Modal Auxiliaries

📝📝 Modal Auxiliaries



have to 

had better 



used to

would rather 


ought to 

be going to 

☑️ Can:  can + base form of verb

(1) Ability 

Mina can sing. 
She can dance. 
She can sew. But she cannot knit.
Hamid can swim. He can ride a bicycle. 
He can play football. 
But he cannot play cricket. 

(2) Permission 

Student A: Can I borrow your pen?
Student B: Yes, you can:
No, you can’t. .
Son: Can I have some money?
Mother: No, you can’t: 
Yes, you can. .
Teacher to students: You can go home now.

☑️ Could

(1) Past ability 

I could swim when I was young.
Hamid could run fast when he was at school.

I managed to (was able to) pass the admission test.

Karim and Rahim managed to (were able to) swim across the river yesterday.

They could not swim across the river yesterday.

(2) Polite request 

Could you lend me your pen?
Could you show me the way to the station? 

☑️ Could + have + past participle 

Hamid could have bought a ticket while he waited for the train. (But he didn’t.)
Mina could have borrowed my book at any time. (But she didn’t.)
Hasan could have passed the exam. (But he didn't take it.)

☑️ May/might: 
May/might + base form of verb 

(1) Permission 

Karim : May I borrow your pen?
Rahim: Yes, you may : No, you may not.

(2) Guess about the future :

Hamid is away in Dhaka. He may come.
The sky is cloudy. 

** may/might + be + ing-form 

He may/might be sleeping now.
It may/might be raining in Natore right now.

☑️ Shall/Should : 
Shall + base form of verb 

Shall I make a cup of tea?
Shall we go for a walk?

☑️ Should + base form of verb 

(1) Obligation or duty or advisability 

Yod should obey your parents.
You should attend the meeting.
If you are ill, you should see a doctor.
You should be working now.

☑️ should have + past
Past obligation / duty :

You should have learnt your lessons.
He should have worked hard. 

☑️ Will/Would : Will + base form of verb  

(1) Future action 
I will go to London.
He will take the B.C.S exam.
You will come to the meeting, won’t you?

(2) Polite request
Will you shut the door?
Will you pass me the book?
Would you shut the door?

📝 Preference for something :

I would rather have this pen than that.
I would rather come in the moming than in the evening.

♨️ Must has different meanings:

☑️ 1. Command/Order: 

(Boss to a subordinate): You must come to
the office on time.

(Mother to a dauther) : 
You must come home before evening.

☑️ 2. Prohibition (negative form): 
You mustn’t smoke here.
You mustn’t come late.

☑️ 3. Internal obligation : 
My mother is ill. I must go home.
My English is poor. I must work hard.

☑️ 4. Logical deduction : 
You didn’t have your breakfast. 
It’s 12 o'clock. You must be hungry.
You have just walked five miles. 
You must be tired.

☑️ 5. strong recommendation: 
If you don’t keep fit, you must take regular exercise.
Yo are ill. You must see a doctor.

Same meaning is expressed -
I have to leave at once.
You have to learn English. 

☑️ Must be  for Logical deduction 

Hena : Amina is absent from school today.
Nasima : She must be ill.

Must has no past form
To guess past incidents, 
must have + past participle structure is used. 

He looked tired. He must have worked hard.
She got up late. She must have overslept

You are sick. You must see a doctor.
You are tried. You must go to bed. 

☑️ Need + base form of verb 

You need not come tomorrow.
We need not lock the door.

☑️ Need not have + past participle 

We need not have hurried.
You need not have come. .
She need not have bought the dress.

Dare : Dare + base form of verb 
for bravery and exaggeration. 

Dare he speak?
He dare not speak?

☑️ Used to + base form of verb 
      for past habits 

Karim used to live in this house.
He used to sleep in this room.
He used to go to school by bus.

☑️ Am to: Am to + base form of verb 

📝 (1) an arrangement:
I am to go to Dhaka tomorrow.
He is to meet his father at the station this afternoon.
They are to be married next month.

📝 (2) an order or acommand:
Daughter: Mother, I am going out with a friend.
Mother : All right. But you are to be back before dark.

📝 (3) destiny:
She bade goodbye to her husband. But she was to see him no more. 

☑️ Be going to: 
be going to + base form of verb 

Intention to do something in future:

I am going to study English.
Belal is going to make a garden.

♨️ strong probability 
I am afraid she is going to die. 
He is going to find the work difficult.

📃 Had better: 
had better + base
Something is better to do/perform

You are ill. You had better see a doctor.
He is tired. He had better go to bed.

📝 Exercises ✍️✍️

📝 1. Write five sentences to express each of the following:

a) something that you have the ability to do now.
b) something that you had the ability to do in the past
c) something that you had an opportunity to do and you did.
d) an action that you had an opportunity to perform but you didn’t
e) a guess about the future
f) a guess about the present
g) a guess about the past
h) a past habit
i) a logical deduction about the present
j) a logical deduction about the past

📝 2. Write sentences:

a) suggesting advisability
b) implying compulsion or necessity
c) suggesting strong advisability
d) strongly implying obligation or duty
e) implying something that you didn’t have to do
f) implying a past oblieation which you did not discharge
g) implying that one does not have the courage to do something

📝 3. Change the following sentences so that one of the modal auxiliaries appears in each:

a) It is advisable for you to go to bed.
b) I guess he will come in the afternoon
c) You have permission to go home now.
d) Ahmed had the ability to pass the exam if he had tried.
e) It is not necessary for you to go out.
f) Teachers are obligated to help their students.
g) He asked, “Do you want me to open the window”?
h) He prefers physics to chemistry.
i) Mina prefers tea to coffee.
j) She is not able to go at 2:15.
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