Level: beginner

The modal verbs are: 



We use modals to show if we believe something is certain, possible or impossible:

My keys must be in the car.
It might rain tomorrow.
That can't be Peter's coat. It's too small.

We also use them to do things like talk about ability, ask permission, and make requests and offers:

I can't swim.
May I ask a question?
Could I have some tea, please?
Would you like some help?

Modal verbs




Thanks Pete.

Dear Teachers,
I am interested to know about the usage of 'would be'.
What it is used for?
Sometimes people say : ' It would be fun' or 'It would be difficult'. They might be talking in present here or future . But I think the sentence refers to the past as 'would' is the past form of 'will'. Could you please clarify it and provide some explanation for it.
What do you think?
With best wishes ,

Hello Livon,

The two sentences you provide are actually examples of conditional sentences in which the if-clause has been omitted - this is quite common in English.  For example:

'It would be fun [if we did it].'

'It would be difficult [if we tried to do it].'

In these kinds of conditional sentences the 'would + verb' form describes an unlikely or impossible present or future action or state.  You can find more information on this and related structures on this page and on this page.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Pete ,

I appreciate your help.

With kind regards,


Dear teachers:
Could you help me....l'm really don't know about tenses,,,there we use only 16 tenses,,,,and in the internet l saw 26 tenses in english language.....!How many tanses have in english?
with refards


This is a question which provokes a lot of discussion!  The consensus today is that English has two tenses - present and past.  This is because tenses are defined in linguistics as inflectional changes in the form of the verb (changes in the verb itself, not just adding auxiliary verbs) which show time and in English there are only two such forms.  Other verb forms (such as continuous and perfective aspects or passive voice), are made by adding extra words, such as auxiliary verbs, or by using other words (phrases like 'going to', for example, or modal verbs like 'will').

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teachers,
Firstly,could you please tell me the difference between possibility and probability.The bottom line is that I cannot figure out between the possibility and probability. How do you get a feel that its is a possibility or a probability ?
Would you please provide some lucid examples with explanations.
Best wishes,

Hi Livon,

Possibility and probability refer to how likely we think something is true. Imagine, for example, that you and I are in a park and we see a family wearing party hats and eating cake. We see the same situation and both speculate on the reasons for the party. Let's say that I'm convinced (see as probable) that the family is celebrating one of the children's birthday, whereas you aren't sure - you think it could possibly be a celebration of the parents' wedding anniversary.

In such a case, I could say, "They must be celebrating a birthday" (must indicates I am certain or view this as very probable). You could say, "Perhaps, but they might be celebrating a wedding anniversary" (might indicates that you think this is possible).

Does this help you?

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team


Dear Kirk,
Thank you very much for your swift response.
Please keep up the good work.
Best wishes,

Dear Teachers,
Please check if I am correct in my guess about a sentence written below.

  1. Stay calm. Don't argue with an intoxicated guest. A fight could break out easily.

In the last sentence, writer used could as it is expressing a possibility.
Best wishes,