Modal Verbs in English

The principal modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. Following is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings.

Modal Verbs in English

CAN

To express:

  •  Ability
  • Permission
  • Probability

Examples:

  • I can speak Spanish.
  • Can I go to the bathroom?
  • It can’t be Mark. He is in London.

COULD

To express:

  • Past ability
  • Past permission
  • Probability (40%)
  • Request

Examples:

  • He could speak French when he was 6 years old.
  • He could go to the theater.
  • It could get much hotter in July.
  • I could lend you my notebook.

MAY

To express:

  • Probability(50%)
  • Permission

Examples:

  • It may snow tomorrow.
  • May I come in?

MIGHT

To express:

  • Probability (35% or less)

Example:

  • It might rain today.

MUST

To express:

  • Prohibition
  • Deduction/probability(100%)

Examples:

  • You mustn’t speak loudly. This is the hospital.
  • The teacher must be Mark. I’ve seen his bicycle outside.

SHOULD

To express:

  • Advice

Example:

  • You shouldn’t smoke. It is unhealthy.

WILL

To express:

  • Prediction
  • Spontaneous decision

Examples:

  • I think he will study harder this time. Oh, it’s very hot today.
  • I’II open the window.

Modal Verbs | Image

Modal Verbs

No Responses

Add Comment