Modals in English

Can, Could, Should, Could Have and Should have

What are modal verbs?

Modal verbs

Modals (also called modal verbs, modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries) are special verbs which behave irregularly in English. They are different from normal verbs like “work, play, visit…” They give additional information about the function of the main verb that follows it. They have a great variety of communicative functions.

Here are some characteristics of modal verbs:

They never change their form. You can’t add “s”, “ed”, “ing”…

They are always followed by an infinitive without “to” (e.i. the bare infinitive.)

They are used to indicate modality allow speakers to express certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity, ability

List of modal verbs

Here is a list of modal verbs:

can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must etc.

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