A modal is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that is used to express: ability, possibility, permission or obligation. Modal phrases are used to express the same things as modals, but are a combination of auxiliary verbs and the preposition too. The modals in English are:
- Must/have to
take and give permission
- I can complete the task in 5 days.
- Can you lend me your notebook?
- Could you help me with this?
May/ Might :
- Formal permission
- Polite request
- making formal suggestion
- May I use your phone for a call?
- You may start with the presentation of your idea.
- May I go to a movie this weekend?
Shall/Should/Ought to :
- To Offer of Assistance or Polite Suggestion
- To Offer of Assistance
- A Prediction or Expectation that Something Will Happen
To Give Advice
- Should I call a doctor?
- You ought to have your car serviced before the winter.
- I shouldn’t be late.
Must/Have to/Need to:
- Show Necessity or requirement
- Ram must complete his work on time.
- You must not drive over the speed limit
- You must have the pass to enter the Museum.
- Polite Request or statement
- Habitual past actions
- Will you please take the trash out?
- Would you mind if I sat here?
- When I was a child, I would spend hours playing with my train set.