Tell me your problems, I will chase them away.
I could see the sky, Sky beautiful tonight.
When you need to talk it out with someone you can trust.
I would stay there, There’s no need to fear.
The bolded words in English grammar is called Modal. Modal is a verb that combines with another verb to indicate mood or tense. Modals include modal verbs, semi-modal verbs (also called marginal modals) and other modal expressions ( similar modal). They combine with main verbs and modify their meanings. A modal may have several different meanings, while similar meanings may be expressed by using different modals. The easy form of modal must be in “Modal + bare invinitive/ V1”.
Here are kinds of modal:
- The modal verbs (or modal auxiliary verbs) are: can, could, may, might, will, shall, would, should, must and others.
- I can swim well.
- They will be here soon.
2. Semi-modal verbs
The semi-modal verbs (or marginal modals) are: dare, need, used to and ought to. They behave similarly to modal verbs but also share some characteristics with main verbs.
- He didn’t dare to look back.
- You needn’t have been so rude.
3. Besides modal verbs and semi-modal verbs, there are other expressions or similar modal which can express modal meanings. Some of these are formed with be:
Can = be able to
Will = be going to
- I am able to finish this work alone.
- She is going to visit the doctor.
Learn more especially for the function of modal. It’s the deeper parts of them to understand much for english learner.
Use of modal verbs:
Modal verbs are used to express functions such as:
- Lack of necessity
Examples of modal verbs
Here is a list of modals with examples:
|must||Strong obligation||You must stop when the traffic lights turn red.|
|logical conclusion / Certainty||He must be very tired. He’s been working all day long.|
|must not||prohibition||You must not smoke in the hospital.|
|can||ability||I can swim.|
|permission||Can I use your phone, please?|
|possibility||Smoking can cause cancer.|
|could||ability in the past||When I was younger I could run fast.|
|polite permission||Excuse me, could I just say something?|
|possibility||It could rain tomorrow!|
|may||permission||May I use your phone, please?|
|possibility, probability||It may rain tomorrow!|
|might||polite permission||Might I suggest an idea?|
|possibility, probability||I might go on holiday to Australia next year.|
|need not||lack of necessity/absence of obligation||I need not buy tomatoes. There are plenty of tomatoes in the fridge.|
|should/ought to||50 % obligation||I should / ought to see a doctor. I have a terrible headache.|
|advice||You should / ought to revise your lessons|
|logical conclusion||He should / ought to be very tired. He’s been working all day long.|
|had better||advice||You’d better revise your lessons|
Modal verbs are followed by an infinitive without “to”, also called the bare infinitive.
- You must stop when the traffic lights turn red.
- You should see to the doctor.
- There are a lot of tomatoes in the fridge. You need not buy any.