Modal Auxiliaries or Modals – Learn English Grammar with SuccessCDs Education channel.
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About this Video:
Modal Auxiliaries or Modals
Can could may, might, shall, should will would must ought need and dare are called Modal Auxiliary verb or Modals.
These verbs perform several important functions in the formation of sentences.
They have multiple uses that need to be understood for an efficient use of English language both for the written and spoken purposes.
English Grammar has total twelve modal. There are four modal pairs:
Can could, may might, will would and shall should.
And four single modals:
Must ought need and dare.
These modals express a number of ideas, attitudes and qualities such as:
Ability, giving or asking permission reference to tenses present (part or future) possibility/probability, obligation, or to give advice to express invitation, to give or insistence, to extend innovation, to given order or command, to express habitual behavior, request etc.
A careful use of these modal empowers one to express a variety of emotions effectively.
Rules governing the use of Modal
1. All the modals mentioned above remain unchanged in form irrespective of the person of the subject.
I / we can, He/she /they can
The negative is formed by putting ‘not’ after the Modal.
I cannot we cannot
You should not they must not
The interrogative is formed by putting the auxiliary before the subject.
Can I? May we? Should they?
Modals are never used in continuous Tense.
If a modal is used in a sentence in continuous tense, then the sentence will be written in the following manner: be + present participle forms the verb.
He will be going there.
I may/ might be going there.
They should/ be going there.
In sentences other than continuous these the modal are mostly followed by infinitive or root forms of the verb.
I must study. We/may can swim.
He should come. You may come.
But ought is always followed by infinitive with to.
You ought to respect your elders.
They ought to fight for their rights.
Need and dare are used without to in most cases such as:
You need not worry.
How dare you come in without permission?
Need and dare use to infinitive if the sentence is made with the helping verb ‘do’
You do need to remember the rules.
He does not dare to challenge me.
In conversation or spoken form these models are mostly shortened or have a contracted form.
I can’t you mustn’t
He/ she/they won’t (will not) etc
Here is a list of contracted forms
Shall not shan’t should not shouldn’t
Will not won’t would not wouldn’t
Must not mustn’t need not needn’t
Ought not oughtn’t
Note: Dare not sounds better in full form.
Some modals can be contracted in positive sentences
as shown in examples below:
I’ll for will/ shall
He’d for He would/should