Section 40

Chapter 7
Modal Auxiliary Verbs and Related
Abstract This chapter focuses on modal auxiliary verbs and related structures. The chapter is divided into two sections:
The first section examines modals, both “pure” modals and related structures. The second section focuses on one
particular modal with many uses, would, and includes an introduction to the conditional, which we will explore in
greater depth in Chap. 9. modals time and modals negation and modals Keywords pure modals structures related to
modals semantic meanings of
In Chap. 5 we introduced the concept of auxiliary verbs and examined the three primary auxiliary verbs, be, have, and
do. Chapter 6 explored how be and have act as helping verbs in forming different verb tenses and how do acts as a
helping verb to form questions andnegatives inpresentandpast tense.This chapter examines another type of auxiliary
verb, the modal auxiliaries, referred to as modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries, or simply modals. Modals affect
the meaning of the main verb in many different ways. Modals are used to make requests, ask for permission, offer
suggestions, give advice, make logical deductions, and to fulfill many other social functions. Also included in our
discussion are structures closely related to the modals.
Section 1: Meanings and Use
How do the modal auxiliaries differ from the primary auxiliaries?
Like the three primary auxiliary verbs, the modals must accompany a main verb. Unlike the primary auxiliary verbs,
the modal auxiliaries should, must, can, could, would, may, might, will, and would do not change form or inflect for
tense or person. They have only one form that generally does not change. When modal
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
A. DeCapua, Grammar for Teachers, Springer Texts in Education,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-33916-0_7
auxiliaries do change, they may have a different meaning or use. For example, can changes to the past form could but
only when can is used in the sense of “ability.”

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