Modal Verbs

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Modal Verbs by Mind Map: Modal Verbs

1. Shall

1.1. "Shall" is used as "will" to form the future tense . The use of "shall" is much more common in the UK and is generally more educated .

1.2. Example: ° Chris shall be happy to see you. ° I shall take the 3 o’clock train.

1.3. You can also use "shall" to offers and suggestions or to ask about options or preferences .

1.4. Example: ° Shall l we meet at 10pm? ° Shall we go to the movies or a museum?

2. Could

2.1. Indicates possibility or ability in the past.

2.2. Example: ° Joe could speak Spanish when he was young. ° I couldn’t sleep last night.

2.3. You can also use "could " to future possibilities .

2.4. Example: ° You could pass the test if you studied. ° I think it could rain later.

2.5. As "Can " in interrogative sentences "Could " or you may request permission to ask about the possibilities, but is more formal.

2.6. Example: ° Could you pass the salt please? ° Could I be wrong?

3. May

3.1. As "could " , "may" is used to indicate possibilities in the future.

3.2. Example: ° I would bring an umbrella, it may rain later. ° It may be better to finish this now, rather than wait until tomorrow.

3.3. It can also be used to give permission or instructions.

3.4. Example: ° You may leave if you like. ° You may use your cell phones now.

3.5. In interrogative sentences , the use of "may" is more polite than "can" or "could ".

3.6. Example: ° May I have a glass of water? ° May I leave now?

4. Might

4.1. " Might" is used to indicate possibilities in the present or the future. In these cases, it is synonymous with "may" .

4.2. Example: ° I would bring an umbrella, it might rain later. ° It might be better to finish this now, rather than wait until tomorrow.

5. Will

5.1. "It will " is used to form the future tense. Also the use of "will" means will or determination.

5.2. Example: ° I will help you. ° We will learn English.

5.3. "It will" is used in interrogative sentences to ask for information , a favor or options.

5.4. Example: ° Will they find a cure for cancer? ° Will you help me move? ° Will he go to Paris by car or train?

6. Should

6.1. "Should " indicates an obligation or recommendation. It reflects an opinion about what is right. It translates as the conditional "deber" in Spanish.

6.2. Example: ° I should call my parents more often. ° You shouldn’t work so hard.

6.3. "It should" is used in interrogative sentences to ask if there is an obligation or to ask for a recommendation.

6.4. Example: ° Should we leave a tip? ° Where should they meet you?

7. Ought to

7.1. " Ought to " is synonymous with "should".

7.2. Example: ° She ought to quit smoking. ° I ought to call my parents more often.

7.3. Note : Never "ought to" used in interrogative sentences in American English.

8. Can

8.1. " Suggests ability or possibility. In these cases it can be translated as "poder" in Spanish.

8.2. Example: ° I can speak five languages. ° Bill and Tom can’t help you.

8.3. In interrogative sentences , the use of "can" may request permission or inquire about possibilities.

8.4. Example: ° Can I have a glass of water? ° Can you help me?

9. Must / Have to

9.1. "Must" indicates an obligation, prohibition or need. You can also use "have to ".

9.2. Example: ° You must have to read this book, it’s fantastic. ° You must not drink and drive.

9.3. You can also use "must" to indicate probability or take something.

9.4. Example: ° John’s not here. He must be sick because he never misses class. ° It must be difficult to learn a new language as an adult.

9.5. You may also use "must" for rhetorical questions.

9.6. Example: ° Must you always be late? ° Must she talk so much?

10. Would

10.1. "Would" is used to declare a preference and to ask for something politely.

10.2. Example: ° She would like to go to New York someday. ° Would you like some coffee? ° Would you help me please?