Modals: may, might, can, could
UNIT 4 Modals: may, might, can, could
Modal verbs: Give an indication of the speaker’s attitude
Can indicate degrees of certainty, uncertainty, etc.
Ability Can expresses ability in the present; could in the past
Talk about an achievement and to express that someone was succesful: Was/were able to Managed to + infinitive Succeeded in + verb + ing
Permission Can to express permission; cannot/can’t to express prohibition May: sometimes used to express permition/prohibition in a formal way
Request, suggestions and polite orders
Can/could: to make offers, requests, and give polite orders Might: to request permission in a polite way
Possibility and probability
May, might and could are used to speculate about the possibility of events May, might and could + have + past participle To speculate in the past To talk about possibilities in the past that did not happen
Cannot/can’t: to express negative certainty based on evidence
Cannot/can’t + have + past participle: to express negative certainty in the past Can and could: used to talk about theoretical possibility May, might and could + be + verb + -ing: to speculate about events in the present/future
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