C A P S U L E
Modal Auxiliary Verbs
Will and Shall:
You know that WILL is used to construct the Future Tense of regular and irregular verbs.
And also to make an urgent request :
e.g. Will you answer the phone for me, please?
SHALL is common to make a suggestion or an offer in the form of a question:
e.g. Shall we reserve a table at Kyle's? - suggestion
Shall I help Beth with the presentation? - offer
To describe ability now or in the past.:
e.g. Bill can speak German very well. - ability
My parents could play golf twenty years ago - ability past
And also, to give an explanation or ask for permission:
e.g. You can drive a car at the age of seventeen. - explanation
Can I use your computer, this evening?
To express perception with certain verbs by using can in the present tense, and could in the past tense. The verbs are: to feel, hear, see:
e.g. We can see the river from the office.
Derek could hear the church bells at noon when he worked in the other building.
In summer, Ann can feel the heat of the sun across the window.
Or, to explain a possibility and to make a suggestion in the present and future tenses by using could:
e.g. The old desk could be in the garage - present
We could study the new account next Monday - future
Could she help you with this? - present
To express a possibility/make a suggestion at the present time or in the future.
e.g. If you return tomorrow, you may see Mr. Smith.
If you return tomorrow, you might see Mr. Smith.
Might suggests a little less certainty than may.
Or, MAY to give/ask for permission:
e.g. The workers may leave at six o'clock if they have finished their work. - give permission
May I call you again tomorrow? - ask permission
To explain obligation or strong necessity: must is used with the Simple Present and Future Tenses:
e.g. You must buy a ticket to use the train - obligation
To navigate on the Web, you must have a program like "Netscape Navigator". - necessity
Also, to express a factual information now:
In the past you have to use "must have...".
e.g. Martin must like his job, he has worked in that office for ten years. - now
The roads are wet, it must have rained last night. - past
To describe or talk about a imaginary or desired situation:
e.g. I would like to visit Canada soon.
My friend would buy a big house if he won the lottery.
Also, to ask for or give information:
e.g. Would you please send me a quotation?
To make or accept an invitation:
e.g. Would you come with us to the luncheon?
I would like to meet the new manager as soon as possible.
To express an obligation or necessity:
e.g. University students should work harder nowadays.
Or, to give emphatic suggestions:
e.g. I think Brian should find a job.
You should tell your future plans to your parents.
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