Uses of Modal Auxiliary Verbs in English Grammar with Examples

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What is modal auxiliary verb?

We can say model auxiliary verb as a helping verb. A model auxiliary verb gives more information about the main verb. One main feature of Modal Auxiliary Verbs is that they never change the form, either while it is referring to singular or plural nouns. Like they can, he can, she can or I can. 

Model auxiliary verbs list

  • Had batter, would rather, shall, Should, will, would, may, might, can, could, must.
Use to, ought to, Has to, have to, had to.
  • Be supposed to( is supposed to, are supposed to, was supposed to)
  • Be able to ( is able to, are able to, was able to)
  • Be about to ( is about to, am about to) etc modal auxiliary after that base form.

If s, es, ed, ing, to etc still stay with the verb but we can’t tell them base form.

Model verbs in a sentence and there uses 

Model Example Uses
Can Can you take a CNG, She can find any street. Suggestion, Request
Be able to He is able to find any street in London. Ability
Can’t That story can’t be true. Certain that something that impossible
Could I could play tennis when I was younger, Could you take me to victorias station, You could take a taxi. Ability, request, suggestion.
May It may be quicker to travel by train, May I come in? Possibility, Formal request/permission
Might It might be quicker to travel by train. Possibility
Must You must be back at 10 o’clock, Look at the snow, It must be cold outside. Obligation, Certainty that something is true.
Must not You mustn’t drive without a license. Prohibition
Need to You need to study a lot. Obligation
Need not You needn’t have a University degree. Lack of obligation
Have to You have to be back at 10 o’clock. Obligation
Don’t have to You don’t have to call a taxi. Lack of obligation
Should You should drive more carefully. Opinion/advice
Ought to You ought to drive more carefully. Opinion/advice

Exercises of Model auxiliary verbs 

1. Froza A/(_had_) batter B/(_changed_) her C/(_study_habit_) if she D/(_hopes_) to be E/(_admitted_) to a good university.
2. To check acidity, one had better _____ litmus paper.
a. using
b. useful
c. usable
d. use

3. the skiers would rather _____ through the mountains than go by bus.
a. to travel on train
b. traveled by train
c. travel by train
d. travelling by train

4. if you don’t mind, I would rather not _____.
a. to go
b. going
c. gone
d. go

5. Travelers _____ their reservation well in advance if they want to visit the st.nartins island.
a. had better to get
b. had to better get
c. had better get
d. had batter got.

6. All citizens ____ their taxes.
a. must be paid
b. should be paid
c. would be paid
d. have to pay
7. I would ____ accept the offer.
a. heard
b. hearing
c. hear
d. have heard
8. Look at those black clouds. It ____ rain.
a. would
b. is going to
c. will
d. need
9. I don’t think I ____ be able to go.
a. shall
b. can
c. should
d. could
10. I think all drivers ____ seat belts.
a. should were
b. could better to were
c. had better wear
d. had better to were
11. After working all day, you ____ been tired.
a. might
b. must have 
c. have got
d. must
12. You ___ help me if you don’t have time. I can do the job myself.
a. don’t
b. don’t have to 
c. aren’t
c. aren’t going to
Answer: 1.b  2.d  3.c  4.d  5.c  6.d  7.d  8.b  9.a  10.c  11.b  12.b

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