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MODAL VERBS Modals 'help' other verbs to express a meaning.Modal verbs have no meaning by themselves. A modal verb such as would has several functions;

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Presentation on theme: "MODAL VERBS Modals 'help' other verbs to express a meaning.Modal verbs have no meaning by themselves. A modal verb such as would has several functions;"— Presentation transcript:

1 MODAL VERBS Modals 'help' other verbs to express a meaning.Modal verbs have no meaning by themselves. A modal verb such as would has several functions; it can be used, for example, to help verbs express ideas about the past, the present and the future. Would is not simply the past of will. Let’s see some rules which apply to modal verbs!

2 Modal verbs are NEVER used with other auxiliary verbs such as do, does, did etc. The negative is formed simply by adding "not" after the verb; questions are formed by inversion of the verb and subject: Ex: You should not do that. Could you pick me up when I've finished? Modal verbs NEVER change form: you can never add an "-s" or "- ed", for example. Modal verbs are NEVER followed by to, with the exception of ought to.

3 MEANINGS OF MODALS The meanings are usually connected with: DOUBT CERTAINTY POSSIBILITY PROBABILITY OBLIGATION PERMISSION Or Lack of permission

4 May & Might May & might sometimes have virtually the same meaning; they are used to talk about possibilities in the past, present or future. ("Could" is also sometimes used). May is sometimes a little bit "more sure" (50% chance); whereas might expresses more doubt (maybe only a 30% chance). May & might are used, then, for:

5 Talking about the present or future with uncertainty She may be back in her office: the lecture finished ten minutes ago. I may go shopping tonight, I haven't decided yet. England might win the World Cup, you never know. Talking about the past with uncertainty I'm surprised he failed. I suppose he might have been ill on the day of the exam. They can also sometimes be used for talking about permission, but usually only in formal situations. Instead of saying May I open a window? we would say Is it all right/OK if I open a window? or Can I open a window? for example. You might, however, see: Students may not borrow equipment without written permission. May Talking about things that can happen in certain situations If the monitors are used in poorly lit places, some users may experience headaches. Each nurse may be responsible for up to twenty patients.


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