Hey Sparkle Writers and Grammar enthisiats. How has your grammar game been since our last grammar post?
Well let’s get to today’s topic. What’s a modal auxiliary verb? Ever heard of it before or does it sound like big grammar to you?
A modal auxiliary verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases (or semi-modals) are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition to. The modals and semi-modals in English are:
- Can/could/be able to
- Must/have to
You must have seen them before. Now let’s tell you what each modal is used for.
|can||to express ability||He can speak a little Frnch.|
|can||to request permission||Can I open the window?|
|may||to express possibility||I may be home late.|
|may||to request permission||May I drive your car, please?|
|must||to express obligation||I must go now.|
|must||to express strong belief||She must be over 40 years old.|
|should||to give advice||You should change your shoes.|
|would||to request or offer||Would you like a bowl of icecream?|
If you’ve been struggling to understand modal auxiliary verbs we hope this has helped.