-Modal verbs are invariable: one form for all the persons. That means you mustn't add -s to the third singular person. She musts study. OR She must studies
-Modal verbs don't need the "do support" in negative and interrogative sentences. You don't should tell him. You shouldn't tell him. Do you can swim? Can you swim?
-Modal verbs are always followed by the base form of the verb (infinitive without TO) You must to go. You shouldn't eating so much.
-Modal verbs do not have either the infinitive form, the past participle, the future tense, or the -ing form
WARNING All these rules must be applied to modal verbs. But what about the verbs HAVE TO BE ABLE TO and NEED TO ?
HAVE TO and BE ABLE TO do not share all the features of the modals but they do share some of the uses: obligation= ability= HAVE TO BE ABLE TO
Let's see some examples... I don't have to wake up early tomorrow. It's Sunday. You will have to study hard if you want to pass the exam. She has to go now. Her mum is waiting for her. Do you have to work at the weekend?
NEED TO is not a modal verb since it has the same forms as the so-called full verbs (go, change, drive, drink,etc.)
ABILITY - CAN <ul><li>- My cousin, who is only 2 years old, can already speak. </li></ul><ul><li>Can your sister play the piano? </li></ul><ul><li>Messi can play football very well. </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s buy some Chinese food. I can’t cook very well. </li></ul>- BE ABLE TO <ul><li>My uncle, who is a chef, is able to prepare delicious dishes. </li></ul><ul><li>If you save money, you will be able to buy a new car. </li></ul>
ABILITY IN THE PAST COULD <ul><li>When I was four years old, I could read and write. </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah’s grandmother could sing very well. </li></ul><ul><li>My cousin couldn’t swim until last year and now she can swim better than me. </li></ul>
REQUEST/PERMISSION CAN <ul><li>Can you pass me the salt, please? (REQUEST) </li></ul><ul><li>Can I come in? (ASK FOR PERMISSION) </li></ul><ul><li>Ok, you can go now. (GIVE PERMISSION) </li></ul>
POLITE REQUEST COULD - Could you help me with this exercise? It’s so difficult. COULD is also used to make a polite suggestion. A: I’m going to Holland next week. B: Oh, really? You could visit your Dutch relatives then. MAY - Mrs. Lola, may I go to the toilet?
REQUEST & co. WILL YOU? (ask someone to help you) - Will you help me with the suitcases, please? They’re so heavy. WOULD (formal request) - Would you open the window, please? It’s so hot in here. SHALL I? (offer to help someone) - Shall I help you with your luggage? WOULD (make an offer) - Would you like a sandwich?
NECESSITY/OBLIGATION MUST (strong obligation: law, authority) <ul><li>Students in private schools must wear a uniform. (RULE) </li></ul><ul><li>All of our friends are going to that party. We must go too. (NECESSITY) </li></ul>
NECESSITY/OBLIGATION MUST HAVE TO The obligation comes from the speaker The obligation doesn’t come from the speaker MUM: You must be home by 11 o’clock. You go out. When it’s time to go, you can say: “ I’ll leave. I have to stay home by 11 o’clock.”
MUST - HAVE TO They have more or less the same meaning but… HAVE TO is used for all the forms MUST doesn’t have. Moreover, HAVE TO is used in the interrogative sentence. <ul><li>Do you have to go right now? </li></ul><ul><li>Yesterday I had to do the washing because the washing-machine broke down. </li></ul><ul><li>If you want to be successful, you will have to work very hard. </li></ul>
NEGATIVE FORM MUSTN'T DON'T/DOESN'T HAVE TO Prohibition No obligation, no necessity <ul><li>You mustn’t smoke in the premises. (IT IS PROHIBITED, IT IS NOT ALLOWED) </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to wear a uniform at school. (IT IS NOT NECESSARY) </li></ul>
Also see... NEEDN'T = DON'T/DOESN'T HAVE TO <ul><li>She needn’t bring anything; there’s lots of food. </li></ul><ul><li>She doesn’t have to bring anything; there’s lots of food. </li></ul>
MUST certainty that something is true - It’s 8 o’clock. Sally must be at work. (I’M SURE) CAN'T certainty that something is impossible - It’s 8 o’clock. Sally can’t be at home. (IT’S IMPOSSIBLE)
SHOULD/OUGHT TO <ul><li>Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Moral duty </li></ul><ul><li>You ought to improve your manners. </li></ul><ul><li>I think you should tell him the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Carol should visit her grandfather more often. </li></ul>
POSSIBILITY CAN Scissors can be dangerous if not used properly. (+++possible) MAY (++possible) I may go to the party. (I’m not sure, it’s possible) MIGHT (+possible) I might go to the party. (I’m not sure, it’s improbable)