Modal verbs

Modal verbs, sometimes called modals, are auxiliary verbs (helping verbs). They express such things as possibility, probability, permission and obligation.

  • Can, could, might, may, must, should, will, would and shall are modal verbs.
  • We use a modal verb before a second verb.
  • Modal verbs are not followed by ‘to’.
  • Modal verbs can have more than one meaning and usage.

Modal verbs to express ability

Modal verbs to express permission

Modal verbs to express probability and certainty (modal verbs of deduction)

Modal verbs to express obligation

Modal verbs – past tense forms and negatives