A modal verb is a type of verb that is used to indicate modality – that is: likelihood, ability, permission and obligation. Examples include the English verbs can/could, may/might, must, will/would and shall/should. In English, modal verbs are often distinguished as a class based on certain grammatical properties.
Gabriella can speak French fluently.
You can take a taxi.
Can I have a drink, please?
- Be able to
He is able to find any street in London.
That story can't be true.
The teacher said we could all go home.
Could you help me with these boxes?
You could ask your doctor for a check-up.
I may be late, so don’t wait for me.
May I come in?
She might not want to come with us.
All passengers must wear seat belts.
His new car must have cost around £20,000.
- Have to
It’ll have to be on a Sunday. I’ll be working every other day.
- Need to
He needs to see a doctor straightaway.
You should read his new book.
- Ought to
You really ought to quit smoking.
I needn’t have put on this thick coat.
You mustn’t tell Jerry what I’ve bought.
- Don't have to
You don't have to call a taxi.