MODALS AND MODALITY MODALITY IS THE GRAMMATICALIZED EXPRESSION OF THE SUBJECTIVE ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS OF THE SPEAKER INCLUDINGPOSSIBILITY, PROBABILITY, NECESSITY, OBLIGATION, PERMISSIBILITY, ABILITY, DE SIRE.
POSITION OF MODAL VERBS Modal verbs always appear in the first position at the beginning of the verb phrase in English. Unlike other verbs, modal verbs do not show tense or number. The eight possible verb phrase combinations that contain modal verbs in English are: “modal verb + base form”
SOME DEFINITIONS OF MODAL VERBS Modal verbs are difficult to define in any language because of the wide range of pragmatic uses of modal verbs by native speakers. Some of the more common definitions (in no particular order) of the modal verbs in English are: can – ability, permission, possibility, request could – ability, permission, possibility, request, suggestion may – permission, probability, request might – possibility, probability, suggestion must – deduction, necessity/шаардлага/, obligation /хариуцлага/, prohibition /хорио/ shall – decision, future, offer, question, suggestion should – advice, necessity, prediction, recommendation will – decision, future, intention /зорилго/, offer, prediction, promise, suggestion would – conditional, habit, invitation, permission, preference /эрхэмлэх, илүүд үзэх/, request, question, suggestion
EXAMPLES OF MODAL VERB USAGE The following sentences are examples of usage of modal verbs in English. For example, the following four sentences all ask for permission but with different degrees and types of modality: 1. Can I go to the bathroom? (asking for permission) 2. May I go to the bathroom? (more politely asking for permission) 3. Could I go to the bathroom? (asking for permission with less certainty) 4. Might I go to the bathroom? (asking for permission with uncertainty)
THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES ALSODEMONSTRATE THE SUBTLE MEANINGS INREGARDS TO MODAL VERBS OF SUGGESTION1. You could listen to me. (suggestion)2. You might listen to me. (uncertain suggestion)3. You should listen to me. (strong suggestion)4. You must listen to me. (stronger suggestion)5. You will listen to me. (strongest
MODAL VERBS PRACTICE EXERCISE You could ride your bike across the country, but I advise against it. could – possibility Since all dogs are mammals, this must – deduction golden retriever /анч нохой/ must be a mammal. might – You might consider finishing your suggestion degree. I will finish my essay tonight even if I will – intention have to sleep. can – ability The puppy can sit on command. I would eat cereal /будаа/ every day as a would – habit child. may – probability You may encounter /тохиолдох/ some difficulties on occasion /нөхцөл байдал/. should – The train should arrive in a few prediction minutes. The situation would not be so bad if we would – all remained calm. conditional I will have earned my graduate degree next spring. will – future