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Modal Verbs

Modal
Can

Could

May

Example

Uses

They can control their own budgets.

Ability / Possibility

We cant fix it.

Inability / Impossibility

Can I smoke here?

Asking for permission

Can you help me?

Request

Could I borrow your dictionary?

Asking for permission.

Could you say it again more slowly?

Request

We could try to fix it ourselves.

Suggestion

I think we could have another Gulf War.

Future possibility

He gave up his old job so he could work for us.

Ability in the past

May I have another cup of coffee?

Asking for permission

China may become a major economic power.

Future possibility

Might

We'd better phone tomorrow, they might be eating their Present possibility
dinner now.
Future possibility
They might give us a 10% discount.

Must

We must say good-bye now.

Necessity / Obligation

They mustnt disrupt the work more than necessary.

Prohibition

We ought to employ a professional writer.

Saying whats right or


correct
Offer

Ought to

Shall
Shall I help you with your luggage?
(More
common in Shall we say 2.30 then?
the UK than
the US)

Suggestion

Should

Shall I do that or will you?

Asking what to do

We should sort out this problem at once.

Saying whats right or


correct

I think we should check everything again.


Recommending action
Profits should increase next year.
Uncertain prediction
Will

Would

I cant see any taxis so Ill walk.

Instant decisions

I'll do that for you if you like.

Offer

Ill get back to you first thing on Monday.

Promise

Profits will increase next year.

Certain prediction

Would you mind if I brought a colleague with me?

Asking for permission

Would you pass the salt please?

Request

Would you mind waiting a moment?

Request

"Would three o`clock suit you?" - "Thatd be fine."

Making arrangements

Would you like to play golf this Friday?

Invitation

"Would you prefer tea or coffee?" - "Id like tea


please."

Preferences

-Choose the suitable modal verb.


1-I have no time. I ___________ leave now or I __________ miss the bus.
2-I wish I __________ buy a new mobile phone but I don't have enough money.
3-She looks tired; she______________ take some days off.
4-Judy is not at home. She_____________ have gone to Madrid, I don't know.
5-Tom______________ play tennis quite well. I usually play with him every weekend.
6-__________we go out tonight, please? Yes, but you ____________ be late.
7-I haven't decided yet where I ___________ go in my next holidays. I think

I ________________go to Paris.
8-___________ you water my plants while I am away? If they don't get enough water
they___________ certainly die.
9 - Jack_________ come to our wedding, but we aren't sure.
10- I buy the tickets for the concert? I ___________ see you're too busy.
11-We_________ pay the fees at the fixed time.
12-You ___________ clean your room more often.

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