MODAL VERBS

escudo colINSTITUTO TECNICO SUPERIOR PEREIRA

TEACHER:  LUIS CARLOS ALVAREZ ALZATE

CAN – COULD / MAY / MIGHT /MUST / SHOULD / OUGHT TO/ HAVE TO – HAS TO

Modal Example Uses
Can They can control their own budgets.

We can’t fix it.

Can I smoke here?

Can you help me?

Ability / Possibility

Inability / Impossibility

Asking for permission

Request

Could Could I borrow your dictionary?

Could you say it again more slowly?

We could try to fix it ourselves.

I think we could have another Gulf War.

He gave up his old job so he could work for us.

Asking for permission.

Request

Suggestion

Future possibility

Ability in the past

May May I have another cup of coffee?

China may become a major economic power.

Asking for permission

Future possibility

Might We’d better phone tomorrow, they might be eating their dinner now.

They might give us a 10% discount.

Present possibility

Future possibility

Must We must say good-bye now.

They mustn’t disrupt the work more than necessary.

Necessity / Obligation

Prohibition

Ought to We ought to employ a professional writer. Saying what’s right or correct
Should We should sort out this problem at once.

I think we should check everything again.

Profits should increase next year.

Saying what’s right or correct

Recommending action

Uncertain prediction

escudo colINSTITUTO TECNICO SUPERIOR DE PEREIRA

TEACHER : LUISCARLOS ALVAREZ ALZATE/

CAN – COULD -MAY/ MIGHT / MUST / SHALL / SHOULD /OUGHT TO/ HAVE TO//

Modal Example Uses
Can Ability / Possibility

Inability / Impossibility

Asking for permission

Request

Could Asking for permission.

Request

Future possibility

Ability in the past

May Asking for permission

Future possibility

Might Present possibility

Future possibility

Must Necessity / Obligation

Prohibition / order

Ought to Saying what’s right or correct/ necessity
Should Saying what’s right or correct /Recommending action/ advise /Uncertain prediction
 

 

HAVE TO

(HAS TO)

 

 

 

 

·         impersonal obligation.

·        objective.

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