Modals may seem confusing to non-English speakers. Study the chart below.
You will see that several different modals can express a single mood.
And several different moods can be expressed by a single modal.
Below, you will find an example of each modal as it expresses each mood.
Go to the lessons to learn more.
LESSON MOOD MUST HAVE TO GOT TO NEED WOULD WILL SHALL SHOULD OUGHT MAY MIGHT COULD CAN ABLE TO DOES DID IS
01infer inference/conclusion must have to got to would will cannot
02oblig obligation must have to got to need will shall is to
03advice recommendation/advice need should ought
04suggst suggestion shall might could can
05expect expectation should ought
06probab probability may might
07permit permission/concession may might could can
08reques request would will might could can
09offer offer will might could can
10possib possibility could can able to
11abilit ability/capacity would will could can able to does did
12predic prediction will shall does is
must He must know about the second world war because he was born in Germany.
must not They must not have gotten my message because they haven't called.
have to If she is English she has to have drunk tea at least once.
got to With those brightly colored shorts and sunglasses, they've got to be tourists.
would A tall steel tower in the center of Paris? Ah, that would be the Eiffel Tower.
will Behind every successful man, you will find a woman.
will When the cat's away, the mice will play.
can't If she's tall and thin, it can't be Mary.
must All the soldiers must report back to their commanding officer at least once a day.
must If two ride on a horse, one must ride behind.
must not If you are feeling sick, you must not go out in the rain.
have to To become a doctor you have to study for many years.
don't have to In America, all citizens should vote, but they don't have to.
got to You've got to change the oil in your car every once in a while, or the engine will blow up.
need To get your passport, you need to go to the government office.
will You will do exactly as I tell you to do.
shall Thou shalt not steal.
is to Phillip and Joey are to buy all the drinks for the party.
need If you want to go hiking in the Rocky Mountains, you need to get a good raincoat.
should To learn English really well, you should travel in America or Ireland.
ought You ought to call Catherine if you are thinking of not going.
shall Shall I come back later?
might If you can't find the phone number in the yellow pages you might try directory assistance.
could You could try a different shampoo if your hair is too dry.
can They can ask Uncle Peter for help if they don't understand.
let Let nature take her course.
should Suzanne should be getting home any minute.
ought The movie ought to start at about eight o'clock.
may Bring a pic-nic lunch because there may not be a restaurant at the beach.
might If you explain your problem to Elizabeth, she might have some suggestions.
may The guard said we may not take pictures in the museum.
may You may be a college graduate, but you're a lousy poker player.
may A man may work from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done.
might The World Cup might be the biggest sports event in the world, but I think it's boring.
could Mom said we could play outside after dinner.
can I'm sorry, only employees can use the office telephone.
would Would you please be quiet?
will Will you open that door for me please?
might Might I have a try at your computer game?
could Could I see the rest of your house?
can Can Pamela use the bathroom?
will I'll take care of the flight reservations.
might We might help out with the cooking if you like.
could Mohammed could explain the details to everyone.
can Kamal can take the car and go get Tanaka at the swimming pool.
could At this hour, the library could be closed.
can You can take a boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.
can Women: you can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em.
can You can't lose what you never had.
can You can't buy happiness.
able to We went to the concert, but we weren't able to meet the musicians.
would When this car was new, it would go 170 kilometers per hour.
will All of these clothes will not fit in your suitcase.
could When I first came to Italy, I couldn't understand anything.
can Veronica can't swim and she can't drive a car, but she can sing really well!
can Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
able to I won't be able to speak Chinese well until I've had many more lessons.
does Junko is very strong; she runs 10 kilometers every day.
did When I knew Richard in Japan, he spoke Japanese very well.
will What will people think?
will Time will heal all wounds.
shall We shall meet him at the train station.
shall Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
shall As you sow, so shall you reap.
does The train gets in at eight thirty.
is Tomorrow is Christmas.