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Modals – Concept and Its Uses

Sep 2, 2022
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Modal verbs 

A modal verb is a special kind of helping verb. A modal verb helps the main verb to express the mood of the subject, and at the same, it can indicate likelihood, ability, permission, possibility, or willingness. 

Modal Uses Possibility Permission Request Impossibility Ability Suggestion 
Can Examples They can do it. Can I bring it here? Can you help me? We can’t fix it.   
Could Examples I think we could have. Could I borrow yours? Could you say it? We couldn’t fix it. He could work for us.  
May Examples I may finish…. May I have another….     
Might Examples They might be eating. Might I ask your name? Might I borrow your bag?   You might want to suggest that to the committee. 
Shall Examples  Shall I continue or not? Shall I help you?   Shall we say…. 
Should Examples Fees should decrease. Should I do that or not?   He should be able to do…. You should call. 

Modals express ideas such as possibility, permission, ability… 

They are:  

  • CAN 
  • COULD 
  • WILL 
  • WOULD 
  • SHALL 
  • SHOULD 
  • MAY  
  • MIGHT 
  • OUGHT TO 
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