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Modal verbs...

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  • 1. Modal VerbsHelping verbs – they give information about the main verb.• Necessity• Possibility• Permission• Etc.
  • 2. 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)
  • 3.  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.
  • 4. 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)
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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!
  • 7. 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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