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Modal verbs

CAN, CAN'T, COULD, MUST, MUSTN'T and SHOULD

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Modal verbs

  1. 1. MODAL VERBS Miguel Ángel Rodríguez López
  2. 2. Can/Can’t <ul><li>CAN </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abilities or capacities (to know or to be able to “saber”). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mary can speak two languages. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possibility (“poder”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I can meet you later. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>CAN’T </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Impossibility in the present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mary can’t buy sweets now </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of ability (not to know) or capacity (not to be able to): </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I can’t speak Italian </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t drive without a licence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Could <ul><li>It is the past of can and it is used to express: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability or capacity in the past (“sabía”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>She could run fast when she was a child </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polite request (“podría”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could you help me with these suitcases? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibility –less probable than with can- (“podría”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mark could join us the cinema. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Must <ul><li>It expresses obligation (“deber”): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You must bring your books to class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must is also used to express a logical deduction about present fact. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a light at her home. She must be there. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Musn’t <ul><li>Musn’t shows prohibition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You musn’t exceed the speed limit </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Should <ul><li>It expresses advise or opinion (“debería”): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You should visit the doctor, you’ve got a cold. </li></ul></ul>

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