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Modal and Modal Phrases (Semi-Modals)

A modal is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases (or semi-modals) are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition to. The modals and semi-modals in nglish are: !. $. %. '. (. "an#could#be able to May#might &hall#should Must#have to )ill#*ould

Can, Could, Be Able To


"an, could and be able to are used to express a variety of ideas in nglish:
Ability/Lack o Ability

Present and !uture" can#can+t , base form of the verb !. Tom can #rite poetry very *ell. $. - can hel$ you *ith that next *ee.. %. /isa can+t spea. 0rench. am # is # are # *ill be , able to , base form of the verb am not# isn+t # aren+t# *on+t be , able to , base form of the verb !. Mi.e is able to sol%e complicated math e1uations $. The support team #ill be able to hel$ you in about ten minutes. %. - #on&t be able to %isit you next summer. Past" could # couldn+t , base form of the verb !. )hen - *as a child - could climb trees. *as # *ere , able to , base form of the verb *asn+t # *eren+t , able to , base form of the verb hasn+t # haven+t , been able to , base form of the verb !. - #asn&t able to %isit her in the hospital. $. 2e hasn&t been able to 'et in touch *ith the client yet. 3ote: "an and could do not ta.e an infinitive (to verb) and do not ta.e the future auxiliary *ill.

-ncorrect: - can to help you this afternoon. "orrect: - can hel$ you this afternoon. "orrect: ( #ill ((&ll) be able to hel$ you this afternoon.

Possibility / (m$ossibility
can # can+t , base form of the verb !. 4ou can catch that train at !5:'%. $. 2e can+t see you right no*. 2e+s in surgery. could , base form of the verb !. - could ly via Amsterdam if - leave the day before.

Ask Permission / )i%e Permission


"an , &ub6ect , base form of the verb (informal) !. Can you lend me ten dollars7 "an , base form of the verb (informal) !. 4ou can borro# my car. "ould , sub6ect , base form of the verb (polite) !. Could - ha%e your number7 $. Could - talk to your supervisor please7

Make a su''estion * To make a su''estion use"


"ould , base form of the verb (informal) !. 4ou could take the tour of the castle tomorro*.

+,ercises" Can, Could, Be able to


0ill in the correct form of can, could or be able to as in the examples. !. 8en could not help his little brother *ith his home*or. yesterday. $. "an - call you later tonight7 !. $. %. '. (. 9999999 Tony run long distances *hen he *as a boy7 999999 you please call a to* truc. for me7 My car bro.e do*n. (polite) The students 9999999 to buy their textboo.s today. The boo.store is all out of them. 999999 you teach me ho* to fix my computer7 4ou+re so good at it. 999999 you 999999 reach the customer if you call him at ':55 his time7

Ans*ers: !. "ould $."ould %. aren+t able '. "an (. )ill#be able to

May, Mi'ht
!ormal Permission / !ormal Prohibition may # may not , base form of the verb !. 4ou may start your exam no*. $. 4ou may not #ear sandals to *or.. Polite -e.uest May , sub6ect , base form of the verb !. May - hel$ you7 Possibility / /e'ati%e Possibility may# might , base form of the verb !. )e may 'o out dinner tonight. :o you *ant to 6oin us7 $. ;ur company mi'ht 'et the order if the client agrees to the price. may not # might not , base form of the verb !. Adam and &ue may not buy that house. -t+s very expensive. $. They mi'ht not buy a house at all. To Make a Su''estion (#hen there is no better alternati%e) may as *ell # might as *ell , base form of the verb !. 4ou may as #ell come inside. <ohn *ill be home soon. $. )e mi'ht as #ell take 0riday off. There+s no *or. to be done any*ay. Polite Su''estion might , base form of the verb !. 4ou mi'ht like to try the salmon fillet. -t+s our special today.

+,ercises" May / Mi'ht


0ill in the correct form of may or might as in the example. !. !. $. %. '. (. May - sit here7 They 999999 finish the pro6ect on time. The main engineer is ill. 4ou 99999 *ant to stop by the museum gift shop on your *ay out. 99999 - have your autograph7 2e 9999999 visit the /ouvre. 2e+s in =aris any*ay. 4ou 999999 par. your car here. -t+s reserved for guests of the hotel only. !. might not $. might %. May '. may as *ell (. may not

Ans*ers:

Shall, Should, 0u'ht to


To 0 er o Assistance or Polite Su''estion (1hen you are .uite sure o a $ositi%e ans#er) &hall , sub6ect , base form of the verb !. Shall *e 'o for a *al.7 /ote" &hall is only used *ith - or *e. -t is used instead of *ill only in formal nglish. To 0 er o Assistance or Polite Su''estion (1hen you are not sure o a $ositi%e ans#er) &hould , sub6ect , base form of the verb !. Should - call a doctor7 A Prediction or +,$ectation that Somethin' 1ill 2a$$en should#shouldn+t , base form of the verb !. The proposal should be inished on time. $. - shouldn&t be late. The train usually arrives on time. To )i%e Ad%ice should # ought to , base form of the verb !. 4ou should check that document before you send it out. $. 4ou ou'ht to ha%e your car serviced before the *inter. To )i%e Ad%ice (about somethin' you think #ron' or unacce$table) shouldn+t , base form of the verb !. <ames shouldn&t teach him *ords li.e those.

+,ercises" Should, Shouldn&t, 0u'ht To


0ill in should, shouldn+t or ought in the follo*ing sentences as in the example. !. 2e shouldn+t encourage such bad behavior. !. $. %. '. (. 4ou 99999 get your teeth cleaned at least once a year. The house 999999 be ready to move into by next month. -t+s almost finished. >on 99999999 to improve his attitude. -f he doesn+t, he might get fired. 99999999 - get your 6ac.et7 -t+s cold in here. 4ou 99999999 put your feet on the table. -t+s not polite. %. ought '. shall (. shouldn+t

Ans*ers: !. should $. should

Must, 2a%e to, /eed to, 3on&t ha%e to, /eedn&t

/ecessity or -e.uirement ( Present and !uture" )


must # have to # need to , base form of the verb !. 4ou must ha%e a passport to cross the border. $. lisabeth has to a$$ly for her visa by March !5th. %. - need to dro$ by his room to pic. up a boo.. Past" had to # needed to , base form of the verb !. - had to #ork late last night. $. - needed to drink a fe* cups of coffee in order to stay a*a.e. /ote" have to and need to are often used in the same context, but many times, need to is used to express something that is less urgent, something in *hich you have a choice.

Almost 4556 Certain


must , base form of the verb !. Thomas has lived in =aris for years. 2is 0rench must be very good.

To Persuade
must # have to , base form of the verb !. 4ou must try this *ine. -t+s excellent. $. 4ou ha%e to visit us *hile you+re in to*n.

Prohibited or !orbidden
must not # mustn+t , base form of the verb !. 4ou must not dri%e over the speed limit. $. 4ou mustn&t lea%e medicines *here children can get to them.

Lack o /ecessity
don+t #doesn+t #didn+t , have to , base form of the verb !. 4ou don&t ha%e to $ark the car. The hotel valet *ill do it for you. $. Tim doesn&t ha%e to 'o to school today. -t+s a holiday. %. 4ou didn&t ha%e to shout. veryone could hear you. needn+t , base form of the verb !. 4ou needn&t #orry about me. -+ll be fine.

+,ercises" Must, 2a%e to, /eed to, 3on&t 2a%e to, /eedn&t
0ill in the blan.s *ith one of these modals: must, must not, have to, has to, don+t have to, doesn+t have to, needn+t as in the examples. There may be more than one correct ans*er. !. &hira doesn+t have to drive to the airport. &he+s going by taxi. $. 4ou must spea. politely to the customers. !. 4ou 999999 tell Anna about the party tomorro* night. -t+s a surprise? (must not, need to, doesn+t have to) $. Tina 9999999 register for her classes on Monday, other*ise she *on+t get a place in them. (doesn+t have to, mustn+t, has to) %. 4ou 99999999 send that fax. -+ve already sent it. (must, *ill have to, don+t have to) '. A dog 999999 get special training in order to be a guide dog. (must, need to, don+t have to) (. <eremy 9999999 get up early tomorro*. 2is class *as cancelled. (mustn+t, doesn+t have to, don+t need to) Ans*ers: !.must not $. has to %. don+t have to '. must (. doesn+t have to

Modals" 1ill / 1ould

#ill / #on&t 7 base orm o the %erb


!. <ohn #ill $ick you up at @:55am. $. 8eth #on&t be happy *ith the results of the exam.

Polite -e.uest or Statement


)ill # )ould , base form of the verb !. 1ill you please take the trash out7 $. 1ould you mind if - sat here7 %. (&d (( #ould) like to sign up for your *or.shop.

2abitual Past Action


)ould#)ouldn+t , base form of the verb !. )hen - *as a child, - #ould s$end hours playing *ith my train set. $. =eter #ouldn&t eat broccoli *hen he *as a .id. 2e loves it no*.

+,ercises" #ill, #ould


0ill in the blan.s *ith one of the follo*ing *ords: *ill, *on+t, *ould, *ouldn+t. !. )ill you please help me lift this box7 !. $. %. '. (. - 999999 li.e to order the onion soup please. The manager 9999999 be pleased to hear that a customer slipped on the *et floor. 9999999 it be o.ay if - slept here tonight7 )hen -gor lived in >ussia, he 99999999 call his mother as often as he does no*. - can assure you sir, the order 999999 be shipped out tonight.

Ans*ers: !. $. %. '. (. *ould *on+t *ould *ouldn+t *ill

+,ercises * All Modals


0ill in the blan.s *ith the correct form of the follo*ing modals: can, could, be able to, may, might, shall, should, must, have to, don+t have to, need to A 4ou may have to ma.e the modals negative according to the context of the sentence. A There may be more than one possibility. !. 2e has to ta.e his car to be serviced. The bra.es are s1uea.ing. $. 1ould you please save me a seat at the dinner event. !. -f you are sic., you 99999999 go to *or.. 4ou+ll infect everyone there. $. :rivers 9999999 stop at red lights. %. 4ou 9999999 finish the proposal today. 4ou can finish it tomorro*. '. &he 999999 hear much better *ith her ne* hearing aids. (. 999999 - order us a bottle of *ine7 B. &am 999999 pic. his daughter up from school. &he+s ta.ing the bus home. @. 4ou 9999999999999 smo.e here. -t+s a smo.e-free building. C. 4ou 99999999 eat so many s*eets. They are bad for you. D. 999999999 you mind *al.ing a little faster7 )e+re going to be late. !5. -+m sorry. - 9999999 help you. - don+t .no* ho* to do it. Ans*ers: !. shouldn+t $. must %. don+t have to '. can (. shall B. needn+t @. mustn+t C. shouldn+t D. *ould !5. can+t