Modal Verb Forms

Modal Verb Forms :

Modal verb forms are can, may, shall, will, must, could, might, should, would, ought to, used to, need and dare.

Modal verbs are a small group of verbs which are used with other verbs to change their meaning in some way. Grammatically, modal verbs behave in a different way from ordinary verbs. They have no S in the third person singular. Most modal verbs, except ought, are followed by the infinitive of other verbs without TO.

The infinitive without TO is also used after….

1. Had Better
2. Had Rather
3. Would Rather
4. Sooner Than
5. Rather Than

Here are some idioms that are followed by the infinitive without TO.

had better :

1. You had better ask admission.
2. I had better close the door before we get too cold. (This means it would be the best thing to do.)

It is often used in the negative.

1. Shall I push you? You had better not.

would rather :

1. Would you rather ride or go for a walk?
2. I would rather ride.

Like the others, it is often used in the negative.

1. He wants me to lend him some money. But I would rather not.

had rather :

1. I had rather earn than spend.
2. I had rather work than play.

rather than :

1. I would rather die than live so.
2. I would rather work and earn than suffer such humiliations.

sooner than :

I would sooner die than marry you.

Would just as soon :

He would just as soon have fish as meat.

This means that the person doesn't mind fish. It doesn't matter to him.

It is also used often in the negative.

Do you want to go for a swim?

I would just as soon not.

Study the following sentences.

1. He should have brought some coffee. The race is about to begin. It is too late.

2. Don't bother to bring another. I would just as soon have this one.

3. You can put on the light now because it is getting dark.

4. They want me to borrow their car, but I'd rather not.

5. I told him he had better look for it at once.

6. Fools who came to scoff remained to pray.

7. To relieve the wretched was his pride.

8. Full many a flower is born to blush unseen.

9. There was not a moment to be lost.

10. The ability to laugh is peculiar to mankind.

11. He has the power to concentrate his thoughts.

12. I am never afraid to speak the truth.

13. It is better to dwell in the midst of alarms than reign in this horrible place.

14. To toil is the lot of mankind.

15. It is delightful to look at the stars.

16. It is wonderful to hear the sound of the sea.

17. I have thirteen children to provide for.

18. To speak it out frankly, I have no aptitude for business.

19. He must have been very foolish to squander away all his patrimony.

20. It is better to starve than beg.

Modal Verb Forms

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