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




Hello Livon,

Yes, that is correct.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Pete ,
Please keep up the good work.
Best wishes,

Greetings to all,
My name is Sumeet. I have got the following queries -
Q 1. Can I introduce “had better” in Passive Voice like other Modal verbs? If yes, then please give me examples of its affirmative, negative, interrogative and interro-negative like any other modal.
Q 2. What is “ is to/am to / are to ?
Thank you very much Sir. 

Hello iamsam1987,

The expression 'had better' is not a true modal verb, but like modal verbs it is followed by  the infinitive without 'to'.  To make a passive form we use a passive infinitive (without 'to'):

You had better do it. [active]

It had better be done. [passive]

To form questions we use inversion:

Had it better be done?

Hadn't it better be done?

To form negatives we add 'not' to the infinitive:

You had better not do it.

It had better not be done.

The phrase 'had rather' works in a similar way.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Greetings to all. I am very thankful to you Peter. Thanks for resolving my queries. 

'It may sound strange to you'. In this sentence there isn't a infinitive after the modal verb 'may'.I learned after a modal verb definitely there is a infinitive.But here I can't see verb.Can you explain this?
Thank you.

Hi bimsara,

Modal verbs are followed by a bare infinitive, which lacks "to". In this sentence, "sound" is the verb (it can also be a noun) in its bare infinitive form.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
                 My name is Sumeet. I have come across the following patterns in which WOULD RATHER can be used. Are they grammatically correct, Sir?
Would  rather + simple past … (TO REFER TO THE PRESENT/ FUTURE)
Would rather + past perfect … (TO REFER TO THE PAST )
Regards and Thanks

Hi Sumeet,

Yes, those patterns are correct, though it's important to note that the subject of would rather and the subject of the second verb are different people, e.g.:

I would rather you didn't tell him my phone number.
I'd rather you hadn't told him my phone number.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team


Thanks a lot Kirk for your kind and prompt reply. I like this site very much. One can find thorough solution to one's query related to English Language. This site is proving very beneficial to all the English language learners. The entire team of this site is very supportive and polite. Words can not explain how grateful I am to you and to British Council. Thank you so much.