Verb Types: Modal Verbs-Probability & Certainty*

Verb Types: Modal Verbs-Probability & Certainty

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Modal Verbs – Probability & Certainty:

Using these modals with the main verb to express probability & certainty in the present and past.

mustcan’tmaymightcould

 

Using Modal verbs for present

Using these modals with the main verb to express probability & certainty in the present.

mustcan’tmaymightcould

e.g. – Must

  • They are a very strong team, they must win the championship.

e.g. – Can’t

  • He can’t quit, after all, he is the head of the project.

e.g. – May

  • The team from Japan may be arriving this afternoon.

e.g. – Might

  • Their office might be closed.

e.g. – Could

  • Ask Jeff if he could lead the team, but, he could be away on holiday.

Using Modal verbs for past

Using these modals with the main verb to express probability & certainty in the past.

mustcan’tcouldn’t have

e.g. – Must have

  • The team from Japan must have left very early.

e.g. – Can’t have

  • The prisoner can’t have escaped through this window, it is to small and outside is a cliff that leads to the ocean.

e.g. – Couldn’t have

  • He couldn’t have forgotten his own wedding.



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