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 Grammar WELL- GroUNDED



Modals are used with main verbsto create verb phrases.  Modals indicate likelihood, interest, ability, obligation, probability, suggestion, or permission for a main verb.

Modal                                   Purpose

can                                        to show ability

could, may, might                     to show possibility

must                                      to show obligation or probability

should, ought to                       to give advice

will                                        to show willingness or a future action

would                                    to show interest or desire

Subject/Verb agreement is never a concern with modals.

     Present tense = modal + simple present verb

          Ahmed can  throwa baseball accurately.

          Troy and Eve might  attend the lecture.

          She should  be ashamed.

     Past tense = modal + have + Past Participle

          Emma must have gone home.

          They would have won  if Lisa did not get hurt.

          Vincent should have studied harder.

          He could have been a great actor.

     *There are exceptions to some modals in the past tense.

           can--the past tense of can is could.  To show ability in the past

           tense, the word could comes before a simple present tense verb.

                When he was younger, Ahmed could  throw a baseball well.

          must--when used to show obligation, the past tense of must is

          had to.  To show obligation in the past tense, the words had to

          come before a simple present tense verb.

                 Joy had to  do her homework.