Modal Auxiliaries Examples | Definition | Table

modal auxiliaries examples
Written by Waseem Raza

Modal Auxiliaries are given below:

can, could, should, shall,would, will, may, need, might, must, dare, used (to) ought (to)

Modal Auxiliaries are those helping verbs which help to express the mode marner in which the action is done.

The Modals are different from other Auxiliaries “have”, “be”, and “do” in three ways:

They do not have – s forms, ing forms, -ed forms or -en forms: do – does, dm have – having – had; be, being, been. But not may – mayed or maying.

Modals take only the base form of Principal Verbs after them:

  •  I can do the work alone.
  • He may not come here today.
  • You must abide by the rules.

Modals modify the meaning of the Main Verbs:
Does he play hockey?

(“Does” not to modify the main verb “play”, but to form a mere question) (But) He can play football. (“can” modifies the main verb “play” expressing ability)


Modals Functions Examples
Will asking  Will you help me?
Whould requesting Whould you give me your dictionary?
Shall asking Shall I do the work?
Should suggestion You should work hard.
Can ability He can drive a car.



He could do the sum.

Could you help me to do the sum?

May possibility



He may come here today.

May I come in?

May you live long!

Might pssibility


His statement might be true.

You might go to Lahore for training.

Must certainty


It must be good. You mustn’t do this.

You must obey your teachers.

Mustn’t prohibition You must not (mustn’t run in the sun.
Need necessity He need not go there (not “needs not”)

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