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MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS 
By JESÚS HERRERO
MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS 
 DEFINITION 
 LIST 
 STRUCTURE 
 GROUPS 
 PERFECT MODALS
DEFINITION
MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS 
DEFINITION 
1. They are part of the verbal phrase: 
I must get there before 7 o'clock. 
must get 
2...
LIST OF MODAL VERBS
LIST OF MODAL VERBS 
can could 
*be able to must 
*have to need 
should *ought to 
may might
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 
1. How do we use modal verbs? 
• Affirmative: subject + modal + base form 
ex. She should stay 
• N...
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 
2. Modal verbs are used with infinitives without 
to (bare infinitives or base form) with the 
exce...
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 
3. Modal verbs do not add -s or -es to the third 
person singular. They are invariable verbs. 
He c...
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 
4. They don't need auxiliaries to form short 
answers or negative and interrogative 
sentences: 
Sh...
MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 
6. Modal verbs do not have all the tenses. 
They use other verbs to complete the 
tenses: 
can > co...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
We are going to study them from two points of 
view: 
a. number of meanings or concepts that 
they ...
NUMBER OF MEANINGS
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(a. number of meanings) 
1. The same modal verb can have different 
meanings depending on the conte...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(a. number of meanings) 
Single concept Double concept 
Will May 
Might Must 
Should Would 
Can 
Co...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(a. number of meanings) 
Modal 
Single concept modals 
Concept Example 
Will Future Peter will visi...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(a. number of meanings) 
Modal 
Double concept modal 
Concept Example 
May 
Permission May I come i...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(a. number of meanings) 
Modal 
Can 
Double concept modal 
Concept Example 
Could 
probability That...
MODAL MEANINGS
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
Modal verbs express a series of modal 
meanings like: 
- ability 
- obligation...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
ABILITY 
(can, could, be able to) 
1. Present: can 
saben 
Two of my friends c...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
ABILITY 
3. Other tenses: be able to 
podrán 
hemos podido 
- Next week they'l...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
OBLIGATION 
Present: must 
Tienen que 
Applicants must answer the questions 
h...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
PROHIBITION 
We use mustn't to express prohibition 
- You mustn't eat too many...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
NECESSITY / NO NECESSITY 
Hay que, es necesario que 
Affirmative: need to (it'...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
ADVICE 
deberían 
You can use ought to, should, shouldn't to 
express advice o...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
POSSIBILITY 
Puede que, tal vez 
Present & future: may, may not, might, 
might...
GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS 
(b. modal meanings) 
CERTAINTY / LOGICAL DEDUCTION 
Positive: must 
Debe de 
It must be quite late,...
MODALS + PERFECT 
INFINITIVES
MODALS + PERFECT 
INFINITIVES 
When they refer to the past, certain meanings 
must be expressed with a modal + perfect 
in...
MODALS + PERFECT 
INFINITIVES 
1. CERTAINTY / LOGICAL DEDUCTION 
Positive: must have + past participle 
Debió de (haberse)...
MODALS + PERFECT 
INFINITIVES 
2. POSSIBILITY 
When we talk about possibility about the past 
we can use: might / may / co...
MODALS + PERFECT 
INFINITIVES 
3. ADVICE / RECOMMENDATION 
When we express criticism or regret about a 
past action we can...
PRACTICE 
Click on this link to practice modal verbs: 
http://mimosa.pntic.mec.es/~jherre23/
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Modal Verbs

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Departamento Inglés IES Pablo Gargallo. Zaragoza

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Modal Verbs

  1. 1. MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS By JESÚS HERRERO
  2. 2. MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS  DEFINITION  LIST  STRUCTURE  GROUPS  PERFECT MODALS
  3. 3. DEFINITION
  4. 4. MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS DEFINITION 1. They are part of the verbal phrase: I must get there before 7 o'clock. must get 2. They always accompany, assist or help other verbs. 3. They add abstract (modal) meanings like obligation, permission, advice, etc
  5. 5. LIST OF MODAL VERBS
  6. 6. LIST OF MODAL VERBS can could *be able to must *have to need should *ought to may might
  7. 7. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE
  8. 8. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 1. How do we use modal verbs? • Affirmative: subject + modal + base form ex. She should stay • Negative: subject + modal(n't) + base form ex: She shouldn't stay • Interrogative: (Wh)Modal + subject +base form? ex: Why should she stay?
  9. 9. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 2. Modal verbs are used with infinitives without to (bare infinitives or base form) with the exception of ought to: We must get there before 7 o'clock. She should study harder. I ought to go home now. (Have to is studied with modal verbs but it's not a pure modal verb as it needs auxiliary verbs and has -s in the third person singular)
  10. 10. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 3. Modal verbs do not add -s or -es to the third person singular. They are invariable verbs. He can swim. He cans wim
  11. 11. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 4. They don't need auxiliaries to form short answers or negative and interrogative sentences: She shouldn't eat salt. She doesn't should eat salt May I help you? Yes, you may. Do I may help you? Yes you do 5. They do not have infinitives or -ing forms. *canning *to might
  12. 12. MODAL VERBS STRUCTURE 6. Modal verbs do not have all the tenses. They use other verbs to complete the tenses: can > could, be able to They can swim now > She will be able to swim next year must > had to You must come early > You had to come early yesterday
  13. 13. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS
  14. 14. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS We are going to study them from two points of view: a. number of meanings or concepts that they express: single, double b. modal meanings that they express: permission, ability, obligation ...
  15. 15. NUMBER OF MEANINGS
  16. 16. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (a. number of meanings) 1. The same modal verb can have different meanings depending on the context. May I come in? It may rain tomorrow 2. We can make two categories: a. Single concept modals: These modal verbs have 1 meaning b. Double concept modals: They have 2 meanings
  17. 17. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (a. number of meanings) Single concept Double concept Will May Might Must Should Would Can Could
  18. 18. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (a. number of meanings) Modal Single concept modals Concept Example Will Future Peter will visit London some day Might Probability He might see Big Ben Should Advice He should wear comfortable shoes
  19. 19. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (a. number of meanings) Modal Double concept modal Concept Example May Permission May I come in? Probability I may go to London next summer Must Obligation Students must wear uniforms Certainty They must be at home, the lights are on Would Conditional I would visit London if I had enough money Habitual past action When I was a child I would go swimming every day
  20. 20. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (a. number of meanings) Modal Can Double concept modal Concept Example Could probability That could be him. He said he'd phone Past ability I could play the trumpet when I was 10 Permission Students can wear T-shirts Ability They can swim, they did a course last summer Can't Impossible They can't be at home, they left yesterday No permission They can't be at home, it's not their house
  21. 21. MODAL MEANINGS
  22. 22. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) Modal verbs express a series of modal meanings like: - ability - obligation - prohibition - necessity - advice - possibility - certainty
  23. 23. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) ABILITY (can, could, be able to) 1. Present: can saben Two of my friends can play the guitar. 2. Past: could sabía When he was a child he could ski well.
  24. 24. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) ABILITY 3. Other tenses: be able to podrán hemos podido - Next week they'll be able to vote. (future) - We haven't been able to go on holiday this year. (present perfect) - We would be able to do it. (conditional) podríamos
  25. 25. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) OBLIGATION Present: must Tienen que Applicants must answer the questions honestly Tengo que Tendré que Other tenses (including present): have to - I have to study hard this year - I will have to work hard as a lawyer - I have had to stay at home lately He tenido que
  26. 26. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) PROHIBITION We use mustn't to express prohibition - You mustn't eat too many sweets - You mustn't cheat in exams No debes / no puedes
  27. 27. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) NECESSITY / NO NECESSITY Hay que, es necesario que Affirmative: need to (it's not a modal verb) You need to do this to pass the subject Negative: needn't (no obligation) = don't have to You needn't do it = You don't have to do it Interrogative: need Need I do this? No es necesario
  28. 28. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) ADVICE deberían You can use ought to, should, shouldn't to express advice or recommendation. - Candidates should be friendly - You shouldn't worry too much about exams - Candidates ought to be friendly No deberías
  29. 29. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) POSSIBILITY Puede que, tal vez Present & future: may, may not, might, mightn't, could: - It may be time for Linda to go - They might choose Danny - They could be on the train Past: may / might / could + have + past perfect He might have received our message
  30. 30. GROUPS OF MODAL VERBS (b. modal meanings) CERTAINTY / LOGICAL DEDUCTION Positive: must Debe de It must be quite late, because it's getting dark Negative: can't That can't be true No puede
  31. 31. MODALS + PERFECT INFINITIVES
  32. 32. MODALS + PERFECT INFINITIVES When they refer to the past, certain meanings must be expressed with a modal + perfect infinitive (have + past participle): 1. certainty / logical deduction positive, negative 2. possibility 3. advice / recommendation
  33. 33. MODALS + PERFECT INFINITIVES 1. CERTAINTY / LOGICAL DEDUCTION Positive: must have + past participle Debió de (haberse) Danny must have felt disappointed when he didn't win the prize No pudo (haber) Negative: can't have + past participle She can't have passed the exam, she didn't study at all
  34. 34. MODALS + PERFECT INFINITIVES 2. POSSIBILITY When we talk about possibility about the past we can use: might / may / could + have + past participle: -They might not have received our message - He may have gone to the cinema - The government could have acted more quickly Podría haber / no haber Puede que haya / no haya
  35. 35. MODALS + PERFECT INFINITIVES 3. ADVICE / RECOMMENDATION When we express criticism or regret about a past action we can use should / shouldn't + have + past participle - Linda shouldn't have talked so much - We should have gone to see that film while it was still on at the cinema No debería haber / debería haber
  36. 36. PRACTICE Click on this link to practice modal verbs: http://mimosa.pntic.mec.es/~jherre23/

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