a. General notions: mODAL VERBS ARE used to express mood or speaker’s attitude towards the action. (permission, obligation, possibility…)
a. Invariable, never change
i. I must study/// She must study
b. Followed by verbs in BARE INFINITIVE:
i. You can go out/ she can go out/ they can’t go out
c. Auxiliary verbs:
i. Inversion in questions: Can I go to the toilet?
ii. Short answers. Yes you can
iii. Negative form: You can’t go out/ You mustn’t go out
iv. Don’t use other verbs to change tenses
a. Position: before the verb in affirmative and negative, at the beginning in the interrogative.
i. Modal+ modal=
vii. Modal+verb- ING
May/ may not
Might/ might not
Will be able to
Have to –mustn’t
Will have to
Will be able to
Shall/ shall not
Past indicates politeness and less possibility
In general, all modal verbs don't have all the forms, and some of them are not commonly used (eg. shall)
Past form of modal verbs can have three possible meanings (called TENTATIVITY in grammatical terms):
a. More politeness (for permission): Can I go out? vs. Might I go out? THe second implies more politeness than the first, while the second, also implies that the speaker considers it more unlikely to recieve permission
b. Less possibility: (specially for predicitons, but can also be for permission) : I will do it indicates more possibility than I would do it. In fact, will is related to future tense in Spanish and WOULD is related to conditional tense in Spanish.
c. Past tense: It can mean that a situation happened in the past: I could read when I was four, refers to the past.
Now, here you are a few easy activities divided by their meaning:
Activities on ability:
In the future entries, I'll include activities on each meaning. See you soon!!!
A. D. Antonio Bueno, uno de mis grandes maestros, que me enseñó tanto sobre los verbos modales y sobre tantas cosas más.