Terms in this set (18)
shows present and future ability and possibility:
I can speak Japanese. /
When can we play basketball? /
Can we meet for lunch next Friday?
can't / cannot
lack of present ability or possibility:
I cannot run for 4 weeks. /
It can't snow in Panama.
to be able to
something that is surprising or requires effort:
It's amazing - some animals are able to sleep standing up!
will be able to
situations that are certain:
Once you get your password, you'll be able to visit the website.
situations that are possible but unlikely or a an unsure guess:
A frog and mouse could become best friends. / Could it be the battery?
used for less certain guesses or for politely asking for permission:
One of the students may not come to school tomorrow. / May I borrow a pen?
used for less certain guesses:
I didn't watch the weather report; it might rain tomorrow.
may vs. might
May and might can be used interchangeably for the most part.
can vs. could
Can and could's uses differ a bit according to context.
should vs. ought to
Should and ought to can be used interchangeably.
would vs. will & could vs. can
Would and could are polite (formal) forms, and will and can less polite (informal) forms.
Used for giving advice or being critical about a past situation:
You should eat your vegetables. / You should have done your homework.
Used for rules or positive guesses:
You must wear your school uniform. / It must be your dad calling.
Used for rules, obligations, or necessary actions:
I have to spend the holidays with my family. / I have to use the bathroom.
don't have to
Used for lack of any obligation:
I don't have to get up early on Saturdays.
Used for necessary actions:
You need to water the plants once a week.
Used to give advice and warnings when something bad may happen:
You had better run to class. If you are late again, you will get a detention.
modals with "have"
Used for ideas/situations in the past - see the image.
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