Sentences : Modal auxiliaries the imperative making suggestions stating preferences


1.     Ability (present or future)

·       I can help her tomorrow.

·       She can speak English.

2.     Ability (past)

  • She could speak Arabic when she was a child, but now she has forgotten it.

3.     Possibility

·       She might be at home.

  • You may leave the table once you have finished your meal.

4.     Permission

·       You may leave the table now that you are finished with your dinner.

5.     Polite Questions ('I' as subject)

·       May I help you this evening?

6.     Polite Questions ('you' as subject) 

·       Could you tell me if there is a restaurant nearby?

7.     Advice

·       if they want to pass their exams. They should study more.

8.     Advice (including a possible bad consequence)

·       You'd better hurry, or you'll be late.

9.     Necessity (formal/written)

·       I'd like to go to the market with you today, but I can't. I have to go to the dentist.

10. Necessity (informal/spoken)

·       I have got to pay my phone bill soon.

11. Necessity (question)

·       Do we have to speak before the committee?

12. Necessity (past)

·       I had to go visit my parents last night.

13. Lack of Necessity

·       You do not have to come to school his weekend.

14. Prohibition

·       You must not make any noise. My baby is sleeping.

15. Logical Conclusion

·       I must complete the exam on time.