Modal auxiliary verbs examples

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Students of English who are trying to learn modal auxiliary verbs will find some examples of the use of these verbs useful.

Will

The modal auxiliary verb “will” express the future tense.

Examples:

  • I’ll give you a lift home after the party.
  • I hope you will stay
  • Will you carry this for me, please?
  • I will buy some eggs
  • We‘ll see you tomorrow.
  • I won’t increase taxes.

Would

The modal auxiliary verb „would“ is formed from the auxiliary verb “will“, which helps form the future tense. It is often used to express conditional sentences by combining the verbs “will” and “would“.

Examples:

  • He would like coffee
  • It would be very expensive to stay in a hotel.
  • She said that she would buy some eggs.
  • I would give her a call if I could find her number.
  • Yesterday morning, the car wouldn’t.
  • David would help you if you asked. 

Can

Examples:

  • Can I have a look at that?
  • Sure, I can.
  • You can imagine he was terribly upset.
  • She can speak Italian very well.
  • I can’t tell you what he said.
  • That can’t be true.

Could

The modal auxiliary verb “could” comes from the auxiliary verb “can” and expresses possibility.

Examples:

  • Could I have some tea?
  • They could come by car.
  • We could go somewhere tonight.
  • They could have got
  • Could you do me a favour?
  • They couldn’t dance very well.

Shall

Examples:

  • Shall we dance?
  • shall be here at 7 tomorrow.
  • Shall I open the window?
  • Shall we get a bigger one?
  • I’m afraid I shall not be able to attend the meeting.
  • There shall be total silence during the recording.

Should

This modal auxiliary verb comes from the nowadays not very common form “shall“. It is a modal auxiliary verb expressing recommendation or advice.

Examples:

  • You should go to the police.
  • They should have come to the party.
  • You should see a doctor.
  • What should we do now?
  • You should not have lied to her.
  • You should go back to your husband.

May

We use the modal auxiliary verb “may” when we are not sure about future events. It can also be used to express questions, uncertainties or factual and probable events.

Examples:

  • May I come with you?
  • Dan may be coming to see us tomorrow.
  • May I have a drink, please?
  • We may be invited but I’m not sure.
  • May I borrow the car tomorrow?
  • May I have some water please?

Might

The modal auxiliary verb “might” is used to express uncertainty or to form an interrogative sentence. It is a verb with a strong meaning that is very formal.

Examples:

  • Might I ask you your name?
  • might see you tomorrow.
  • You might give me some cake too.
  • They might have arrived by now.
  • It might rain this afternoon.
  • Might we ask you a question?

Must

The English modal auxiliary verb “must” is used to express what is called a subjective obligation, where the speaker is talking about the obligation and it is his opinion.

Examples:

  • We must buy another ticket.
  • You mustn’t drive.
  • must.
  • Policemen must not drink on duty.
  • must call my mother tomorrow.

Have to

The “Have to” expresses objective obligations. Thus, these are obligations where the obligation is based on a fact (for example, a law or another speaker) and the speaker is merely announcing the obligation.

Examples:

  • We’ll have to buy another ticket later.
  • They will have to arrive early.
  • You don’t have to
  • John has to wear a tie at work.
  • I have to file reports every week.
  • Does he have to go?

 

 

 

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