Modals Verbs

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Modal verbs, like auxiliaries, are used in English for a speaker to communicate different states or attitudes (on leave, probability, necessity). A class of modal meaning, is the degree of certainty manners are used to say that a situation is safe, probable, possible or impossibleThe other kind of meaning has to do with the obligation and freedom of action: manners can be used to say that someone is bound to do something, you can do something, that something is permitted or prohibited

a) certainty (positive or negative) must, Must not, can, can not. b) probability / possibility. Should, Should not, may, May notc) weak probability or possibility Might, might not, could, could notd) conditionality or possibility. Could, could not. are the modal verbs

Modal verbs are used to express various aspects of obligation and freedom. These uses of modal verbs are very important in terms of education, suggestions, invitations and instructions.a) strong obligation: Must b) prohibition: must not, can notc)Weak requirement: Should suggestion or recommendation, might, May d) will, persistence and offers. Will, would e) (very formal) can permit, couds, may, might f) ability can, be able to

Obligation and freedom of action

A. Do not combine (never changes its form in different people), so modal verbs do not take "s" in the third person singular. B. The main verb is always in infinitive form without to, except ought modal. C. As complementary verbs are modal verbs do not work without other verbGRAMMAR

an affirmation order words is subject

in the questions, the word order is modal, subject, main verb

How the use the modal verbs

"Can" means skill or ability. In these cases it can be translated as "power" in Spanish-I can ski / puedo esquiar We can use the can if we decide now that we will do in the future-I can have lunch with you tomorrow. / Puedo comer contigo maana.


Affirmative: subject + can + verb I can speak English Negative: subject + cant + verb I cant speak english Interrogative : Can + subject + verb Can I speak english ?Short Answer: Yes, subject + can *Yes, I cant No, subject + cant *No , I cant

-"Could" indicates possibility or ability in the past. -You can also use "could" for possibilities in the future. -As "can", in interrogative sentences "could" may request permission or to inquire about the possibilities, but is more formal. *Joe could speak Spanish when he was young. (Joe poda hablar espaol cuando era joven.)


Affirmative: subject +could +verb* You could be wrong Negative: Subject + couldnt + verb*I couldn't see very clearly (Yo no pude/podra ver muy claramente) Interrogative : Could + subject + verb *Could you open the window? (Pudiste/podras abrir la ventana?)

The verb "may" could be used in the same way that "could", but is more formal and polite. Can also be used to give permissions or instructions. The questions yes or no, the use of "may" is more polite than "can".The modal verb is MAY MIGHT closely related since both have the same use and meaning, but MAY indicates a greater degree of certainty . To express a possibility in the future, we will only place him in prayer when the action is performed. For those questions that is more polite MIGHT COULD and MAY.


She may decide to travel to Spain (Ella puede decidir viajar a Espaa) May you take me to the school? (Podras llevarme a la escuela?) You may leave if you like. (Puede salir si quiere.) You may use your cell phones now. (Podis usar sus telfonos ahora.) May I have a glass of water? (Podra tomar un vaso de agua?) May I leave now? (Podra salir ahora?)

Affirmative: subject + may/might + verb*She may help me tomorrow.(Ella podr ayudarme maana.)*They might visit the hospital this afternoon. (Ellos podran visitar el hospital esta tarde.) Negative: subject + may not /migth not migntnt + verb*She may not apologize her friend( Ella no puede disculpar a su amiga) *He might not find a solution to his problem(l no podra encontrar una solucin a su problema) Interrogative: may/migth + subject + verb *May I use your telephone please? ( Puedo usar su telfono por favor?) *Might I use your telephone please? ( Podra usar su telfono por favor?)

The verb MUST and which can be attributed two main meanings: to indicate that we are sure of the certainty of something and also to express an opinion, that is, indicate the need to do something. You can also use "could" for possibilities in the future. "Must" expresses an internal obligation, not an external obligation as is "Have To. "Must" is used only in the present and in the future.*He must have a lot of money( l debe tener mucho dinero) (Indica la certeza que posee gran cantidad de dinero) *They must pay attention. (Ellos deben prestar atencin)


Affirmative: subject + must +verb*I must go to the library (Debo ir a la biblioteca) Negative: subject + musnt / must not + verb *You must not talk to strangers (No debes hablar con extraos) Interrogative : must + subject + verb*Must we do everything today (Debemos hacer todo hoy?)

We use it to express that something is necessary. Expresses an obligation in English. HAVE TO is preferably used to talk about an obligation imposed from outside (rule, law, rule) Unlike all other modal verbs, auxiliary HAVE TO DO need to formulate questions and negations and supports all tenses.*You have to drive on the right (tienes que conducir por la derecha) *His father said he had to do it (Su padre dijo que lo tena que hacer)

Have to

Affirmative: Subject + have to + verb *We have to be there at 5 o'oclock. (tenemos que estar all a las 5) Interrogative : do /does + subject + have to + verb *Do we have to be there at 5 o'clock? (Tenemos que estar all a las 5?) Negative: Subject + dont/ doesnt + have to + verb *We don't have to be there at 5 o'clock (No tenemos que estar all a las 5)

"Should" denotes an obligation or recommendation. It reflects a view on what is right. This translates as the subjunctive of "duty" in Spanish. "SHOULD" can also be used to express the probability that something will happen in the future*I should call my parents more often. (Debera llamar a mis padres ms a menudo.)*You have saved a lot of money so you should buy a new car (T has ahorrado mucho dinero por lo que deberas comprar un nuevo coche) *She has worked the whole year so she should have holidays (Ella ha trabajado todo el ao por lo que debera tener vacaciones)


To express something that should have been done in the past but did not use the form SHOULD HAVE & & past participle of the main verb, for example: Should I have arrived Earlier (He should have come earlier) We Should Have Travelled yesterday (We should have traveled yesterday) She Should Have prepared her exams. The past is used to indicate that something should have been done and not done.

Affirmative: subject + should + verb*I should call my mother (Debera llamar a mi madre) Negative: subject + shouldnt + verb *I shouldn't waste my time (No debera desperdiciar mi tiempo)Interrogative: should + subject + verb *Should we worry? (Deberamos preocuparnos?)