lundi 18 août 2014

Top Tips Grammar: Introduction to modals

Main points

* The modal verbs are: ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘must’, ‘ought’, ‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘will’, and ‘would’.
* Modals are always the first word in a verb group.
* All modals except for ‘ought’ are followed by the base form of a verb.
* ‘Ought’ is followed by a ‘to’- infinitive.
* Modals have only one form.

 

a) Modals are always the first word in a verb group. All modals except for ‘ought’ are followed by the base form of a verb.

- I must leave fairly soon.
- I think it will look rather nice.
- Things might have been so different.
- People may be watching.

 

b) ‘Ought’ is always followed by a ‘to’- infinitive.

- She ought to go straight back to England.
- Sam ought to have realized how dangerous it was.
- You ought to be doing this.

 

c) Modals have only one form. There is no ‘-s’ form for the third person singular of the present tense, and there are no ‘-ing’ or ‘-ed’ forms.

- There’s nothing I can do about it.          
- I’m sure he can do it.

 

d) Modals do not normally indicate the time when something happens. There are, however, a few exceptions.

‘Shall’ and ‘will’ often indicate a future event or situation.

- I shall do what you suggested.
- He will not return for many hours.

‘Could’ is used as the past form of ‘can’ to express ability. ‘Would’ is used as the past form of ‘will’ to express the future.

- When I was young, I could run for miles.
- He remembered that he would see his mother the next day.

 

e) In spoken English and informal written English, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are shortened to ‘-‘ll’, and ‘would’ to ‘-‘d’, and added to a pronoun.

- I’ll see you tomorrow.
- I hope you’ll agree.
- Posy said she’d love to stay.

‘Shall’, ‘will’, and ‘would’ are never shortened if they come at the end of a sentence.

- Paul said he would come, and I hope he will.

In spoken English, you can also add ‘-‘ll’ an ‘-‘d’ to nouns.

- My car’ll be outside.
- The headmaster’d be furious.

Remember that ‘-d‘ is also the short form of the auxiliary ‘had’.

- I’d heard it many times.

 

 

 

 

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Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B
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See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions

 

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