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MODAL VERBS

They are complementary verbs.


They need another verb which always go after the modal verb.

MODAL + VERB
VERB (INFINITIVE
WITHOUT “TO)

MODAL VERBS:

Can
Could
May
Might
Should
Ought to
Must/ have to
Would
USES

*CAN
>>Poder, posibilidad

I can speak five languages. (Puedo hablar cinco idiomas)


We can work late tonight. (Podemos trabajar hasta tarde hoy)
She can’t help you. (Ella no puede ayudarte)
The restaurant can be expensive if you drink a lot of wine. (El restaurante puede
ser caro si bebes mucho vino.)

>> Interrogativas

Can I have a glass of wáter? (Puedo tomar un vaso de agua?)


Can you help me? (Puedes ayudarme?)

*COULD
>> Posibilidad en el pasado.

Joe could speak spanish when he was young. (Joe podía hablar español cuando era
joven)
Could you play an instrument when you were a child? (Podías toca
I couldn’t sleep last night. (No pude dormir anoche)
r un instrumento cuando eras niño?)

>> Para posibilidades en el futuro.

I think it could rain later. (Creo que puede llover más tarde)

>> Interrogativas

Could you pass me the salt, please? (Me podrías pasar la sal por favor?)
Could you help me? (Puedrías ayudarme por favor)
Could I be wrong? (Podría estar equivocada?)

*MAY/ MIGHT
>> Posibilidades en el futuro
I would bring a umbrella, it may rain later. (Llevaría un paraguas, puede llover más
tarde)
It may be better to finish this now (Tal vez sea mejor terminar esto ahora)

>>Permisos o instrucciones

You may leave if you want. (Puede salir si quiere)


You may use your cell phones now. (Pueden usar sus celulares ahora)

>> Interrogativas (Su uso es más formal que CAN/COULD)

May I have a glass of water? (Podría tomar un vaso de agua)


May I leave now? (Podría salir ahora?)

SHOULD/OUGHT TO
>>Obligación o recomendación

I should visit my parents more often.


You shouldn’t work so hard.
She ought to quit smoking

>> Interrogativas

Should I have the steak or the chicken?


Where should they meet you?

MUST/HAVE TO
>> Obligación, prohibición o necesidad.
You must read this book. (Tienes que leer este libro)
We must leave now. (Tenemos que irnos ahora)
You must not drink and drive. (No debes beber y conducir)

>>Probabilidad
Jhon’s not here. He must be sick, because he never misses class. (Jhon no está aquí.
Debe estar enfermo porque nunca pierde clases.)

WOULD
>>Preferencia o preguntar por algo adecuadamente.
She would like to go to New York someday. (A ella le gustaría ir a New York algún
día)
I would like a glass of wine please. (Me gustaría un vaso de vino, por favor.)
Would you like some coffee? (Le gustaría un café)
Would you help me? (Me ayudarías?)

EXERCISES

1. _____________________ you help me?

2. They _______________ practice more if they want to win the Contest.

3. You ________________ drink and drive.

4. I ________________ like to travel to Paris someday.

5. They _____________ to work less.

6. It ________________ be dangerous to drive if you are tired.

7. ___________________ you help me move?

8. Megan ____________ play both the piano and the guitar.

9. You ________________ wear a helmet when ridin your bike.

10. _______________ you help me with my homework?

11. That cut looks infected, you should go to the doctor.

12. I ______________ eat my dinner last night, my stomach hurt.

13. I ______________ like to learn english some day.

14. We _________ break the Windows because we locked the keys inside the car.

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