Modal VerbsHelping verbs – they give information about the main verb.• Necessity• Possibility• Permission• Etc.
Modal + Simple Form Can: Natalie can play tennis today. (ability orpermission) Could: They could play the guitar. (Formal of “can”) May: It may be a nice day tomorrow.(possibility) Might: It might be a nice day tomorrow.(possibility)
Should: Natalie should go outside. Ought to: You ought to tell her how youfeel! Had better: They had better be on time. Must: He must eat all his food. Have to: I really have to study for myexam.
Must / Have to? Similar meaning about obligation MUST: Usually used for feelings andwishes of the speaker.◦ I must stop smoking. (I want to) HAVE TO: Usually obligations that comefrom „outside‟◦ I have to stop smoking (The doctorordered me)
Should / Ought to? They have the same meaning in mostsituations (suggestion orrecommendation) SHOULD: Suggestion or advice about thebest thing for them.◦ You should tell her how you feel. OUGHT TO: Suggesting something theycan‟t avoid or the last option.◦ You ought to tell her how you feel.
Had better! Make suggestions or recommendations◦ You had better take your umbrella with youtoday. Warning◦ You had better be careful with the way you talkto me in the future! Show desperation (hope).◦ The bus had better arrive on time or I‟ll be latefor work!
Levels of severity You should clean your room, it is verymessy. You ought to clean your room, yourgirlfriend is coming to visit you. You had better clean your room, or youwill be grounded!
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