Isabel Quesada Gómez

 Fixed

forms (-s, -ed)  Take no Auxiliary for the negative or interrogative  + bare infinitive
(Except for “Ought to”/“Need to”/“Have to”)

 CAN

(ability)  CAN’T (inability) Present  COULD (General ability) Past  BE ABLE TO ( ability in a particular situation)  Present, Past and Future

 Will,

Must (logical deduction Certainty)  Can, Could, May (may not), Might (might not / mightn’t)  (graded possibility)  Can’t (logical deduction  Impossible / disbelief)
MUSTN’T is not correct with this meaning

OBLIGATION/NECESSITY
› MUST (external obligation / strong necessity) › HAVE TO (internal obligation/necessity) › NEED TO (necessity)

LACK OF OBLIGATION/NECESSITY 
› DON’T HAVE TO /DON’T NEED TO/ NEEDN’T › DIDN’T NEED TO / NEEDN’T

PROHIBITION
› MUSTN’T (stronger prohibition) › CAN’T

 SHOULD
 OUGHT

(NOT)

 CAN

TO  MAY  HAD BETTER (NOT)  COULD (polite)  WOULD (formal)
(NOT)

In the PRESENT: NEED TO (+) /DON’T NEED TO/Needn’t (- / ?)

› Do you need to see her today? Yes, I need to

speak to her urgently. › Vegetarians think we don’t need to / needn’t kill animals to eat. › You don’t need to/ needn’t hurry. There’s plenty of time. › You don’t need to / needn’t come before 10. Work starts later on.

In the PAST: NEEDED (+) /DIDN’T NEED TO / NEEDN’T (-). Possible meanings:

Lack of obligation  A) I didn’t have to do it, so I didn’t do it

B)I didn’t have to do it, YET I did it

› They didn’t need to get up early, so they didn’t. › She didn’t need to wash the T-shirt because it wasn’t dirty. › You needn’t hurry as there was plenty of time.

I did something that wasn’t necessary.  C) Didn’t have to do it but I didn’t know I didn’t have to. (regret).

› I needn’t have bought tomatoes. When I got home, I found that I already had some. › She needn’t have washed the T-shirt because it wasn’t dirty. › We needn’t have taken the umbrella. But we didn’t know this when we went out.

Must  Certainty May/Might  possibility Use a MODAL

Should Regret or Criticism Could alternative

Can’t  Impossibility Would Willingness

VERB + HAVE + V3

to make your modal “perfect”

(Image taken from «Get it Right» OUP)

http://www.english4u.de/modal_verbs1.htm (basic)  http://www.english-grammarlessons.com/  http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/omexer cise/contenidotematico.htm (Units 15 and 16)  http://www.englishpage.com/modals/in teractivemodal1.htm

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful