What Is A Modal Verb?


Simple Definition:

Modal verbs are a type of verbs that express the speaker’s attitude or opinion towards an action or event. They are used to indicate possibility, necessity, obligation, ability, permission, or prohibition. Modal verbs include words like “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “must,” “shall,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “ought to,” etc.

  • Example: She can play the piano. (expresses ability)
  • Example: You must be careful. (expresses necessity)
  • Example: They should study for the exam. (expresses suggestion)

Very Simple Definition:

Modal verbs are special verbs that show how we feel about something or what we think will happen. They help us express possibilities, abilities, obligations, and more. Some common modal verbs are “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “must,” “shall,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “ought to,” etc.

  • Example: I can swim. (shows ability)
  • Example: You must finish your homework. (shows obligation)
  • Example: We should go to bed early. (shows suggestion)

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