Verb Types: Modal Verbs-Probability & Certainty
April 4, 2019
Written by Douglas Shaw
Modal Verbs – Probability & Certainty:
Using these modals with the main verb to express probability & certainty in the present and past.
Using Modal verbs for present
Using these modals with the main verb to express probability & certainty in the present.
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.
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.