Hello my Dear learners of English

Welcome to Myabcenglish.com. I am your facilitator Timir

And I am back with a very important lesson on “Modals”


As a learner of English as a second language one needs to be more aware of the contextual usage of Modals as they express a speaker’s attitude in a real sense.

Common examples being

Usage of

“Will” to assure or predict something

Should” to advise or suggest something

To name a few

Modals are used to express ability, obligation, habit, willingness or even for seeking permission

A word of caution:

Modals aren’t used in “Statement of Facts”

For example: French revolution took place in 1789


Modals help the writers in sticking to word limits and expressing the degree of confidence in a statement. For example rather than saying being able to, one can instead use the modal “Can”

Are Modals expressed only as verbs?

No, is the answer. Modals can also be expressed as Modal paraphrases, Adjectives, Adverbs or even Nouns


Modal verbs can have multiple meanings in relation to the contextual use. This ambiguity in usage of modals is often unclear to learners of English as a second language.


For example

Usage of the same Modal “Must” changes in different contexts

In a party someone saying “You must try this Dessert” is a suggestion while

A teacher telling a student “You must be in school on time” is a compulsion or a necessity


As the speakers with English as their first language tend to understand the usage of the modal verbs naturally


While Present forms of Modal verbs like Can, May or Will are usually more direct and express more certainty

Their past forms such as Could, Might or Would seem to be tentative and more uncertain


Usually paying attention to the

  • Relationship between the speakers,
  • Their contextual usage and the
  • Tone of the sentence in terms of Stress and Intonation or facial expressions helps in

Helps the learners of English as a second language to understand their potential meaning

I am sure that this lesson will be very useful to you.

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