What are Modals?
The verbs like- can, could, may, might, will, shall, etc that are used with other verbs to express permission, possibility, certainty, necessity, etc are called modals.
(a) It is used to express ability and capacity.
For ex- I can do it.
-She can write with both hands.
(b) It also express permission.
Ex- Can I borrow your pen?
(c) It convey possibility in interrogative and negative sentences.
Ex- Can this be true?
It cannot be true?
=Could – ( past tense of can)
Ex- How could he find out?
I wish you could hear yourself talking.
(a) It is used for taking permission.
Ex- May I borrow your pen?
May I ask you a few questions?
May I sit with you?
(b) It express possibility in affirmative sentences.
Ex- He may be at home.
He may stay here tonight.
It may rain today.
(c) It also express wish.
Ex- May god bless you.
May you get well soon.
May the kingdom of Heaven be his!
= Might– ( past of may)
It is used for less possibility.
Ex- I thought he might be at home.
I might see you tomorrow.
It looks nice, but it might be very expensive.
3. Was /were able to-
It is used for performance.
Ex- He was able to swim across the river.
They were able to swim across the river.
- In negative.
Ex- I wasn’t be able to solve the problem.
(a) It is used with 1st person ( I, we, us).
Ex- when shall we see you again?
I shall be there by 8:00.
(b) It is sometimes used with 2nd or 3rd person to express command, promise, threat.
Ex- He shall not enter in my house again.
He shall become our next king.
(c) It is also used to ask questions.
Ex- Shall I open the door?
Shall I help you?
Shall we begin dinner?
When someone is willing to.
Ex-I will carry your bag.
I will lead you to it.
To express characteristic habit.
Ex- He will always listen the song at night.
Express assumption or probability.
Ex- This will be book you want, I suppose.
Things will get better.
One day he will know.
= should/ would-( past of shall/will)
( a) It explicit duty or obligations.
Ex- you should obey the law.
(b) It express opinion.
Ex- They would be on the way to turkey.
That would be the best way.
( c) To give or take advice and suggestion.
Ex- You should study more.
(a) It express necessity or obligations.
Ex- you must get up early.
We must not be late.
(b) In the case of prohibition.
Ex- you must not drink and drive.
7. Have to/ Has to/ Had to/strong
- It explicit rules and laws.
Ex- You have to attend the class.
- Have to is used with infinitive to indicate obligations.
Ex- I have to be there by 5’o clock.
- In negative and questions, have to and had to are used with do, does and did.
Ex- They don’t have to go.
Do they have to go?
8. Ought to
- Express moral obligation or duty.
Ex – we ought to help our friends.
- To give advice.
Ex- you ought to study hard to achieve success.
9. Used to-
It is used as a discontinued habit or past habit which is no more in present.
Ex- He used to drink daily.
This used to be a dense jungle.