Modal verbs

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An overview of Modal Verbs

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Modal verbs

  1. 1. Modal verbs an overview
  2. 2. can will shall may must could would should might -
  3. 3. properties
  4. 4. form questions
  5. 5. form negatives
  6. 6. form short answers etc
  7. 7. weak / strong pronunciation
  8. 8. can be abbreviated
  9. 9. property modal verbs auxiliary verbs main verbs form +ive ✔ ✔ not do/does/did ✔ present and past form –ive ✔ ✔ ✗ form ?ive ✔ ✔ ✗ except subject q’s form short answers ✔ ✔ ✗ weak / strong pronunciation ✔ ✔ ✗ abbreviation ✔ ✔ ✗
  10. 10. followed by base form (-to INF)
  11. 11. no infinitive
  12. 12. defective:
  13. 13. no forms that derive from infinitive: base form gerund present participle past participle
  14. 14. never used in combination with other modals
  15. 15. no conjugation
  16. 16. can will shall may must could would should might - present / future
  17. 17. can will shall may must could would should might - past / conditional / subjunctive
  18. 18. property modal verbs auxiliary verbs main verbs followed by base form base form present participle past participle to INF gerund infinitive ✗ ✔ ✔ base form gerund pres./past participle ✗ ✔ ✔ used with (other) modals ✗ ✔ not ‘do’ ✔ conjugated ✗ ✔ ✔
  19. 19. characteristics
  20. 20. modal verbs are SAXON
  21. 21. modal verbs are SAXON very different from grammar with Latin origins
  22. 22. concepts:
  23. 23. offers ability requests possibility obligation deduction probability permission willingness
  24. 24. offers ability requests possibility obligation deduction probability permission willingness
  25. 25. modals are for interpersonal interaction
  26. 26. big contrast with the indicative
  27. 27. “We do not normally use modal verbs to say that situations definitely exist or that particular events definitely happened. We use them, for example, to talk about things which we expect, which are not possible, which we think are necessary, which we want to happen, which we are not sure about, which tend to happen, or which have not happened.” Michael Swan Practical English Usage OUP
  28. 28. modal indicative all Saxon (mostly) Latin personal factual
  29. 29. modal indicative all different (mostly) familiar personal factual
  30. 30. indicative modal I have to get up early tomorrow. I must get up early tomorrow. [be able to] Can you play the piano? Perhaps it isn’t a good idea. [may] [be important] You mustn’t smoke. Do you want me to carry your bags? [shall] [be able to] I couldn’t do the exercise. Please give us permission to go now. [may] [be going to] It will rain this evening. It was possible to see the hills. [could] [want] They’d like to have a party.
  31. 31. indicative modal I have to get up early tomorrow. I must get up early tomorrow. Are you able to play the piano? Can you play the piano? Perhaps it isn’t a good idea. It may not be a good idea. It’s important that you don’t smoke. You mustn’t smoke. Do you want me to carry your bags? Shall I carry your bags? I wasn’t able to do the exercise. I couldn’t do the exercise. Please give us permission to go now. May we go now? It’s going to rain this evening. It will rain this evening. It was possible to see the hills. We could see the hills. They want to have a party. They’d like to have a party.
  32. 32. www.davidnicholson.it

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