Modal verbs

  1. These are auxiliary verbs that expresses necessity or possibility. English modal verbs include must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might.
    can could may might will
    would must shall should ought to
    We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability, asking permission making requests.


    • It’s snowing, so it must be very cold outside.
    • I don’t know where John is. He could have missed the train.


      We use ‘can’ and ‘could’ to talk about a skill or ability.

    • She can speak six languages.
    • My grandfather could play golf very well.

    Obligation and Advice

    We can use verbs such as ‘must’ or ‘should’ to say when something is necessary or unnecessary, or to give advice.

    For example:

    • Children must do their homework.
    • We have to wear a uniform at work.
    • You should stop smoking.


    We can use verbs such as ‘can’, ‘could’ and ‘may’ to ask for and give permission. We also use modal verbs to say something is not allowed.

    For example:

    • Could I leave early today, please?
    • You may not use the car tonight.
    • Can we swim in the lake?

About class03

Head teacher at Robin Hood Academy
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