Verb Types: Modal Verbs-Permission*

Verb Types: Modal Verbs-Permission

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Modal verbs for permission:

Use these modals with the main verb when asking for, giving, and refusing permission.

cancan’tcouldmay

Using Modal Verbs to express permission

Use these modals with the main verb when asking for, giving, and refusing permission.

cancan’tcouldmay

e.g. – Can

  • You can borrow my cell phone if need to.

e.g. – Can’t

  • You can’t use my car, it is out of gasoline.

e.g. – Could

  • Many years ago you could download your music onto cassettes.

e.g. – May

  • Passengers may take one small bag on board the airplane.

Note:

The use of “may” is more formal and is used less often than “can”.



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