Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Modal Auxiliary Verbs :

Study the following examples.

MUST is a modal auxiliary verb.
It has no infinitive or participles.
It has no past tense.

1. I must get up at five tomorrow.
2. We must tell the leader.
3. I must stop drinking.
4. You must be here by 8 O'clock at the latest.
5. Must I clean all the rooms?
6. You mustn't move any of the furniture.
7. Mani must have some problems.
8. We went to Himalayas. That must have been nice.

The verb DARE can be used in two ways.
It can be used like a modal auxiliary verb.
Third person singular verb is without S.
DARE - negative without DO
DARE - following infinitive without TO

1. Dare he tell what he knows?
2. I dare not ask her.
3. She daren't tell the boss.

DARE can be used like an ordinary verb with S, DO & TO.

1. I shall be surprised if he dares to tell what he knows.

DARE verb singular with S - dares
TO TELL - infinitive with TO

1. I dare you to ride your bike with no hands through the gate.


SHOULD can be used as a past form of SHALL and also in reported speech.

1. I shall be there before ten.
2. I said I should be there before ten.

SHOULD is also possible in the future in the past construction.

So this was the place where I should study for five years.

SHOULD is common in first person conditional verb forms.

1. I should be happy if I had it.

SHOULD can be used in offers, suggestions and requests for instructions and advice.

1. Should I help you with the washing up?
2. What do you think I should do?
3. People should drive carefully.

SHOULD is used after if and in case to suggest a less strong possibility.

1. If you should see Goebels, give him my best wishes.
2. I was astonished that he should do a thing like that.
3. I am anxious that everybody should have a good time.

Note :

SHOULD is used in certain kinds of sub-ordinate clause.
SHOULD and OUGHT TO have very similar meanings.

1. You should go and see the minister immediately.
2. You ought to go and see the minister immediately.
3. The plane should have arrived at 9 am.
4. The plane ought to have arrived at 9 am.


In the first person SHOULD & WOULD are both possible with no real difference of meaning. In the second and third person, WOULD is used.

1. I should take…
2. I would take…
3. We should take…
4. We would take…
5. You would take…
6. He would take…
7. She would take…
8. It would take…
9. They would take…

WOULD is used to take about past habits.

1. She would sit for hours saying nothing.
2. Would you come this way?

SHOULD is often used in subordinate clauses after IN CASE and sometimes after IF. It makes an event or circumstance less probable.

1. I'll get some biscuits in case Aunt Sundari comes. (She may come…)

2. I'll get some biscuits in case Aunt Sundari should come. (She might come…)

3. If you see my cousin, give him my regards. (You may see him…)

4. If you should see my cousin, give him my regards. (You might see him…)

5. I took some stationery with me, in case I should have time to do some work.

6. He turned the volume of the set very low, so that he shouldn't disturb the old lady.

SHOULD can be used in subordinate clauses.

1. I am anxious that no one should be left out.
2. If I were you, I should get that house repaired.
3. Why should it get warmer when you come down from mountains?
4. Give me a lift? Why should I?


WOULD can be used as a past form of WILL.

1. I will come again!
2. He said that he would come again.

WOULD is also used to express the idea of future in the past to indicate a past action which had not yet happened at the time of speaking.

1. This was the office where I would work.
2. I didn't like the place.
3. In Bangalore, Mount Batten first met her whom he would one day marry.
4. He would bring me some sweets, often. (Habit)
5. He was upset as I wouldn't oblige him.

WOULD doesn't always have a past meaning.

1. What would you do if you had a million dollar venture? (Conditional)
2. I would like a cup of coffee. (Conditional)
3. Would you open the door, please?

WOULD makes it more polite.

WOULD and USED TO can be used to indicate past habits.

1. When I was in Delhi, I used to visit Rajkot every day.
2. When I was a child I would go for swimming every day.

Study the following.

1. I wish you would behave more politely.

2. They could not find anyone who would take the job. (Would take - was willing)

3. We used to work in the same office and we would often have coffee together.

4. That's exactly like him - he would lose the key.

5. I would rather not say what I think.

6. Would you please lend me your car?

7. Close the door. Would you?

The verb – BE

Positive :

1. I am...
2. I'm…
3. You are…
4. You’re….
5. She is…
6. He is…
7. We are…
8. They are…

Negatives :

1. I am not.…
2. I'm not…
3. You are not…
4. You're not…
5. You aren't…
6. It is not…
7. They're not...
8. We aren't…
9. She isn't…
10. He’s not….

Questions :

1. Am I?
2. Are you?
3. Are they?
4. Are they?
5. Is she?
6. Is he?
7. Is it?

Past Participle : been
Present Participle : being

Positive :

1. I was…
2. You were…
3. She was…
4. He was…
5. It was…
6. We were…
7. They were…

Negatives :

1. Was I?
2. Were you?
3. Was she?
4. Was he?
5. Was it?
6. Were we?
7. Were they?

Questions :

1. I was not…
2. I wasn't…
3. You were not…
4. You weren't…
5. She was not…
6. It wasn't…
7. They were not…
8. We were not…

Modal Auxiliary Verbs

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Modal Auxiliary Verbs - Modal Auxiliary Verbs
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