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A summary on the uses of modal verbs 1

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a-Talking about general inability.
b-Refusing permission.
c-Request something
d-Making present deductions
e-Making past deductions
a-Talking about general ability.
b-Asking or giving permission.
c-Request something
d-Making offers
e-General possibility
__
__
__
__
__
He can play the piano
very well.
You can get lost without a map.
Now you can open your books.
Can you lend me some money?
Can I help you dry the dishes?
My dad can run faster than me.
__
__
__
He can’t read. He can’t __
__
be very clever.
a-Talking about present or past
possibility/impossibility.
b-Talking about past ability/inability.
c-Making polite requests.
d-Asking for permission.
e-Used in 2nd and 3rd conditionals.
__ I’d send him a card if I could buy one.
__ Could I borrow your dictionary?
Could you ride a bike __ I could swim when I was five.
__ Could you open it for me, please?
when you were a child? __ They could be at home by now.
a-Expressing prohibition.
b-Expressing strong recommendation
( should is often used instead)
Remember that “mustn’t” is used to
express prohibition in the present,
for prohibition in the past we use
“not allow” or “not let”. My parents
didn’t allow me to go to parties or my
parents didn’t let me go to parties.
You mustn’t tell anybody.
It’s top secret!
__ You mustn’t be so rude to people.
__ We mustn’t fish in this river.
a-Expressing obligation.
b-Making deductions about the present.
c-Making deductions about the past.
d-Giving advice (should is often used
instead)
You must do your
homework every day.
__ She must have missed the bus.
__ You really must read this book.
__ They must be very happy after
passing their final exams.
__ They must finish the project by the
end of this week.
a-It expresses present/future
obligation but it is less strong than
“must”.
b-It also expresses past obligation
c-It’s also used to express certainty,
when we are sure about something.
__ Frank has to be as clever as his
brother.
You have to be tall if you __ They had to do the exam again
want to be a basketball because they had cheated.
__ She has to go to the dentist.
player.
a-It is used to express absence of
obligation. Although it is the negative
of “have to”, it is never used to
express prohibition like “mustn’t”.
b-To express absence of obligation in
the past we use” didn’t have to”.
__ She doesn’t have to finish the book
till next week.
__ I didn’t have to buy a new dress for
They don’t have to go the party.
__ I don’t have to go to school today.
shopping today.
She can’t have broken the vase.
He can’t be Peter. He’s in Paris now.
Can’t you speak louder, please?
I can’t speak any foreign languages.
Sorry, you can’t go out now.
a-It’s used to express absence of
obligation (about the present or the
future)
b-When followed by “have + past
participle it is used to talk about
absence of obligation in the past.
You needn’t shout! I’m
not deaf!
__ You needn’t wear a tie. It’s optional.
__ We needn’t have bought so many
biscuits.
__ Our teacher says we needn’t bring
the textbooks tomorrow.
a-Talking about general inability.
b-Refusing permission.
c-Request something
d-Making present deductions
e-Making past deductions
a-Talking about general ability.
b-Asking or giving permission.
c-Request something
d-Making offers
e-General possibility
e
b
c
d
a
He can play the piano
very well.
You can get lost without a map.
Now you can open your books.
Can you lend me some money?
Can I help you dry the dishes?
My dad can run faster than me.
e
d
c
He can’t read. He can’t a
b
be very clever.
a-Talking about present or past
possibility/impossibility.
b-Talking about past ability/inability.
c-Making polite requests.
d-Asking for permission.
e-Used in 2nd and 3rd conditionals.
e I’d send him a card if I could buy one.
d Could I borrow your dictionary?
Could you ride a bike b I could swim when I was five.
c Could you open it for me, please?
when you were a child? a They could be at home by now.
a-Expressing prohibition.
b-Expressing strong recommendation
( should is often used instead)
Remember that “mustn’t” is used to
express prohibition in the present,
for prohibition in the past we use
“not allow” or “not let”. My parents
didn’t allow me to go to parties or my
parents didn’t let me go to parties.
You mustn’t tell anybody.
It’s top secret!
b
a
You mustn’t be so rude to people.
We mustn’t fish in this river.
a-Expressing obligation.
b-Making deductions about the present.
c-Making deductions about the past.
d-Giving advice (should is often used
instead)
You must do your
homework every day.
c She must have missed the bus.
d You really must read this book.
b They must be very happy after
passing their final exams.
a They must finish the project by the
end of this week.
a-It expresses present/future
obligation but it is less strong than
“must”.
b-It also expresses past obligation
c-It’s also used to express certainty,
when we are sure about something.
c Frank has to be as clever as his
brother.
You have to be tall if you b They had to do the exam again
want to be a basketball because they had cheated.
a She has to go to the dentist.
player.
a-It is used to express absence of
obligation. Although it is the negative
of “have to”, it is never used to
express prohibition like “mustn’t”.
b-To express absence of obligation in
the past we use” didn’t have to”.
a She doesn’t have to finish the book
till next week.
b I didn’t have to buy a new dress for
They don’t have to go the party.
a I don’t have to go to school today.
shopping today.
She can’t have broken the vase.
He can’t be Peter. He’s in Paris now.
Can’t you speak louder, please?
I can’t speak any foreign languages.
Sorry, you can’t go out now.
a-It’s used to express absence of
obligation (about the present or the
future)
b-When followed by “have + past
participle it is used to talk about
absence of obligation in the past.
You needn’t shout! I’m
not deaf!
a You needn’t wear a tie. It’s optional.
b We needn’t have bought so many
biscuits.
a Our teacher says we needn’t bring
the textbooks tomorrow.
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