Английский язык. 11 класс

Урок 29. Modals

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Can/ could, may/ might, must/ had to, ought to, shall/ should, will/ would have the common rules.

●      don’t take –s, -ing, -ed affixes

●      are followed by the bare infinitive

●      come before the subject in questions and are followed by not in negations

●      They don’t have tenses in the normal sense


●      Must (past: had to) - duty and strong obligation especially when the speakers themselves have decided it

●      Have to (past: had to) - strong necessity or obligation when we are made to do something under some circumstances

●      Should /ought to -duty or weak obligation

Absence of necessity

●      Don’t have to/don’t need to/needn’t (past - didn’t have to) - something which isn’t necessary to do in the present or future

●      Needn’t have done - something which wasn’t necessary to do in the past but it was done


●      Can/ may (more formal) - permission

●      Can’t/ mustn’t - the action is forbidden


●      Can +bare infinitive - theoretical possibility not for specific situations

●      Could/may/might + bare infinitive - possibility for specific situations

●      Could/might/ would + perfect infinitive - possibility in the past but it didn’t happen


●      Can (past – could )- ability in the present and future

●      Was able - ability on a specific occasion in the past

Logical assumption/deduction

●      Must - almost certain that it is /was true

●      May/might /could - possible that it is /was true

●      Can’t and couldn’t - almost certain that it is / was impossible


●      Will- 100% certain about the action in future

●      Should / ought - 90% certain about the action


●      Could /should to show critical attitude towards the action


●      Can I/Shall I…?

●      Can you/ Could you/Would you…?  


●      Should /ought to - general advice

Shall - asking for advice

Interactive situations
You can use

●      We use can’t or not allowed to to say that there is a rule NOT to do something:

They’re not allowed to use mobiles in the exam.

●      We can use mustn’t usually to explain rules or instructions.

Remember, children, you mustn’t ride your bikes with the cars or you’ll be injured!

●      To talk about negative rules in the past or future we use wasn’t\weren’t allowed to and won’t be allowed to.

When I was a child I wasn’t allowed to stay outdoors late.

●      If there is NO rule that something is necessary, we use don’t have to, NOT mustn’t.


Let’s compare:

1. You don’t have to eat in this place, do as you like. (You have a choice)

2. You mustn’t eat in this place. (You have no choice, because it’s forbidden to eat in this place)


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