Thursday, 19 July 2012

Modal Verbs: Can


The Forms, Meanings and Use of the Modal Verb CAN (COULD).

Can and could are modal auxiliary verb, like for example must, may and should. Like other modal verbs, 'can' has no –s on the third person singular (he can, not he cans); questions and negatives are made without do (Can I?, Could I? not Do I can?, Did I could?); these verbs are followed by the infinitive without to (e. g.: I can do it.). 'Can' and 'could' have no infinitive or participles (to can, canning do not exist).

Patterns. Read and memorize! 
Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I can swim.Can I swim? I cannot swim.
He can swim.Can he swim? He cannot swim.
She can swim.Can she swim? She cannot swim.
It can swim.Can it swim? It cannot swim.
We can swim.Can we swim? We cannot swim.
You can swim.Can you swim? You cannot swim.
They can swim.Can they swim? They cannot swim.
Note 1: - the modal verb 'can' has only two forms – can in the present and could in the past. The missing tense is supplied by the future of to be able.
E. g. : I shall be able to prepare for my exams.

Note 2: - There are contracted negative form can’t, couldn’t.
E. g.: I can’t understand.

Be careful about the pronunciation of 'can’t': in British English it has a quite different vowel from 'can'.
Can [kᴂnt]; can’t [kɑːnt] (GB), [kᴂnt] (US).

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Modal Verbs: Must


The Forms, Meanings and Use of the Modal Verb MUST.

Must is a modal auxiliary verb. 'Must' has no infinitive or participles. It  has only one tense form in the present. Like other modal verbs, 'must' has no –s on the third person singular (he must, not he musts); questions and negatives are made without do (Must I?, not Do I must?); 'must' is followed by the infinitive without to (e. g.: I must do it).

Patterns. Read and memorize! 
Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I must do it now.Must I do it now? I must not do it now.
He must do it now.Must he do it now? He must not do it now.
She must do it now.Must she do it now? She must not do it now.
It must do it now.Must it do it now? It must not do it now.
We must do it now.Must we do it now? We must not do it now.
You must do it now.Must you do it now? You must not do it now.
They must do it now.Must they do it now? They must not do it now.
Note 1: - The missing tenses are supplied by the past and the future tenses of to have.
E. g. : I had to meet him at the station.
          I shall have to meet him at the station.

Note 2: - There is a contracted negative form mustn’t [mʌsnt].
E. g.: He mustn’t find out what’s happening.