Grammar IV Unit Review Chapters 9: Modals Part 1 By: Andrea Velasco…
Grammar IV Unit Review
Chapters 9: Modals Part 1
By: Andrea Velasco Barrios
Basic Modal Introduction
Modal auxiliaries generally express speaker's attitudes. For example, that a speaker feels something is necessary, advisable, possible; and in addition, they can convey the strength of those attitudes. Each modal has more than one meaning or use.
Modal auxiliaries in English
Can, could, had better, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, would
Do not take a final -s, even when the subject is she,he or it.
She can do it.
The only exception is ought to, which is followed by the simple form of a verb.
He ought to go to the meeting.
Be able to, be going to, be supposed to, have to, have got to.
Polite Requests with "I" as the subject
May I and Could I are used to request permission and are equally polite but may I sounds more formal.
May I borrow your pen please?
Could I (please) borrow your pen?
Can I is used informally to request permission. Little less polite than may and could I.
Can I borrow your pen?
Polite Questions with "You" as the subject
The meaning of would you and will you in a polite request is the same. Would you is more common and is often considered more polite.
Would you pass the salt (please)?
Will you (please) pass the salt?
Could you and would you have the same meaning. They are equally polite.
Could you is often used informally.
Could you (please) pass the salt?
May is only used with I or we in polite requests.
Expressing Necessity: Must, Have to, Have got to
Must and have to both express necessity.
Have to is more common then must.
Must is stronger the have to and can indicate urgency.
Have got to is informal, but is both in formal and informal English.
I have to/have got to/must study tonight.
Past Necessity: Had to expresses past necessity. There is no other past form for must.
I had to study last night.
Have to= do not have to means lack of necessity.
Must= must not means prohibition
You don't have to shout.
You mustn't tell anyone.
Advisability: Should, ought to, had better
Should and ought to both express advisability. Their meaning ranges from a suggestion.
In meaning, had better is close to should and ought to but had better is usually stronger. Often had better implies a warning or a threat of possible bad consequences.
You should study harder
Drivers ought to obey the speed limit.
You had better take care of that cut on your hand soon.
You shouldn't leave your keys in the car.
You had better not be late.
The Past Form of Should
Past Form: Should have+past participle
I should have studied last night.
Obligation: Be supposed to
Expresses the idea that someone expects something to happen.
Often expresses expectations about scheduled events or correct procedures.
Expresses expectations about behavior.
The game is supposed to begin at 10:00.
I am supposed to go to the meeting.
In the past expresses unfulfilled expectations.
Jack was supposed to call me last night.