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MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS:

(Introduction)


1) What are Modal Auxiliary Verbs?

The verbs CAN, COULD, MAY, MIGHT, WILL, WOULD, SHALL, (mainly British English), SHOULD, MUST, and OUGHT are called "Modal Auxiliary Verbs". They are used before the infinitives of other verbs, and add certain kinds of meaning connected with certainty or with obligation and freedom to act can sometimes be used like Modal Auxiliary Verbs, and the expression "HAD BETTER" is also used like a Modal Auxiliary.



2) GRAMMAR.

a) Modal Verbs have no -s in the third person singular. For example;

She may know his address.
(NOT:- She mays know his address.)




b) Questions, negatives, tags, and short answers are made without "do". For example;

Can you swim?
(NOT:- Do you can swim?)




c) After Modal Auxiliary Verbs, we use the infinitive without "to" of other verbs. {OUGHT is an exception} Example;

I must water the flowers.
(NOT:- I must to water the flowers.)



Progressive, perfect, and passive infinitives are also possible.
Examples:-

I may not be working tomorrow.
She was so angry she could have killed him.
The kitchen ought to be painted one of these days.




d) Modal Verbs do not have infinitives or participles ( to may , maying , mayed do not exist), and they do not normally have past forms (through WOULD, COULD, SHOULD, and MIGHT can sometimes be used as past tenses of WILL, CAN, SHALL, and MAY). Other expressions are used when necessary. Examples;

I'd like to be able to skate.
(NOT:- ... to can skate.)
People really had to work hard in those days.
(NOT:- People really musted work ...)




e) However, certain past ideas can be expressed by a Modal Verb followed by a perfect infinitive (HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE). Examples;

You should have told me you were coming.
I think I may have annoyed Aunt Mary.






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