Modal Verbs

Modal verbs, also known as modals, are auxiliary verbs that express modality, which is the possibility, necessity, or contingency of an action or event. They are used to express various ideas such as ability, permission, possibility, probability, obligation, necessity, etc. Some common examples of modal verbs in English include:


“can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “would,” “shall,” “should,” “must,” “ought to,” “have to,” and “used to.”


Modal verbs are used to modify the main verb in a sentence, but they do not have a past tense form. Instead, their meaning is determined by the context and the tone of the sentence.

For example:

I can swim. (The speaker is expressing the ability to swim.)

You must be careful. (The speaker is expressing a necessity or an obligation to be careful.)

She might come to the party. (The speaker is expressing a possibility that she might come to the party.)


Modal verbs are an important aspect of English grammar and they play a significant role in conveying the speaker’s attitude and perspective towards the action being described in a sentence.

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