Modal Auxiliary Verbs Examples

Modal Auxiliary Verbs

You already know that auxiliary verbs help to form the various tenses, moods, and voices of verbs.

The modal auxiliary verbs are auxiliary verbs that specifically affect the mood of the verb. Remember that verb mood is about the attitude in which the action or state is expressed-as a statement of fact or opinion, as a wish, as a possibility, or as a command.

Examples of Modal Auxiliary Verbs:

List of modal auxiliary verbs:

can      will      shall     may

could  would  should   might


The modal auxiliary verbs are never used as a main verb. In addition, they do not have the five forms that main verbs have. While other auxiliary verbs (be and have) can be used as a main verb and have the five forms, these modal auxiliary verbs do not.

Examples of modal auxiliary verbs in a sentence:

1) I can run a mile in 8 minutes. (expresses a fact or possibility)

2) You must clean your plate before you have dessert. (expresses a command)

3) I might go to the park after school today. (expresses a possibility)

4) It would be nice if a rainbow appeared. (expresses a wish)

5) Do you think it will rain today? (expresses a possibility or a wish)

6) Grandma could arrive any minute! (expresses a possibility)

7) You should try some of this spaghetti. (expresses a statement of opinion)

8) Will you give me some money? (expresses a wish or possibility)

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