Learn useful list of Modal Verbs and how to use Modal Verbs in English with examples.
The modal verbs of English are a small class of auxiliary verbs used to express possibility, obligation, …
The modals and modal phrases (semi-modals) in English are:
- Ought to
- Have to/ Has to
- Don’t/ Doesn’t have to
Modal Verbs List
The verb “will” is used to express:
Don’t worry, I will be here.
I will take these books with me.
Will you give me a chance?
John Smith will be the next President.
Future tense auxiliary
Tomorrow I will be in New York.
The verb “shall” is used to express:
Asking what to do
Shall I get the phone? Or will you?
Shall I call a cab?
Shall I call again on Thursday?
The verb “would” is used to express:
Asking for permission
Would you mind if I opened the window?
Would you make dinner?
Would you be available at 6 pm tonight?
Would you like to go out sometimes?
Would you prefer the window seat or the aisle?
The verb “should” is used to express:
You should visit your dentist at least twice a year.
You really should go to the new museum on Main Street.
I posted the cheque yesterday so it should arrive this week.
I’ve revised so I should be ready for the test.
The verb “ought to” is used to express:
You ought to have come to the meeting. It was interesting.
30$ ought to be enough for the taxi.
The verb “must” is used to express:
I must memorize all of these rules about tenses.
She lied to the police. She must be the murderer.
The verb “musn’t” (must not) is used to express:
You mustn’t smoke in this restaurant. It’s forbidden.
The verb “may” is used to express:
Richard may be coming to see us tomorrow.
Ask for permission
May I borrow your dictionary?
The verb “might” is used to express:
It looks nice, but it might be very expensive.
Past form of “may” in reported speech
The President said he might come.
The verb “can” is used to express:
David can speak three languages.
Can I sit in that chair please?
Can I carry the luggage for you?
The verb “could” is used to express:
Could I borrow your dictionary?
Could you say it again more slowly?
Ability in the past
I think we could have another Gulf War.
Asking for permission
Could I open the window?
Have to/ Has to
The verb “have to/has to” is used to express:
You have to take off your shoes before you get into the mosque.
Don’t/ Doesn’t have to
“Don’t/Doesn’t have to” is used to express:
Is not necessary
You don’t have to do all the exercises, only the first one.