Teach English in Tongyang Zhen - Yancheng Shi

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• In this paper, I will examine the modal auxiliary verbs, as well as their categorization according to their expressing functions. And the students usually consider modal auxiliary verbs as a particularly ` problematic` field of English grammar, because that one modal verb may have several meanings or functions. They sometimes find it confusing especially in choosing when to use them, or which one to choose, and in constructing questions and negative statements involving modal verbs. The teachers need to bear in mind if define the modal verbs that they may come across alternative definitions. • What are modal verbs? The modal auxiliary verbs are: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, have to, have got to, need to, needn`t, and ought to. • When do we use it? We don`t use them on their own, we have to use them in conjunction with another main verb. • What do they do? We use modal auxiliary verbs to make an assessment, interpretation or to express our attitude, or we use them to express some different ideas such as advice, ability, obligation, possibility or probability, and permission versus prohibition. • In this paper, I will also provide an overview of the most common modal auxiliary verbs including some basic rule. • May – for permission and possibility • We use the modal verb ` may ` to express possibility, and permission. • Might - for future possibilities • We use the modal verb ` might` for much less than 50 % certainty, and for the polite request (but rare). • Must – for a strong obligation • We use the modal verb ` must ` for obligations, for prohibition (but only negative prohibition), and for 95 % certainty of assumption. • Need to – for the optional need of necessity • We generally use the modal verb ` need to ` when we are in a position of authority and ability to give permission or remove obligation. We tend to use their negative statements. • Have to – for necessity or obligation • We use the modal verb ` have to ` to express necessity and obligation. • Have got to – for the strong necessity • Many people use the modal verb ` have got to ` in spoken English and in informal written English as an alternative to have to. • Can – for ability and possibility • We use the modal ` verb ` can ` to express ability and possibility, for informal permission, for informal polite request, assumed impossibility ( but rare). • Could - for a suggestion • We use the modal verb ` could ` for past ability, for polite request, for the suggestion, for less than 50 % certainty, and for improbability. • Be able to – for the ability • We use the modal verb ` be able to ` for ability. • Would – for polite request, for preference, for inviting • We use the modal verb ` would ` for polite request, for preference and, for repeated past action. • Should – for advisability or moral obligation • We use the modal verb ` should ` to ask for or give advice. • Modals auxiliary verbs are followed by the base form of the main verb in the present or future tense, but modals plus a perfect form can refer to past tense. And to give an appreciation of the modals auxiliary verbs they can change the formality and meaning of the main verb by which are followed. And this can become more confusing.