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Examples of Modal verbs


Modal verbs

Post by natttt
Posted on 2011-01-10 02:04:33
Can

They can control their own budgets.

We canít fix it.
Can I smoke here?
Can you help me?

Ability / Possibility
Inability / Impossibility
Asking for permission
Request


Could

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.

Asking for permission.
Request
Suggestion
Future possibility
Ability in the past


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


Must

We must say good-bye now.
They mustnít disrupt the work more than necessary.

Necessity / Obligation
Prohibition


Ought to

We ought to employ a professional writer.

Saying whatís right or correct


Shall

(More common in the UK than the US)

Shall I help you with your luggage?
Shall we say 2.30 then?
Shall I do that or will you?

Offer
Suggestion
Asking what to do


Should

We should sort out this problem at once.
I think we should check everything again.
Profits should increase next year.

Saying whatís right or correct
Recommending action
Uncertain prediction


Will

I canít see any taxis so Iíll walk.
I"ll do that for you if you like.
Iíll get back to you first thing on Monday.

Profits will increase next year.
Instant decisions
Offer
Promise
Certain prediction


Would

Would you mind if I brought a colleague with me?
Would you pass the salt please?
Would you mind waiting a moment?
"Would three o`clock suit you?" - "Thatíd be fine."
Would you like to play golf this Friday?
"Would you prefer tea or coffee?" - "Iíd like tea please."

Asking for permission
Request
Making arrangements
Invitation
Preferences


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