Modal Verbs – Meaning, Usage & Examples

what are verbs

Mastering Modal Verbs: Shining light on Verb Definition with Verb Examples

To put clearly and talk about verb definition- Verbs are the engines and the wheels that pull the sentences forward in space. They tell us what is going on (it could be "running" or "jumping" (verb examples)) or what fits in the world (linking verbs like "am" or "seem"). However, with the verbs being so abundant in this world, these modal verbs form a special subgroup. Surprisingly, these microscopic enterers have no ability to show actions themselves, instead they create significance of what has been said. Through selection of words, they us to identify what is possible, what is needed, what we can do and what we at, making our sentences more complex yet powerful. 

What are Modal Verbs?

The verb definition of modals is a quite different family because unlike their counterparts, the action verbs, they do not describe an action. This is a different role though as they do not just replace the main verb but work alongside with it carrying more meaning. Here is how they function:

  • Modal Verb: This foreshadows it, either revealing the compulsory or permissive nature of the action to be described, or even stressing perhaps is justified, either way obligatory aspect of it. (e. g. We will provide learners with (verb examples: write, read, learn, know, answer) instructional materials with attention to learning objectives. 
  • Main Verb: “Kristin” is the action verb that tells us what is taking place. (e. g., run, jump, speak)
  • Verb Example: As a case of point, we can reconsider the sentences "I can run five kilometres" and "I run five kilometres every day", these sentences are quite different and probably different in some meanings. "The expression "I can go miles" features the modal verb "can" in it, implying being able to run the said distance is possible. "The second sentence is a mere description of daily routine, implying the action verb "run" is a statement of habit.

Enhance Your Child's Verbal Abilities: Start Trial Now!

Common Modal Verbs and Their Meanings

Here is a breakdown of some frequently used modal verb examples and their meanings:

  • Can: Prove the hearing or seeing of something through a person by showing them. (e. g. Besides this, she can speak three languages. 
  • Could: Opted for the past tense to refer to my previous ability, the possibility of something happening, or make an inquiry. (e. g. Whoever could swim in our family, I was one of them. Would you kindly pass the salt? (I forgot it on the table!))
  • Might: Like "might" the term shows a small degree of possibility. (e. g. I know by now that I better plan my way on a day I think I might be late for work. 
  • Must: Result in completed not undertaken as a choice or with pleasure. (e. g. Gear up; You must helmet on while cycling. 
  • Should: The word "should, " in this case, not only indicates advice, suggestion, or obligation but also something that is less forceful when compared to using "must.  "g. One thing needs to be mentioned, you should cram for the upcoming exam. 
  • Would: We can use this verb for past habits, what-if situations, or polite requests in speech. (e. g., I would walk even over 2 kilometers to reach there. Would you believe what happens if we dare to approach the sun's face?
  • Will: May one expect that it connotes future prediction, determination, or acceptableness. (e. g. If you look outside, you will see that it is not sunny, indicating a high chance that rain will fall tomorrow. Beside everything I up will go on striving for my hopes. Grandparents play a very important role in her life.  Visiting them is often her hobby. 

what is a verb

Using Modal Verbs Correctly: Few Tips Yet 

Modal verbs come with a few quirks that are essential to master

  • Tense: Modal verbs, however, are a rather unusual type of verb as they do not change in any way to indicate tense. They come after the bare form (infinitive) of the main verb. 
  • From the sentence: Social networking platforms create self-consciousness in adolescents, leading to a decline in their self-esteem. (e. g. Now I can say: I already could speak French like a pro ten years ago. 
  • Negation: To stand for a modal verb, we use not after the modal verb. (e. g. To put it in a nutshell, I do not know Chinese). 

Besides that, modal verbs help you articulate your writing in a vivid and stylistic way. 

Giving More Weight to Formalizing Your Communication with 98thPercentile

Much like the modal verb tool, one can send different ideas or meaning across in a variety of ways. Notwithstanding, the advancement of their intricacies may get complicated sometimes. Here we introduce you to 98thPercentile. The live online after school enrichment platform provides sophisticated English classes, created by best in the industry instructors. Click here to book 2 weeks of FREE Trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Do the modal verbs to change the tenses?

Ans: No, they use base verb form. 

Q2: Mention the examples of modal verbs, how do we negate them?

Ans: Use "none" after the modal verb. 

Q3: Which one do you prefer, 'can' and 'could'? 

Ans: This is the question you may have sometimes while reading the sentence. (Present sentence means 'can' for present tense and "could" for past or polite request.)

Q4: Can I schedule a Free class with 98thPercentile?

Ans: Yes you can get 2 weeks of free trial classes.

Book 2-Week English Trial Classes Now!

Related Articles

1. STAAR Test English: Build Communication Skills!

2. Embark on Your English Learning Journey: Free Online Courses

3. Shaping Stories: A Deep Dive into Literary Devices

4. Tips for Building Strong Vocabulary and Spelling Skills