Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6



The verbs can, could, may, might, will, would, shall (mainly British English), should,
must, have to and ought to are called modal auxiliary verbs.

They are used before the infinitives of other verbs, and add certain kinds of meaning
connected with certainty or with obligation and freedom to act. Need and dare, and the
expression had better can also be used like modal auxiliary verbs.


Modal verbs have no s in the third person singular.

She may know his address ( NOT She may.)
Questions, negatives, tags and short answers are made without an auxiliary verb,
just invert the subject and the modal verb or add not or n't to the modal verb:
Can you swim? (NOT Do you can swim?)
After modal auxiliary verbs, we use the infinitive without to of other verbs. Ought
to and have to are exceptions.
I must water the flowers. (NOT I must to water)
Progressive, perfect and passive infinitives are also possible.
I may not be working tomorrow.
She was so angry she could have killed him.
Modal verbs do not have infinitives or participles (to may, maying, mayed do not
exist), and they do not normally have past forms (though would, could, should
and might can sometimes be used as past tenses of will, can, shall and may).
Other expressions are used when necessary.
People realy had to work hard in those days. (NOT People really musted
Id like to be able to skate (NOT Id like to can skate)


can Eagles can fly at 80 kph

general ability could Molly could speak French
to be able to They havent been able to win


may May I come in? / May I smoke?
can Can I stay? / Can I go?
permission could Mum, could I go and play in the
might garden?
Might I make a suggestion?
May It may rain this afternoon
Possibility and Might It might snow too
probability Can Can it be true?
Could They could come by train
impossibility Cant That cant be true
Must not You must not disobey your father
prohibition Cant You cant park here
May not You may not smoke here
May May I have some coffee, please?
Might Might I have another cake?
Can Can you help me, please?
request Could Could you lend me a pen, please?
Will Will you please open the door?
Would Would you please stop the car?
Must She must be about seventy
Cant She cant be as old as that
Deduction or Will That will be the doctor
supposition Would You would be about five then
Should They should be here by now
Ought to They ought to have arrived by now
Must You must be silent
Order Will You will sit there
Necessity and Must You must come tomorrow too
obligation To have to I have to be there before Monday

Invitation Will Will you have another whisky?

Would Would you like another cup?
Should You should give up smoking
Advice Ought to You ought to slow down
Must If you come to Granada you must
visit the Alhambra



1.- Use one of the modal verbs in brackets to fill each gap :

(Can, Could, May, Might)

1. They (can/might) ___________ be away for the weekend but I'm not sure.

2. You (may/might) ___________ leave now if you wish.

3. (Could/May) ___________ you open the window a bit, please?

4. He (can/could) ___________ be from Sheffield, judging by his accent.

5. (May/Can) ___________ you swim?

6. Listen, please. You (may not/might not) ___________ speak during this exam.

7. They (can't/may not) ____________ still be out!

8. You (couldn't/might not) ____________ smoke on the bus.

9. With luck, tomorrow (can/could) ___________ be a cooler day.

10. You (can/might) ___________ be right but I'm going back to check the times.

2.- Use one of the modal verbs in brackets to fill each gap :

(are, can, could, do, does, has, have, must, should, would)


Waiting for the Metro in Paris is a lot more pleasant nowadays, thanks to a project
orchestrated by transit officials.

As Jim Bittermann reports, it brings a whole new concept to the term "underground

It may be rush hour in the Paris underground, but these days down here there are good
reasons to slow down a little when commuting is more than just getting from A to B,
when the transit 1. _________ be too rapid.

Increasingly, the underground tunnels Parisians know as the Metro echo with music
worth being late for. That wasn't, and even today, isn't always the case. There's never a
shortage of those risking starvation by attempting to sing for their supper, and there's
always someone to appreciate an artist struggling.


In the past, without much success, authorities periodically 2. __________ tried to eject
the would-be musicians who inflict themselves on the travelling public. But with their
numbers continually growing, the situation seemed to be getting out of hand.

Transit officials came to the conclusion that if they 3. __________ not beat the

musicians at their game, perhaps they 4. __________ perhaps join them, or at least
organize it a little better. So just over a year ago, they set up auditions to select the 300-
or-so performers who 5. __________ become the official underground musicians of

And it is now an ongoing process. Every six months, all the officially sanctioned
musicians, minus those who 6. __________ found real work and plus those looking for
a underground gig, 7. ___________ appear at a Metro audition.

Antione Nazo, a one-time guitar plucker himself, video tapes them all for approval by a
music committee. "We 8. __________ not have the pretension that we

9. __________ selecting music virtuosos," Nazo says. "We just put ourselves in the
shoes of the riders. We want good quality music, not too aggressive, and as diversified
as possible."

Diversification 10. __________ never been a problem in Paris. A city which, as a

current exhibition on street musicians plainly illustrates, has more than two centuries of
encouraging the artists who work its boulevard.

For those selected to be the Metro's officially sanctioned performers, there's a badge
which ensures they 11. __________ work uninterrupted by transit authority police, and
which often guarantees as well a good well travelled spot in a busy metro station, which
some musicians, when the mood of the travelling public is right, 12. __________ mean
as much as 600 euros a day in income.

Of course, that 13. __________ not happen every day to everyone. But many down
here are not looking for a fortune.

Paul Suzan said that "the people who play here play because they first of all, they love
the music. But it keeps you in shape and gives you some pocket money".

After a year in operation, Metro authorities believe their official musicians

14. __________ raised the quality of underground performances and the mood of the


travelling public, and prove that there's more than one way an underground
15. __________ move people.

3. In some of these sentences there is a mistake in relation to modal verbs.

Underline each mistake and write the correction.

1. Do you can speak Japanese?

2. Mary thinks it may rain later.
3. The twins must tidy their bedroom.
4. Im sorry but we must to go now.
5. That cant be the postman. Its much too early.
6. The dog didnt should steal food from the fridge.
7. We maying go to France in September.
8. Could you lend me your dictionary?
9. Sally musts go to the dentist soon.
10. I think you should work harder.

4. Find and correct five mistakes in the dialogue.

1. Jo: Bill musts be here soon. He left hours ago!

2. Nick: I think you should call him on the mobile. He must to have it with him.
3. Jo: I cant. My battery is flat. Must I borrow yours?
4. Nick: Yes, sure. Here you are.
5. Jo: No answer. Now what do I should do?
6. Nick: You should stop worrying. Im sure he wont be long. He mights arrive any

5. Complete the second sentence in each pair. Use no more than five words
including the word in bold. Do NOT change this word.

1. If I were you I would tell him the truth.

should You ________________________ the truth.
2. It isn't necessary for her to phone me back.
have She ________________________ me back.
3. Ann finished the project on her own although it wasn't necessary to do so.
didnt Ann ________________________ the project on her own.
4. It was a mistake to sell the house. I wish I hadn't sold it.
sold I ________________________ the house.


5. Perhaps we'll go swimming tomorrow.
go We ________________________ tomorrow.
6. I think Mary is probably at home because the windows are open.
be Mary ________________________ because the windows are open.
7. Perhaps she was at work when the earthquake struck.
have She ________________________when the earthquake struck.
8. Perhaps we'll rent our house in summer.
may We ________________________ in summer.
9. It's absolutely necessary that we finish the article today.
have We ________________________today.
10. You cannot smoke in the underground; it's forbidden.
smoke You ________________________ underground.
11. It was a mistake not to accept his offer. I wish I had accepted it.
accepted I ________________________ his offer.
12. It is essential that we talk before the meeting starts.
must We ________________________ starts.
13. It wasn't necessary for him to behave like that.
have He ________________________ like that.
14. Perhaps they told John about the party, but I'm not sure.
told They ________________________ the party.
15. It isn't necessary for us to book a table; I know one of the waiters.
do We ________________________ a table; I know one of the waiters.
16. It's forbidden to drive without fastening your seatbelt.
drive You ________________________ fastening your seatbelt.
17. If I were you I'd do some more exercises.
should You ________________________ exercises.
18. Perhaps I go on holiday to Menorca.
go I ________________________ to Menorca.
19. It was a mistake to take the car. If only I hadn't taken the car!
have I ________________________ the car.
20. I'm sure something is happening tonight. Look at those preparations!
be Something ________________________. Look at those preparations!
21. It's compulsory for all students to attend lessons.
to All students ________________________ lessons.