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Modal verbs in English

English grammar charts and graphs course ‘Vital Grammar Notes: Intermediate'
16 lessons
~ 480 min
English grammar charts and graphs course ‘Vital Grammar Notes: Intermediate'
A three-part series of English grammar tables, Vital Grammar Notes, is not only an online adaptation of popular grammar notebooks by Green Forest....
All about the modal verb MUST
1 урок
~ 60 min
All about the modal verb MUST
This course is for improving the use of the modal verb MUST. You will learn how to use this verb, variants of its meaning, and the rules of...
All about the modal verb CAN
1 lesson
~ 80 min
All about the modal verb CAN
This course is for practicing the modal verb CAN.  In what cases we can use, how, why, and how beavers are connected here. One short...
Modal verbs for beginners
4 уроки
~ 180 min
Modal verbs for beginners
  Can, must and have to are modal verbs. Such verbs have many different functions, meanings and connotations. A course from booyya will help...
English ZNO preparation: module 3
english pro
1 уроків
~ 30 min
English ZNO preparation: module 3
У повному курсі ЗНО є всі необхідні матеріали для підготовки до ЗНО з англійської мови. Але ти також можеш окремо придбати будь...
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Modal verbs in English: what to learn them for

The knowledge of modal verbs in English and the ability to use them correctly, significantly improve your level of English, help you to express your opinion and understand others and make your speech more diverse. It’s almost impossible to talk or write without them — they are one of the most frequently used categories of the English language. With their help, one can express:

  • ability, capacity, possibility;
  • permission, prohibition;
  • advice, suggestion;
  • criticism, irritation;
  • necessity, order, obligation;
  • likelihood;
  • offer, request.

There’re some ins and outs of their use depending on the tense and the type of the sentence (positive, negative or interrogative), they can be also found in some fixed phrases.

Modal verbs: how to remember

Modal verbs in English are learnt starting from initial levels. No doubt, you have heard a lot about them and even used when you began learning English. It doesn’t matter if you are undergoing a course at a language school or studying by yourself, you will have to face them and figure out all the finer points of their use. Regular practice will definitely help with it.

Modals aren`t made and don`t function in accordance with the rules, that’s why they should be analyzed and learned in a more precise way. In order to understand the difference between every modal verb in English, and the difference between similar in meaning modals, for starters, we should go over each of them:

  • meaning and rules of usage;
  • options and finer points of using them in different tenses;
  • examples of usage;
  • differences between similar in meaning modals, exceptions.

It’s also possible to divide them into groups (request, permission, prohibition, obligation etc.) and remember them in such context. It’s vital to figure out the differences in using similar in meaning verbs, how they change their meaning due to incorrect use.

It’s not difficult to learn modal verbs in English, but it’s more challenging to learn how to use them properly, not to alter the meaning of the sentence. Practice is necessary in this case. Start using them in your everyday speech and drill with the help of topical exercises.

What are modal verbs?

Modal verbs in English language indicate an attitude of the speaker towards an action, but they don`t indicate the action itself. Modal verbs cannot stand independently, they are used only in combination with other verbs. Moreover, the verbs might alter their meaning. The proper use helps express criticism, irritation, request, give advice or suggestion, notify about prohibition or possibility etc.

What modal verbs are necessary to know?

Modal verbs in English — it’s a rather small group of words which is easily memorized. The most important is not just to know their translation and the rules of usage, but the finer points as well. Similar in meaning verbs might completely change the meaning of the sentence if you use them wrong. For this reason, it’s essential to remember what each of them expresses in a particular situation and learn how to use them properly due to the context.

How to remember modal verbs in English?

An easy way to learn modal verbs — is to learn them separately or in groups according to the meaning. It will make memorizing of rules and finer points due to the context easier, will help understand contrast with other verbs. For example, the topical mini-course from Booyya allows you to discover the most efficient functions, it explains the rules using simple examples. Every lesson provides tasks for the consolidation of your knowledge.

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