+
My grandmother
could
swim.
-
She
could not
walk.
couldn't
?
Could
your grandmother
swim?

could: Past Possibility or Ability

  • I could swim when I was 5 years old.
  • My grandmother could speak seven languages.
  • When we arrived home, we could not open the door. (...couldn't open the door.)
  • Could you understand what he was saying?

 

 

Structure of Have to


subject
auxiliary verb
main verb have
infinitive (with to)

+
She

has
to work.

-
I
do not
have
to see
the doctor.
?
Did
you
have
to go
to school?



subject
auxiliary verb
main verb have
infinitive
 
past simple
I

had
to work
yesterday.
present simple
I

have
to work
today.
future simple
I
will
have
to work
tomorrow.
present continuous
She
is
having
to wait.

present perfect
We
have
had
to change
the time.

Structure of Must

We often use must to say that something is essential or necessary.
subject
auxiliary must
main verb

I
must
Go
home.
You
must
visit
us.
We
must
stop
now.
Look at these examples:
  • I must stop smoking.
  • You must visit us soon.
  • He must work harder.
  • I must go now. (present)
  • I must call my mother tomorrow. (future)

Structure of Must not

We use must not to say that something is not permitted or allowed.
subject
auxiliary must + not
main verb

I
mustn't
forget
my keys.
You
mustn't
disturb
him.
Students
must not
be
late.

Shall versus Will

1st Conjugation (objective, simple statement of fact)

Person
Verb
Example
Contraction
Singular
I
shall
I shall be in London tomorrow.
I'll
you
will
You will see a large building on the left.
You'll
he, she, it
will
He will be wearing blue.
He'll
Plural
we
shall
We shall not be there when you arrive.
We shan't
you
will
You will find his office on the 7th floor.
You'll
they
will
They will arrive late.
They'll


2nd Conjugation (subjective, strong assertion, promise or command)

Person
Verb
Example
Contraction
Singular
I
will
I will do everything possible to help.
I'll
you
shall
You shall be sorry for this.
You'll
he, she, it
shall
It shall be done.
It'll
Plural
we
will
We will not interfere.
We won't
you
shall
You shall do as you're told.
You'll
they
shall
They shall give one month's notice.
They'll





Structure of Should


subject
auxiliary verb
main verb
+
He
should
go.
-
He
should not
go.
shouldn't
?
Should
he
go?

Use of Should

should: Giving advice, opinions


  • You should see the new James Bond movie. It's great!
  • You should try to lose weight.
  • John should get a haircut.
  • He shouldn't smoke. And he should stop drinking too.
  • What should I wear?
  • They should make that illegal.
  • There should be a law against that.
  • People should worry more about global warming.

should: Obligation, duty, correctness

  • You should be wearing your seat belt. (obligation)
  • I should be at work now. (duty)
  • You shouldn't have said that to her. (correctness)
  • He should have been more careful.
  • Should you be driving so fast?
should: Probability, expectation
  • Are you ready? The train should be here soon.
  • $10 is enough. It shouldn't cost more than that.
  • Let's call Mary. She should have finished work by now.

should: Conditionals

  • If I lost my job I should have no money.
    (If he lost his job he would have no money.)
  • We should be grateful if you could send us your latest catalogue.
should: (If I were you I should...)
  • If I were you, I should complain to the manager.
  • If I were you I shouldn't worry about it.
  • I shouldn't say anything if I were you.

 

Structure of Would


subject
auxiliary verb
main verb

+
She
would
like
tea.
'd
-
She
would not
like
whisky.
wouldn't
?
Would
she
like
coffee?

Use of Would

would: Talking about the past

  • Even as a boy, he knew that he would succeed in life.
  • I thought it would rain so I brought my umbrella.

would: Conditionals

  • If he lost his job he would have no money.
  • IfI had won the lotteryI would have bought a car.

would: Polite requests and questions

  • Would you open the door, please? (more polite than: Open the door, please.)
  • Would you go with me? (more polite than: Will you go with me?)
  • Would you know the answer? (more polite than: Do you know the answer?)
  • What would the capital of Nigeria be? (more polite than: What is the capital of Nigeria?)

would: Opinion or hope

  • I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.
  • I suppose some people would call it torture.
  • I would have to agree.
  • I would expect him to come.
  • Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best.

would: Wish

  • I wish you would stay. (I really want you to stay. I hope you will stay.)
  • They don't like me. I'm sure they wish I'd resign.

May
May I have another cup of coffee?
China may become a major economic power.
Asking for permission
Future possibility
Might
We'd better phone tomorrow, they might be eating their dinner now.
They might give us a 10% discount.
Present possibility
Future possibility