Modal Verb Tutorial
What are Modal Verbs?
The modal verbs are Can Ought to
All the auxiliary verbs except be, do and have are called modals. Unlike other auxiliary
verbs modals only exist in their helping form. They cannot act alone as the main verb in
a sentence. Be, do, and have also differ from the other auxiliaries in that they can also
serve as ordinary verbs in a given sentence.
Modal verbs are special verbs which behave very differently from normal verbs. Here
are some important differences:
1. Modal verbs do not take "-s" in the third person.
He can speak Chinese.
She should be here by 9:00.
2. You don’t use auxiliaries in negations or questions.
He should not be late.
Should she try again?
They might not come to the party.
3. Many modal verbs cannot be used in the past tenses or the future tenses.
She musted study very hard.
4. They cannot go together.
He will can go with us.
5. They are always followed by infinitive without to (except ought to)
He can’t to go to school today.
They must to study hard.
6. They cannot be used as infinitives
Examples: He’s going to the supermarket to can do some shopping.
He’s going to the supermarket to be able to do some shopping.