Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 7

2 Bachiller Seminario/rea: Lenguas modernas. Ingls Tema: MODAL VERBS.

GRAMMAR AND EXERCISES MODAL VERBS They are verbs which 'help' other verbs to express a meaning: it is important to realise that "modal verbs" have no meaning by themselves. A modal verb such as would has several varying functions; it can be used, for example, to help verbs express ideas about the past, the present and the future. It is therefore wrong to simply believe that "would is the past of will": it is many other things. All modal verbs have some special characteristics you should remember: 1. They do not take an -S in the third person singular: you cannot say: he cans or she wills. 2. They are followed by an infinitive without 'to' in most cases. BUT: NEED takes 'to' when expressing absence of obligation in the negative: Ex: You do not need to stay if you don't want to. OUGHT TO is a special case and you must learn it like that. It expresses convenience. Ex: You ought to study more if you want to pass the exam. 3. Also in most cases they function like the verb to be for questions and negatives: Can you speak louder, please? No, I cannot speak louder. BUT You DON'T NEED TO speak louder to express absence of obligation OR You DON'T HAVE TO 4. Also in most cases they do not have a past form of their own, so we need different forms like BE ABLE TO: I will be able to speak French in two months or BE ALLOWED TO : You will be allowed to go out as soon as you are eighteen. However: CAN ---------------------- COULD Or MAY----------------------------- MIGHT However, past tenses in modal verbs normally mean more than just time. - COULD is more polite than CAN and can also be used for the present and - MIGHT is less probable than MAY. 5. Sometimes modal verbs can also be followed by a perfect infinitive. Ex: it MUST HAVE BEEN the rain, which talks about the past. "Debi de ser la lluvia". Debe de haber sido la lluvia.

1) can Use ability to do sth. in the present (substitute form: to be able to) permission to do sth. in the present (substitute form: to be allowed to) request offer suggestion possibility Examples I can speak English. Can I go to the cinema? Can you wait a moment, please? I can lend you my car till tomorrow. Can we visit Grandma at the weekend? It can get very hot in Arizona.

2) could Use Examples

ability to do sth. in the past (substitute form: to be I could speak English. able to) permission to do sth. in the past (substitute form: I could go to the cinema. to be allowed to) polite question * polite request * polite offer * polite suggestion * possibility * Could I go to the cinema, please? Could you wait a moment, please? I could lend you my car till tomorrow. Could we visit Grandma at the weekend? It could get very hot in Montana.

3) may Use possibility permission to do sth. in the present (substitute form: to be allowed to) polite suggestion 4) might Use possibility (less possible than may) * hesitant offer * Examples It might rain today. Might I help you? Examples It may rain today. May I go to the cinema? May I help you?

5) must have to Must and have to both express obligation. However, they are used differently depending on who imposes the obligation.

MUST The speaker thinks it is necessary.

HAVE TO Someone else thinks it is necessary.

I must buy flowers for my mother (It's her birthday and I decide to do that). "You must take more exercise" says the doctor. (The doctor thinks it is necessary). I must ask my secretary to book a flight for me. (It is important for me not to forget.) "Dogs must be kept on a lead" (Written on a sign in the park = a rule which must be respected)

I have to buy flowers for my mother-inlaw. (It is not my decision my husband asked me to do it.) I have to take more exercise. (doctor's orders!) I have to call the travel agency. (My boss asked me to book a flight.) I have to keep my dog on a lead. (That's what the sign tells me to do.)

In the negative form, the meaning changes! MUST NOT (MUSTN'T) You mustn't tell George = it's important not to tell George = don't tell George Must Use force, necessity, obligation She had to be home early. (in the past) You must be tired. That must be John coming (affirmative), but... Possibility, deduction that cant be John coming (negative) That must have been John (in the past), but... That cant have been John (negative, in the past) advice, recommendation You must see the new film with Brad Pitt. 3 Examples I must go to the supermarket today. MUST NOT (MUSTN'T) You mustn't tell George = it's important not to tell George = don't tell George

6) must not/may not Use prohibition 7) need not Use not necessary 8) ought to Use advice obligation Examples You ought to drive carefully in bad weather. You ought to switch off the light when you leave the room. Examples I needn't go to the supermarket, we're going to the restaurant tonight. Examples You mustn't work on dad's computer. You may not work on dad's computer.

9) should Use Advice Logical deduction Examples You should take an umbrella. It's starting to rain. John has revised all day. He should be ready for his exam.

10) shall Use Offers and suggestions with 'I' and 'we' : Examples Shall I order a taxi? Shall we begin the meeting now?

11) will Use Examples Tomorrow I will be in New York. Will you join us for coffee? Won't you come in?

Future tense auxiliary : Invitations/offers :

EXERCISES REPLACE THE WORD IN BRACKETS IN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES WITH A MODAL PHRASE TO MAKE IT MORE TENTATIVE. IN SOME CASES, MORE THAN ONE ANSWER IS POSSIBLE. 1. Learning a new language __________ (is) a real pleasure. 2. It ________ (is) wise to spend more time working out our needs before conducting the survey. 3. Judging from the attitude and examples used, this article ______________ (was) written by a democrat. 4. The findings indicate that excessive exposure to sunlight____________ (is) the primary cause of skin cancer. 5. The audience ___________ (was not) aware of the mistake we made during the performance. 6. Good preparation and a sincere attitude ______________ (help) you impress the panel in an interview. 7. The method we used in analysing the data ______________ (is) wrong. 8. Why dont you ask Paul? He _______________ (knows) the answer. 9. You ______________ (get) a better job if you have a good IELTS score. 10. Our formula ____________(is) taken as a new measure to evaluate the existing models. COMPLETE THE SENTENCES USING A MODAL VERB 1. When I was seven of age I didnt know how to ride a bike. When I was seven of age I ... ride a bike. 2. Jim is a very good player. Jim ..... play very well. 3. Im sure they havent called yet. They ... have called yet. 4. I would have been able to finish the report if I had had more time. I ... the report if I had had more time. 5. In some Spanish schools its compulsory to wear a uniform. In some Spanish schools you .... wear a uniform. 6. Its not necessary that you do your homework now. You ... do your homework now. 7. Its not necessary for you to come early. You ..... come early. 5

8. Perhaps it will be sunny this afternoon. It ..... be sunny this afternoon. 9. Hell go to the beach this weekend if the weather is good. He ...... go to the beach this weekend if the weather is good. 10. Id prefer not to go with her friends. I .. not go with her friends. RE-WRITE THE SENTENCE SO THAT IT HAS THE SAME MEANING AS THE ORIGINAL. 1. It's not essential to be rich to be a success. You... 2. I think you worry too much. You... 3. It was impossible to do the job if you didn't speak German fluently. You... 4. The PC isn't working. I think it has been damaged during the move. It... 5. I'm sure that he is exhausted after such a long flight. He... 6. I'm sure it isn't true. It... 7. The book is optional. We can read it if we want to. We... 8. To hold my breath for more than a minute is impossible for me. I... 9. Jim didn't hear the speaker. The crowd was shouting so loudly. Jim... 10. I think the answer in the book is wrong. The answer... 11. Don't forget to bring your essay tomorrow. The professor is very strict about homework on time. You... 12. To turn on the machine, press this switch. The machine... 13. I advised my boss to take Sam for the post. I told my boss that ...

14. I let you leave the table once you have finished your meal. You... 15. I think taking along some cash would be a good idea. You... 16. I'm sure it has cost a fortune. It... 17. Why do you always say the first thing that pops into your head? Do you... 18. Bob, why don't we move into the living room? Bob, ... 19. I can't stand all this. I 'm going to get out of here. I... 20. It's very unlikely that he should have gone white water rafting. He...

I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have. Thomas Jefferson