martes, 8 de abril de 2014

English: Modal Verbs

English Grammar. Is this sentence correct?

"I would do what a man can to save you from sorrow."

We know that modal verbs are not followed by "to". However, if the meaning is "in order to", it is correct.

Extra examples:

He uses the verb can to talk about possibility. (in order to)

Her sister was doing all she could to pass her exam. (in order to)

Modal verbs:

Can, could, might, may, must, should, will, would and shall

These are some important Rules:

They are not followed by ‘to’.

  Wrong: I must to play.
  Correct: I must play.

Do not use two modal verbs together:

  Wrong: I will can...
  Correct: I will be able to...

They do not have "s":

  Wrong: He musts...
  Correct: He must..

They do not need an additional auxiliary in negatives or questions:

  Wrong: do you can....?
  Correct: Can you....?

Modal:   Meaning --> Example
can: to express ability --> We can speak English.
can: to request permission --> Can I use your pen, please?
may: to express possibility --> I may pass this test.
may: to request permission --> May I speak, please?
must: to express obligation --> I must wear the seat belt.
must: to express strong belief --> She must be really rich.
should: to give advice --> She should start working.
would: to request or offer --> Would you like a glass of wine?
would: in if-sentences --> If I were you, I would go now.


The sentece: "I would do what a man can to save you from sorrow." is from the book "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.


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