Modals are special verbs, such as can or mustwhich behave very irregularly in English. Study the modal descriptions and complete the exercises to take another step towards English fluency. Read the introduction titled What are Modal Verbs? Complete the exercises below. Each exercise has links to the modals covered. And don't miss our Modal Final Test.

Modal verbs are special verbs which behave very differently from normal verbs. Here are some important differences:.


You use "not" to make modal verbs negative, even in simple present and simple past. For the purposes of this tutorial, we have included some expressions which are not modal verbs including had betterhave to, and have got to. These expressions are closely related to modals in meaning and are often interchanged with them.

Modal Verbs f t p. How to use this tutorial: 1. Here are some important differences: 1.


Modal verbs do not take "-s" in the third person. Examples: He should not be late. They might not come to the party.

Modal verbs

Examples: He will can go with us. Not Correct She musted study very hard. Not Correct. Contact us Privacy Policy Advertise with us. MightMust and Should. Afterwards, you can repeat the exercise using CouldHave to and Ought to. Have got toHad BetterMay and Shall. CouldMightShould and Would. Ought to Shall Should Will Would.The modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings:.

Modal Meaning Example can to express ability I can speak a little Russian.

Modal verbs are unlike other verbs. The modals must and can need substitute verbs to express obligation or ability in the different tenses.

Modals (can, might, should, etc.)

Here are some examples:. Past simple Sorry I'm late. I had to finish my math test.


Present perfect She's had to return to Korea at short notice. Future You'll have to work hard if you want to pass the exams. Infinitive I don't want to have to go. Present perfect I haven't been able to solve this problem. Can you help? Future I'm not sure if I will be able to come to your party. Infinitive I would love to be able to play the piano.

Modals are auxiliary verbs. They do not need an additional auxiliary in negatives or questions. For example: Must I come?

Do I must come? Important: The explanations and examples on this page are just an introduction to this extensive and complex area of English grammar. Students of English who want to learn more should consult a good reference work, such as Swan's Practical English Usage.

Modal verbs The modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings: Modal Meaning Example can to express ability I can speak a little Russian. Here are some examples: Past simple Sorry I'm late. Do a quiz on modal verbs.Heuer gallaudet.

Most modal verbs can be used in some of their meanings with a perfect infinitive to talk about the past:. Never add -s, -es, -ed, or -ing to the second verb. Shall can be used with first person singular I and first person plural we. However, it is less common than willespecially in American English.

Could is used to talk about ability, NOT about particular events which actually happened in the past. Verbs like manage to are used instead. She finally managed to pass the exam. Polite requests are often made by appearing to ask about ability with can and could. Can is commonly used to ask for or give permission. May is more formal. Could and might are used to ask for not to give permission.


They are more tentative than can. Would is commonly used in the main clause of conditional sentences to show that a situation is unreal or tentative.

Because it can express tentativeness, would is also used in polite invitations, offers, and requests. Could suggests that something is less likely than may or might. When it expresses possibility, can is most often used in question forms: What can have happened? However it is also used to express general possibility in sentences where its meaning is similar to "sometimes": His behavior can make us laugh.

Can't and can't have are used to show that there is no possibility. See certainty below.Click here for all the exercises about modal verbs Here's a list of the modal verbs in English: can could may might will would must shall should ought to.

We often call these 'modals of deduction' or 'speculation' or 'certainty' or 'probability'. For example: It's snowing, so it must be very cold outside. I don't know where John is. He could have missed the train. This bill can't be right. Click here to find out more about probability.

Need more practice? Get more Perfect English Grammar with our courses. Welcome to Perfect English Grammar! I'm Seonaid and I hope you like the website. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. Modal Verbs Click here for all the exercises about modal verbs Here's a list of the modal verbs in English: can could may might will would must shall should ought to Modals are different from normal verbs: 1: They don't use an 's' for the third person singular.

Ability We use 'can' and 'could' to talk about a skill or ability. For example: She can speak six languages. My grandfather could play golf very well. I can't drive. Click here to find out more about ability. 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. Click here to find out more about obligation Permission 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?A modal is a type of auxiliary helping verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases or semi-modals are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition to. The modals and semi-modals in English are:. Note: Can and could do not take an infinitive to verb and do not take the future auxiliary will.

Note: Shall is only used with I or we. It is used instead of will only in formal English. Note: have to and need to are often used in the same context, but many times, need to is used to express something that is less urgent, something in which you have a choice. There may be more than one correct answer.

Grammar Rules. Grammar rules Verbs Modal Verbs. Modal Verbs Modal and Modal Phrases Semi-Modals A modal is a type of auxiliary helping verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Try our Grammar Checker online. Available everywhere you write.


I can help you with that next week. Incorrect: I can to help you this afternoon. Correct: I can help you this afternoon.

Modal Verbs in English

Could I talk to your supervisor please? Fill in the correct form of can, could or be able to as in the examples. Ben could not help his little brother with his homework yesterday. Can I call you later tonight? My car broke down.

The bookstore is all out of them. You may not wear sandals to work. Do you want to join us? Our company might get the order if the client agrees to the price. They might not buy a house at all. John will be home soon. We might as well take Friday off.Add the onclick attribute and point to the id of the modal id01 in our exampleusing the document. To close a modal, add the w3-button class to an element together with an onclick attribute that points to the id of the modal id You can also close it by clicking outside of the modal see example below.

Use w3-container classes to create different sections inside the modal content:. Use any of the w3-animate-zoom top bottom right left classes to slide in the modal from a specific direction:.

Modal Verbs

You can also fade in the modal's background color by setting the w3-animate-opacity class on the w3-modal element:. London is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 9 million inhabitants. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

In the examples above, we use a button to close the modal. However, with a little bit of JavaScript, you can also close the modal when clicking outside of the modal box:.

Tip: To learn more about slideshows, visit our W3. CSS Slideshow chapter. If you want to report an error, or if you want to make a suggestion, do not hesitate to send us an e-mail:. LOG IN. New User? Sign Up For Free! Forgot password?

CSS W3. CSS Intro W3. CSS Colors W3. CSS Containers W3. CSS Panels W3. CSS Borders W3. CSS Cards W3. CSS Fonts W3. CSS Text W3. CSS Round W3. CSS Padding W3. CSS Margins W3. CSS Display W3. CSS Buttons W3. CSS Notes W3. CSS Quotes W3. CSS Alerts W3. CSS Tables W3. CSS Lists W3. CSS Images W3. CSS Inputs W3. CSS Badges W3.A modal, also known as a modal auxiliary or modal verb, expresses necessity, uncertainty, possibility, or permission.

Struggling to understand how modal verbs function in English is entirely normal as their range of applications is quite broad. Even advanced students and native speakers struggle to use these irregular verbs from time to time.

With that said, practice is important and the best place to start is by finding out which verbs are considered modals.

There are two types of modal verbs: pure modals and semimodals. There are also modal phrases. Pure modals never change their form regardless of subject and don't change to show past tense.

These verbs can express certainty or suggestion. Pure modals are followed by a bare infinitive, an infinitive verb without "to". See below for examples. Most linguists agree that there are 9 pure or core modals in English:. Unlike other auxiliariescommon modals have no -s-ing-enor infinitive forms. Modals such as "ought" that require a "to"-infinitive complement are regarded as marginal modals, also called semimodals. Semimodals or marginal modals are used to imply a range of possibilities, obligations, necessity, or advice.

Notice that these verbs can be conjugated by subject and tense. The four semimodals generally agreed upon are:. Some experts also include have to and be able to in this list. To further complicate an already confusing subject, phrases with modal meaning can be constructed without the use of a standard modal or semimodal verb. Modals are commonly used to express your degree of certainty about an outcome or the possibility of something.

When using modals, keep in mind that they should always appear first in a verb phrase. Consider these two examples:.

In the first example, the speaker is making a statement as if it were a matter of fact. In the second example, the statement implies a degree of uncertainty that excuses the speaker from an obligation. The same modal verbs that can be used to express only some certainty or possibility can also express absolute conviction and resolve, which makes mastering modals tricky.

For example, consider the modal verb should go and how it's used in this sentence:. This modal is now expressing a strong degree of obligation. The speaker knows they need to go to the bank if they're going to get there before it closes. As you become more proficient in English, you'll discover just how frequently modals are used. Take a look at these examples from famous people. Share Flipboard Email.

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