Introduction To Modals

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO MODALS Peter Mangiaracina Peter Mangiaracina
  • 2. DISCLAIMERThis is a quick introduction to the strange world of modals. I will go intothem more in-depth in class. Peter Mangiaracina
  • 3. TRUE MODALSWe will deal here with the following modals, which I refer to as “true”modals: ★ May ★ Might ★ Can ★ Could ★ Should ★ Had Better ★ Must Peter Mangiaracina
  • 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE MODALSNever take infinitive after them (take the root form of the verb).Can’t be conjugated (except ¨can¨(could in past)).Have alternatives that can be conjugated.Have several different meanings within different contexts.Frequently have unique negative meanings. Peter Mangiaracina
  • 5. DIFFERENT MEANINGS IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS Possibility (may, might, could), Impossible (couldn’t) Permission (may, can, could) Ability (can), Inability (cannot or can’t) Probability (should) Advice, (should) Strong advice (had better) Expectation (should) Conclusion (must) Obligation (must) Prohibition (mustn’t) Peter Mangiaracina
  • 6. MODAL ALTERNATIVESModals cannot be conjugated for the past or future (except “can”). Modal alternatives can be conjugated. Modal Alternative Can to be able to Should to be supposed to Must have to Peter Mangiaracina
  • 7. MODALS IN THE PASTModals do not have a past form, but in some cases the present perfect can be used to indicate the past of a modal. I had time and money, but I didn’t go to the store. - I could have gone to the store. (a possibility I didn’t take advantage of) Tom didn’t go to the meeting yesterday. - He must have forgotten. (a conclusion in the past) Peter Mangiaracina