Modal verbs – negatives forms

Modal verbs: negative forms
positive negative
can (used for possibility)
It can happen; everything's possible.
can't (cannot)
It can't happen; it's impossible.
can (used for permission)
Can I smoke here? ∼ Yes, you can.
can't (cannot), mustn't
You can't smoke here. You mustn't smoke here.
can (used for ability)
I can play the guitar.
can't (cannot)
I can't play the guitar.
must, have to (used for obligation)
You must be there at 8 o'clock.
You have to be there at 8 o'clock.
don't have to, needn't
You don't have to be there at 8 o'clock.
You needn't be there at 8 o'clock.
must (used for personal opinion, certainty)
He must be here somewhere – his car is outside.
can't (cannot)
He can't be here – his car's not outside.
might, may (used for personal opinion, certainty)
He might/may be late today – there's a lot of traffic on the roads.
may not, might not
He might/may not get here on time – there's a lot of traffic on the roads.
should (used for weak obligation / advice)
You should stop smoking because it's unhealthy.
shouldn't (should not)
You shouldn't smoke so much – it's unhealthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>