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Morphology handout 5 January, 2015

MODAL VERBS
GROUP 1
CAN, COULD, MAY, MIGHT, BE ABLE TO
ABILITY
Modal
verb
CAN
CANNOT/
CANT
IS/ARE
ABLE TO

Negative :
UNABLE TO
COULD

WAS/WERE
ABLE TO

Use

Sample sentence

*The existence of ability


** sense verbs
Lack of ability
** sense verbs
Surprising present ability, or
Overcoming a difficulty is involved
Not used in passive

Where can/could is grammatically


impossible
- Perfect aspect
- Continuous aspect
- infinitives
common in formal English

Ability in the past


In questions
Sentences with

Use of ability or specific occasion

COULD/MIG
ability not used in the past
Opportunity not taken
HT HAVE +
= would have been able to
past
To make criticism
participle
COULDNT
Emphasize past action or feeling
HAVE +
past
participle
+
comparativ
e adjective
POSSIBILITY, DEDUCTION, and SPECULATION
CAN
Generally possible things (we know
that they may occur)
In academic English
MAY
MAY
- Specific possibilities (= perhaps,

We will be able to ski after this course.

Im sorry I could only buy the


ingredients, not cook the meal as well.
After a long day Ss could hardly speak
coherently.
Michael Jackson was able to do
Moonwalk.
could

MIGHT
COULD

maybe)
Deduction based on experience
or on evidence

+ well
COULD
MIGHT
CAN/COULD

MIGHT
CANT
COULDNT

MIGHT NOT
MAY NOT

- The possibility is quite strong


Possibilities which depend on certain
conditions
Specific
- in WH-questions
possibilities
with adverbs: only,
hardly
More tentative question
Things we know are impossible
Make negative deductions
Something is impossible
because we are unwilling to do it
When something is not possibly the
case

The grades may well be already


uploaded on Venus system.

Who can/could it be in the office at 7


am?
It can/could only be the secretary at this
hour.

! mightnt may not


PAST
COULD

General possibility in the past

MIGHT

In scientific and academic English

COULD
HAVE
MIGHT
HAVE

Specific past possibility

CANT HAVE
COULDNT
HAVE

MAY/Might
NOT HAVE
WILL BE
ABLE TO
WONT BE
ABLE TO
MAY,
MIGHT,
COULD
MAY/MIGHT
HAVE +
past
participle

Specific past possibility


Past opportunity not taken

Negative deduction about the


past
Surprise or disbelief
Less certain about the deduction we
make
FUTURE
Smth will be (im)possible in the future

Less certain predictions


Could - possibility is weaker than with
m
Possible completed action by a time in
the future

A lot more children could dance ballroom


dances ten years ago.
Hungarian landlords might have several
estates in the 17th century.
Mother could have transferred my
tuition fee, I dont know.
She might have stolen the pen, I dont
know.
I might have majored in psychology
but my parents couldnt afford the
tuition fee.
They cant have fixed the radiator , its
still not working.

ARRANGEMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, OFFERS, ETC.


CAN
Possible arrangements for a time in the
COULD
future
BE ABLE TO
CAN,
- Informal and tentative
See table 2
COULD
MAY
The possible arrangements for a time
MIGHT
in the future is uncertain
- Formal and tentative
See table 2
Degree of
offers
requests
formality
Can I help you?
Can you close the
door?
I could carry the bag for Could you pass me
you
the salt?
May I help you?
You might bring the
Might I be of any
projector while youre
assistance?
in the office.
Table 2. suggestions, offers and requests

suggestions
We can try that new
caf.
You could lose some
weight.
You might give your
girlfriend a ring.

Can
Alternative or tentative suggestion
always
Could
always
Might as
Suggestion = theres no better choice
well
available
ASKING FOR AND GIVING/REFUSING PERMISSION
PRESENT
CAN/CANT
- permission granted or refused
MAY, MAY
NOT
COULD
MIGHT

permission subject to external


authority (e.g. law)
formal situations

Ask permission in a more tentative way


PAST

COULD
COULDNT
WAS/WERE
ALLOWED
TO

General permission in the past


Permission on a specific occasion in
the past

Last year, 2nd year English majors were


allowed to use dictionaries during
exams.

GROUP 2
MUST, SHOULD, OUGHT TO, HAVE TO, NEED TO
OBLIGATION AND NECESSITY
FORM
Must
Have (got) to
Need to

Should/ought

to
Should/ought to

Present
Must
Need/needs to
Past
Had (got) to
Needed to
Future
must
- Need to and have to are.
- Modal verbs:
*
*
*
Tense/form Sample sentence
s
I had to come back to Oradea on the 4th because I had classes on the 5th.
We must/will have to take an examination in Morphology.
It is nerve racking to have to wait until grades for the exam are
communicated.
Having to study for exams is all we have to do in January.
Modal perfect: should have + past participle /ought to have + past participle
Modal
Use
Sample sentence
verb
SHOULD
Past meaning of should, ought to
HAVE +
past
participle
OUGHT TO
HAVE +
past
participle
NEED
Used without to in negatives and
Isnt this enough? Need I say anything
questions
else?
You need not meet me at the railway
station.
NEED TO/
Alternative to need
Do you need to shout so?
HAVE TO
You dont need to/have to turn the
projector on.
MUST
Can be used with a passive phrase
Papers must/have to be corrected by
HAVE TO
the end of January.
NEED TO
OBLIGATION
MUST/
common form
Have to- obligation outside our control
HAVE TO
Must obligation imposed by the
speaker
must
Give strong personal opinion
Impose obligation on oneself
Give instructions
Face-to-face:
Should
Alternative to must
Weaker, Subjective/moral
Ought to
obligation
Need to
Future external obligation

You should greet your teachers when


you meet them in the school.
You will need to take the tram after

Have got to

Should/oug
ht to
+ have
+past
participle
NECESSITY
Need to
Must
Have to

External obligation like have to


More informal
More common in speech than
writing
Rare in US English
Unfulfilled obligation in the past

Requirement other than commands,


rules, laws
Need can be used without to in
questions
Need vb-ing Necessity w/o suggesting who should
deal with it
Other forms of expressing obligation
Be to
Order from a person of authority
Obliged to
Required to

In formal context

Supposed
to
Be liable to

Lesser obligation
Obligation frequently ignored
Obligation in legal context

PROHIBITION AND CRITICISM


must not

One needs to/must/has to drink 2


liters of water a day.
Need you really eat that much?
That poor bird this cage needs
cleaning.
Internet users are to pay a monthly fee
for the service.
Students are obliged to get a passing
grade in order to complete a course.
Students are required to participate
actively in seminars.

Motorists caught speeding are liable to


pay a fine.

Other forms
May not
Is/are not allowed
to
Was/were not
allowed to

Mustnt

Cant

Past

Couldnt

Future

Mustnt

Cant

SHOULDNT
/
OUGHTNT
TO

You should have saved some money to


buy a new phone.
You ought to have studied more to
pass the exam.

cannot

Present

Must not

class because its already dark outside.


Have we got to watch the movie
tonight?

Prohibition imposed by speaker or


writer
Weaker, often moral prohibition

May not
Will not be allowed
to

Should not/
ought not to
Shouldnt/
oughtnt to
Shouldnt have
(done)
Oughtnt have
(done)
Shouldnt/
oughtnt to

MAY NOT
BE NOT
ALLOWED
MUST NOT
HAVE +
past partic.
COULDNT/
WASNT
ALLOWED
TO
SHOULDNT
/
OUGHT
NOT TO
HAVE +
past
participle
Wont be
allowed to

Prohibition by external authority


(mustnt too strong)

Present prohibition that relates


to the past

Candidates for the scholarship must not


have turned the age of 35.
At the age of 17 we couldnt buy
cigarettes because we were underage.

Criticize a past action

After 10 pm we wont be allowed to


stay in the building.

ABSENCE OF OBLIGATION AND NECESSITY


Not have to
Need not
Present
Do/does not
Need not, do/does not
have to
need to
Past
Did
Did not
Future
Will not
Will not
Dont have
Lack of external obligation
to
Dont need
to
Dont need
Absence of necessity felt by the
to
speaker
Neednt
Neednt speakers opinion
Past forms:

Neednt
have +
past part.
Wont have
to
Wont need
to
Neednt

Didnt need to we dont know


whether the action happened or not
Neednt have done
Action happened but it was
unnecessary
Absence of obligation in the .

In 3rd year we wont have to do gym.

RECOMMENDATION AND ADVICE


must
Present
Must (not)
Future
Must (not)
Must
SHOULD
OUGHT TO

Should
Should (not)
Should (not)

Strong recommendations and advice


Less emphatic recommendation

Had better

The best thing to be done in a situation


-urgency, warning, threat

LOGICAL DEDUCTION AND PROBABILITY


must
have (got) to
Present
Must
. (got) to
Past
Must have +
. (got) to
past participle
Future
Must
. (got) to
Must
Speaker believes to be true based on
evidence
Opposite: cant
Have (got)
to
Must have
+ past
partic.
Should
Ought to
Shouldnt
Ought not
to
Will
Should
(not)/ ought
(not) to
have +
past
participle

Emphatic logical deduction


Logical deduction about the past

Ought to
Ought (not) to
Ought (not) to

Had better
Had better (not)
Had better (not)

Children should spend less time playing


computer games.
The public opinion ought not to be
disregarded.
You had better study for the exam!

Should
Should (not)
Should not have
+ past participle
Should (not)
This must be that house its 55 Maple
Street.
This cant be it I thought it would be
bigger.
There has got to be some mistake, this
is not my coat.
My neighbour had loud music on
yesterday. (S)he .

Negative: cant/couldnt have + past


partic.
Probability
Prior knowledge

Prior knowledge
Predict negative, unpleasant situation
should
Probability of an action in the past

If it keeps raining therell be problems in


traffic.
The train/coach should have arrived
hours ago.

GROUP 3
WILL, WOULD, SHALL
PREDICTION AND CERTAINTY

Modal
verb
WILL/WON
T
Would/
wouldnt
WILL/WON
T

Will have

Use

Sample sentence

Predictions about the future


Prediction about the future that was
made in the past
- Use related to reported speech
Prediction about the present based on
experience or knowledge
We believe smth is certain in the
present
- Certainty about smth ongoing:
-ing

We feel certain that it happened


but do not actually know
= Must have done
Negative: wont have + past
participle
Mustnt have + past participle

CHARATERISTICS, HABITS, and ROUTINES


PRESENT
WILL/WON
Actions that have become routine,
T
predictable
Habits and characteristics
To talk about characteristics of
capacity or ability
Describe an annoying habit or to make
a criticism no contraction!
Criticize inanimate objects
*for no or little annoyance use
present simple
PAST
Would
Habits in the past
Wouldnt
Annoying habits in the past
Criticize inanimate objects
WILLINGNESS and REFUSAL
WILL
Willingness to do smth
= be willing to
Wont
unwillingness
Shant
Would
Willingness or refusal in the past
Wouldnt
(general willingness not on 1 specific
occasion)
Would not
Refusal of a single occasion in the past
OTHER USES OF WILL/SHALL/WOULD

Its 12 oclock in Romania so Granny will


have lunch now in Hungary.
The 1st year Ss will be having a hard
time stepping in the footsteps of present
2nd year.

Im sorry I could only buy the


ingredients, not cook the meal as well.
After a long day Ss could hardly speak
coherently.

Every class starts the same way: shell


call the roll.
Students will always sit in the last row.
The Olympic stadium in Sydney will hold
110,000 people.
I like the 2nd year but they will always
chatter during class.
My computer wont stop making that
weird noise!

If youll follow me please, .


I shant lend you any money.
She wont do as a I say.
My parents would always see me off
when I came back for the week in 1st
year.
The teacher wouldnt change the date of
the exam in January.

OFFERS AND PROMISES


WILL/SHALL

offers

Will / wont/
would

SHALL

Would

Will

Would
Will/shall
Would/
Wouldnt

shall: more tentative offers questions


- will: promises
Offer smth to sm1

Will you take sugar with your coffee?


Wont you like some sugar?
Would you have a piece of cake as well?

SUGGESTIONS
With we in questions
Shall we dance?
With question word ask for
What shall we do with the drunken
suggestion, advice
sailor?
US English should instead of shall for
Should I stay?
suggestions
In question tags after lets
Lets talk about smth else, shall we?
suggestions or answers to invitations
It would be a good idea to have an oral
exam.
REQUESTS
Informal with people we know
More insistent: will you in question tag
(the answer is expected to be YES)
More tentative or polite requests
Orders and instructions
Orders and informal instructions
You will clean the blackboard.
Rules
You will stop writing at 10:30.
DISAGREEING
Polite
I wouldnt go there.

DESIRES AND PREFERENCES


+ verbs of liking and preference for
We would love to come to your party.
desires we can realize
Would +
Preference
Its raining so I would rather stay in the
rather
house than go out tonight.
Use of object
I would like you to call me.
HYPOTHETICAL WOULD
PRESENT/FUTURE
Would+
- desire fulfillment impossible or It would be so nice if it snowed!
be/vbs of
improbable
I would like a piece of cheesecake.
liking
Would like
Unfulfilled desire
I would like to stay in a five-star hotel.
to
!!!!I like to stay in a five-star hotel.
Wish +
Desire for another person not to do
I wish you wouldnt chatter so much
would
smth
during class!
PAST
Would/
It would have been best if you invited
wouldnt
her too.
+have +
past
participle
Perfect
In British English
It would have been best to have invited
would

infinitive

her too.