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Modal Verbs

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Modal Verbs
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.1.C

Basics on the topic Modal Verbs

Content

In this Modal Verbs Video

Koko and Pip are out to dinner. As they celebrate Koko’s art exhibition opening night, we will learn about modal verbs and their uses.

What are Modal Verbs?

Modal Verbs are helping verbs that come before the main verb of the sentence. They change or affect other verbs in the sentence. They are used to show, ability, permission, possibility, obligation, or give advice.

There are several modal verbs in English. Modal verbs should help convey various conditions. Modal verb examples are: can, could, may, might, must, should, would, and will.

25778_SEO-17.svg Ability

25778_SEO-23.svg Permission

25778_SEO-28.svg Possibility

25778_SEO-34.svg Obligation

25778_SEO-38.svg Advice

Additional Practice with Modal Verbs Examples

Following the video, there are modal verbs exercises and a modal verbs worksheet for continued practice with modal verbs of possibility, modal verbs for advice, and other modal verb types.

Transcript Modal Verbs

Koko and Pip are celebrating the opening night of Koko's art exhibition. "Look, Koko! This place is fancy! They have expensive party hats!" "I CAN put it on my head." "Pip, I think you SHOULD put the napkin on your lap." In writing and speaking, we sometimes use words that express certain conditions. We call these types of words "modal verbs". Modal verbs are helping verbs that come before the main verb of a sentence. They change or affect other verbs in the sentence. They are used to show ability, permission, possibility, obligation, or give advice. The first type of modals show the ABILITY to perform actions. Ability modal verbs are CAN and COULD. Can is the modal that shows the action has the ability to happen in the present or in the future. Could is used when that action happened in the past. An example of an ability modal is, ' Koko COULD read the menu.'...or Koko CAN read the menu. Can is also used as a modal verb that asks PERMISSION. We use CAN or MAY to ask permission depending on who we are speaking to. Can is an informal way of asking to do something or making a request. If you are with a friend, you could say,' Can you pass the bread, please?' May also asks permission but is used in formal situations. When ordering at a restaurant you would say, 'May I have a glass of water, please?' We have several modal verbs that show the POSSIBILITY of something happening. These modals express a range of the probability something will happen. May', 'might', and 'could' indicate it is uncertain if it will happen, but there is a chance... while 'will' shows that it is certain. In this sentence, 'Koko MIGHT order the eucalyptus salad.', the word might implies she is thinking about ordering it, but not sure yet. If we change the 'might' to 'will' it changes the meaning of the sentence to show that she has made up her mind. Koko WILL order the eucalyptus salad. Another set of modal verbs show obligation. Obligation are things that we have a duty to do. To show obligation, we use the modals, 'must' or 'have to'. In this sentence, 'Pip must pay the check.', 'MUST pay' means it is not an option and needs to be done. The final type of modal is one that gives advice. It tells the other person what you think they need to do... Modals for advice include should and ought to... as in 'You SHOULD have brought your wallet.' While Koko and Pip wrap up their BIG night out, let's summarize. Remember.... modal verbs are helping verbs that come before the main verb of the sentence. They change or affect other verbs in a sentence. They are used to show ability, permission, possibility, obligation, or give advice." Koko, what SHOULD we do?" "Excuse me, sir, it looks like we have forgotten our money and can't pay the check." "What CAN we do?" "Yes, we're ALL EARS." "Ohhhhh(...)This is FUN!"