Yet More Modals October 4, 2013

Very often students are confused about modal auxiliary (“helping”) verbs used especially in conversational English.

Here are some more examples of modal verbs you will learn in PC TECH.  You can find others in previous blogs :

Use be going to when you can predict something with 100% certainty, similar to willShe is going to be here this evening?

We can also use be going to for intention or a definite plan:  I’m going to try sushi at a nice restaurant this afternoon.

In the past tense be going to expresses an intention that was not fulfilled:  I was going to make a dentist appointment last week, but my dentist was on vacation.

Can expresses possibility or ability:  They can speak excellent English because they studied at PC TECH.

Can also expresses informal permission; may, on the other hand, would be more formal:  You can use my smartphone to find that information.

Use can to make an  informal polite request to your friends:  Can I borrow your eraser?

In a negative manner, you can express impossibility with canThat can’t be correct!

With past time:  That can’t have been correct!

(There will be more of these modal verbs in upcoming blogs.)

           PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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