Modals in English Grammar With Examples PDF

Just as Tenses are very important in making English sentences, in the same way, Modals are needed to express feelings like ability, utility, desire, possibility, necessity, certainty, permission, etc. in sentences. In this article you have been given all Modal Verbs (Can, Could, May, Might, Shall, Should, Will, Would, Ought to, Used to, Need, Must, Dare) with examples. you can download PDF from the link given below.

Rules for Using Modal Verbs

  1. Keep in mind that Modals are used only as helping verbs, not as main verbs. However, Need, Dare, Ought to and Used to are such modal verbs, which are also used as main verbs.
  2. The form of Modal Auxiliary Verbs remains the same even after the change of Person & Numbers.
    • You can tell me. whatever you want.
    • I can make everyone happy.
    • People can understand everything.
    • They can make you happy.
  3. The first form of the Main Verb used after the Modals is always used.
  4. Also keep in mind that if have or be of any Modals is used, then Respectively V3 or V ing is used after them.
    • we should have thought about it.
    • You must be thinking about me.

13 Modal Verbs List in English Grammar With Examples PDF Download

Can – Can is used to express capability, strength, nature, ability, skill, permission, probability, Negative of Can Cannot/Can’t is used to express incompetence, improbability, inefficiency & inability Is.

  • I can lift this rock.
  • He can swim across the Ganges.
  • Can you pass this exam?
  • You can leave now.
  • Can I go out for sometime?
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Could – Could Modal is used to show permission, freedom, determination, capability/strength, ability, capacity, probability, polite request, mild annoyance & request. Keep in mind that Could is used to show both the past form of Can and Present Time.

  • Could you bring me a glass of water?
  • Could you do this work without me?
  • She could help you in time.

May – May is used to show desire, permission, request/desire to seek permission, probability, likelihood, probability, keen desire, aim/objective, desire/request, lack of probability.

  • It may be true.
  • May he live long.
  • You may leave now.
  • May I accompany Suresh?

Might – Might is used to show probability, excessive modesty/humility, purpose, doubtful probability in future & permission.

  • I might go to the party.
  • It might rain today.
  • You might do this for her better future.
  • He might have finished her dinner.

Shall – Shall is used to express Simple Future (with I & We), to know the desire of the hearer, show promise, desire, intention or planning, suggestion/proposal and order.

  • I shall participate in the science quiz next month.
  • Shall We Dance?
  • Shall I open the window?

Should – Should is used to express duty, obligation, advice, suggestion, imagination, desire, opinion, probability and guess. Apart from this, should is also used as the past tense of Shall.

  • We should serve our nation.
  • We should respect our parents.

Will – Will is used to show Simple Future, humble request, routine, warning, firm determination, speaker’s keen desire, promise, proposal/ardent desire, order/instruction/warming, capacity, quality.

  • I will carry your bag.
  • I will clean the room for you.
  • He will talk about cricket for hours.
  • This will be the book you want.
  • Will you have tea?
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Would – Would is used to express Past Tense of Will, Humble Request, Routine, Intention, Failure Of An Activity, Improbable Situation, Desire, preference & to know intention. Also keep in mind that would is used to show both Past and Present Time of will.

  • Would you like to go there?
  • If you don’t force me, I would have done it.
  • I would rather have tea than coffee.

Ought to – Ought to is used to show advice, exhortation, fundamental duty.

  • We ought to love our youngsters.
  • We ought to help the poor.

Used to – Used to is used to express the habit of the past.

  • I used to smoke.
  • I used to go to school by bus.
  • My father used to beat me when I made mistakes.

Need – Need is used to show Needs.

  • He needs to go again with his parents.
  • You need some time to think about it.
  • He needs some fresh air.

Must – Must is used to show Obligation, Compulsion, Necessity, compulsion, Sincere advice, Advice, Guess, Probability, Guess about past activity & logical conclusion. Mustn’t is used to make Must negative.

  • I must be on a diet.
  • It must be difficult to leave in slam.
  • He must be very rich
  • She must have many boyfriends.

Dare – Dare is used to show both Interrogative & Negative Misadventure.

  • How dare you call me a fool.
  • How dare she?
  • how dare he talk in front of you.

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