Saturday, 29 July 2017


Modal Verbs or Modals are a group of auxiliary verbs which modify the meaning of the main verb. They are used to suggest certainty, possibility or ability, duty or obligation, necessity etc. They are also used to seek or give permission, make suggestions, make polite requests, give advice, give invitations etc.
Modal Verbs are always used with the main verb. The use of Modal Verbs is determined by the meaning which the speaker wishes to express.
Example 1. I will go to office today. (certainty)
                 2. I might go to office today. (possibility)
                 3. I can go to office today. (ability)

A)     CAN’ is used :
·         For permission.  Can I go there? Yes , you can.
·         To express possibility.  Anyone can make a mistake.
·         To express ability or capacityHe can sing melodiously.
B)      COULD’ is used :
·         To express ability / capacity in the past. He could cycle very fast in his childhood.
·         To express a polite request. Could you hold this for me?
·         To express possibility under certain conditions.  If I had money, I could buy my own house.
C)      MUST’ is used :
·         To express obligation or duty. You must do your work in time.
·         To express necessity, compulsion or prohibition. You must not drive till you complete 18 years.
·         To express strong probability. They must have reached by now.
D)     ‘HAVE TO’ is used as a modal :
·         To talk about rules, laws and other people’s wishes.  You have to submit all these documents .
·         To give advice or to recommend something.  You have to taste this new dish.
E)      NEED’ is used :
·         Mainly to show absence of necessity or compulsion. You need not pay the fees.
                                                                                          You need to improve your manners.
                                                                                          Need I do this work ?
                                                                                          You needn’t have bothered.
F)      ‘OUGHT’ is used :
·         To express the subject’s obligation or duty.  You ought to be polite with your friends.
·         To give advice. You ought to study for two hours daily.
G)     DARE’ is used :
·         Mostly in the negative and interrogative. It means to have courage’. How dare you be so rude?
                                                                                                                                           I dare not enter her office.
H)     ‘WILL’ is used :
·         To express pure future with second/ third person. The Minister will inaugrate the bridge today.
·         To express willingness, intention, determination.  I will read my novel today.
·         To express a characteristic habit, assumption, invitation or query. Will you help me in my work?
I)        ‘SHALL’ is used :
·         To express pure future with the first person. We shall do this work tomorrow.
·         To ask for advice, suggestion, request etc. with the first person( in the interrogative) .                                                                                                                     Shall I bring the file right now?
·         To express command, threat, warning, promise, assurance etc. with the second and third person. They shall be rewarded/ punished.  You shall stay.                                                                                                                  
J)       ‘WOULD’ is used :
·         To express past habits. My father would rise early and go for a walk every morning
·         To make a polite request. Would you explain this topic again, please?
                                               I would like to meet you tomorrow.
·         To express a wish/ preference. I wish you would be more sensible in your behavior.         I would rather have tea.
·         To express an imaginary condition. I would buy a car if I won the prize money.
K)     ‘SHOULD’ is used :
·         To express duty. We should obey our parents.
·         To give advice/ suggestion. You should carry out some research for your role.
·         To express probability/ logical inference. They should have been here by now.
·         To express purpose after ‘lest’. Work hard, lest you should fail.
L)      MAY’ is used :
·         To express permission. May we enter the room. No, you may not.
·         To express possibility. It may rain today.
·         To express wish, faith or hope. May God be with you at every step of your life.
M)   ‘MIGHT’ is used :
·         To express less possibility. It might rain today.
·         To make a guess. That might be the milkman.

Ex 1. Complete the sentences using the words listed box below. Some gaps may have more than one correct answer. Some gaps may need to be filled with negated modals.
can     could     have to     must     might     should
Top of Form
1. Ted's flight from Amsterdam took more than 11 hours. He _________ be exhausted after such a long flight. He_________ prefer to stay in tonight and get some rest.
2. If you want to get a better feeling for how the city is laid out, you _________ walk downtown and explore the waterfront.
3. Hiking the trail to the peak _________ be dangerous if you are not well prepared for dramatic weather changes. You __________ research the route a little more before you attempt the ascent.
4. When you have a small child in the house, you ____________ leave small objects lying around. Such objects  _________ be swallowed, causing serious injury or even death.
5. Jenny's engagement ring is enormous! It  ________ have cost a fortune.

6. Please make sure to water my plants while I am gone. If they don't get enough water, they  _________ die.

7. I _________ speak Arabic fluently when I was a child and we lived in Egypt. But after we moved back to Canada, I had very little exposure to the language and forgot almost everything I knew as a child. Now, I ___________ just say a few things in the language.

8. You  _________ take your umbrella along with you today. The weatherman on the news said there's a storm north of here and it ____________ rain later on this afternoon.

Ex 2.Choose the correct answer for each gap from could, would, should or might. Some gaps may have more than one correct answer.
Donna: If I won the ten million dollar lottery jackpot, I _________ afford to quit my job and travel the world.
Sam: Where _________ you go if you had that much money?
Donna: I don't know, I _________ choose to spend a year in Paris - or perhaps I __________ go to Kenya.
Ex 3. Modal Verbs have been omitted in the lines below. Insert appropriate words. In some case you may have to use negated modals:
1.      Headboy to the Sports Incharge: Sir, I be excused from attending tomorrow’s meeting?

2.      Child to his mother: I don’t want to have this porridge. I have some Maggi instead?
3.      Seema to her elder sister: you lend me your cardigan please?
4.      Librarian to the student: You talk in here.
5.      Guest to the host: you pass me the salt please?
6.      Teacher to the student: You work very hard for these exams.
7.      Passerby to the motorist: You turn right and then left for the Motel.
8.      Teacher to the principal: you like to meet Nisha? She be in the Chemistry Lab.
9.      Doctor to the patient: You take care of your diet. You are becoming obese.
10.  One friend to another: We definitely attend your birthday party.
11.  Chemist to the customer: You take medicines without the doctor’s advice.
Ex 4. Here are some rude commands. Use will/would/can/could to make them polite. Add some explanation for your request:
Example: Switch that television off!
                   I have to prepare for a test tomorrow. Could you switch that television off, please?
1.      Don’t make noise here.
2.      Get me a cup of tea.
3.      Open that window.
4.      Take away that dog.
5.      Don’t make a crowd near the patient’s bed.