Grammar Time!

Modal verb

English Modal Verbs Table

 

Usage

Example

can

ability

I can do several things
at the same time.

when something is possible

Miracles can happen.

permission

You can go now.

informal requests

Can you come for a minute?

could

past form of "can"

She said she could pay
for us as well.

polite requests

Could you move
your bag, please?

possibility

It could be that he
missed the train.

may

possibility

It may rain tomorrow.

ask or give
permission (formal)

May I speak?

might

past form of "may"

He said he might
change his mind.

possibility

This might fail.

must

you have to do it

You must obey the law

it's very logical or
very likely to happen

They left so early, they
must be home by now.

must not/
mustn't

you are not
allowed to do it

You mustn't smoke in here.

shall

future for "I" and "we"

I shall see him tomorrow.

questions and suggestions for "I" and "we"

Let's continue, shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  should

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the right thing to do 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She should call the police.

advice

- What should I do?
- You should stop
thinking about it.

what is likely or
expected to happen

We should be
back by midnight.

will

future action or states
(not plans)

Prices will go up
next summer.

promises and intentions

It's alright, I'll pick it up.

would

past form of "will"

He told me he would come.

imagined situations

What would you do
if you were him?

for polite requests, offers and invitations

- Would you please sit down?
- Would you like some tea?
- We are meeting with Sarah
next Saturday, would you like to come along?

to say what you
want to do or have

I would like a piece of cake.

ought to

the right thing to do

You ought to apologize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Modal Verbs – Situations Table

Situation

Modal Verb

Example

requests
(formal)

may

May I sit down?

requests
(informal)

can

Can I sit down?

requests
(polite)

could

Could I sit down?

requests
(polite)

would

Would you mind if I sit down?

permission
(formal)

may

You may sit down.

permission
(informal)

can

You can sit down.

obligation
(full)

must

You must tell the
police the truth.

obligation
(partial)

should

You should tell
your friends the truth.

obligation(partial)
(less common)

ought to

You ought to tell
your friends the truth.

logical conclusions
(stronger than "should")

must

He left an hour ago, so he must be there already.

logical conclusions
(weaker than "must")

should

He left half an hour ago,
I believe he should
be there already.

possibility
(general)

can

It can rain sometimes.

possibility
(weaker than
"may" and "might")

could

It could rain, but it is
not very common in this
part of the country.

possibility
(weaker than "may")

might

It's not very cloudy yet,
but it might rain.

possibility
(stronger than "might")

may

It starts getting cloudy –
it may rain soon.

futureactions/states/intentions

will

Look at the sky!
It will rain soon.

 

 

 

Perfect Modals: Modal Verb + have + past participle

Perfect Modal
Picture
sentence

could have _____

couldn't have _____

past ability
doing the dishes
The boy could have done the dishes himself, but his father decided to help.

should have ____

shouldn't have ____

You did or didn't do something that was a good idea.
dizzy girl

The girl shouldn't have spun around so many times. She fell down.

spin: turn around many times.

spin / spun / spun

would have ____

wouldn't have ____

past condition /

past situation

house of cards
This house of cards would have fallen over if the person who built it hadn't been so careful.

may have _____

may not have _____

past possibility
old camera
My grandfather may have used this camera when he was a young man, but I'm not sure.

might have ______

might not have _____

past possibility
woman eating
Her mother might have put mustard on her sandwich. She hopes not.

must have ____

must not have ___

past probability.

This indicates that something probably happened in the past.

rock band
They must have practiced a lot because they're very good musicians.

Let's not forget...

The Future Perfect Tense

Unlike all the other modals above, will is used for the future:

Subject + will + have + past participle

Singular
Plural
I will have lived
We will have lived
You will have lived
You will have lived
He will have lived
 
She will have lived
They will have lived
It will have lived
 

This is a difficult tense to use. It describes an action that will be completed in the future.

For example:

I moved to Minnesota in 1991. The year now is 2008.

By 2011, I will have lived in Minnesota for 20 years.

 

 

 

 

Follow these links and do the exercises!

http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=9331

http://www.autoenglish.org/modalverbs/gr.might.i.htm

http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/hilfsverben.htm

http://www.esl-lounge.com/student/grammar/4g66-past-modals-exercise.php

 

 

Fuente: Created by Susan Zilberstein
Fecha: 31/8/2019 | Creado por: Susana Beatriz
Categoria: Grammar Time
Etiquetas: Almagro, Inglés, Teens, 5, 2019, Susan, Zilberstein