GRAMMAR - THE MODALS, DEFINITION AND USES

DEFINITION OF THE MODALS

In English grammar, Modal verbs, often referred to simply as "modals," are a type of auxiliary verb that express attitudes, ability, necessity, obligation, permission, possibility, and probability. They are used to modify the meaning of the main verb in a sentence. 

मोडल क्रियाएं, जिन्हें अक्सर "Modals" के रूप में जाना जाता है, एक प्रकार की सहायक क्रिया हैं जो दृष्टिकोण, क्षमता, आवश्यकता, दायित्व, अनुमति, संभावना और संभाव्यता को व्यक्त करती हैं।

LIST OF MODAL VERBS

  •    Can, could
  •    May, might
  •    Must
  •    Shall, should
  •    Will, would
  •    Ought to
  •    Need (when used as a modal verb)
  •    Dare (when used as a modal verb)

CHARACTERISTICS OF MODAL VERBS

Modal verbs do not change form to indicate tense (except for "ought to" and "used to").
They are followed by the base form of the main verb (infinitive without "to").
Modal verbs do not typically have participles (present or past participles).
They do not take the marker "s" in the third person singular form.


FUNCTIONS OF MODAL VERBS

Ability:  Can, could; 

Example: "She can swim."

Permission: Can, could, may, might; 

Example: "You may leave the room."

Obligation/Necessity: Must, have to, should, ought to;

Example: "You must finish your homework."

Possibility/Probability: May, might, could, can;

Example: "It may rain tomorrow."

Advice: Should, ought to;

Example: "You should see a doctor."

Prediction/Expectation: Will, would

Example: "She will arrive soon."

Offers/Requests/Promises: Will, would, can, could;

Example: "I will help you."

Politeness/Formality: Would, could, might;

Example: "Could you please pass the salt?"

MODAL VERB USAGE

Modal verbs can be used alone in a sentence or with other verbs to modify their meaning.

They are often used to express degrees of certainty or uncertainty, politeness, or formality.

NEGATIVE & INTERROGATIVE FORMS

Modal verbs can be used in negative and interrogative sentences by adding "not" or by inversion.

Example of negative: "She cannot swim."
Example of interrogative: "Can she swim?"

Understanding how to use modal verbs correctly is important for expressing various meanings and nuances in English. Their usage can significantly affect the tone, politeness, and intention of a sentence.

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