The modal verbs are:

can could
may might
shall should
will would

We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability, asking permission making requests and offers, and so on.
 

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Comments

Hi, I was wondering about the complete list of modal words. It appears as this isn't complete. ------ suggests that the modal verbs are "can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, would". Is that correct and is that the complete list?

Hello Bighug,

'ought to' is generally considered a semi-modal verb and that's why it's not in the list on our page. English teachers often present 'ought to' with modal verbs, however, because it's very similar. In the end, whether it is a modal verb or not isn't important for most purposes, but if you're interested in the topic I'd suggest you consult the wikipedia entry on English modal verbs.

By the way, the link you wrote was deleted because we don't generally publish links to other sites. This is simply because we don't have the time to investigate what people link to; you don't need to worry, I just wanted to explain why the link was missing.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,for requests which modal verb is used for more politeness -will or would or could?

Hello surendra kumar,

In general, 'would' and 'could' are more polite than 'will', but please read our pages on these modal verbs for more information.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

If we are to fill in the blank correct modal verb for asking permission and we are not sure about the situation being formal or informal,which one is better to be used-can or may? Please explain,Sir.

Hello surendra kumar,

'can' is appropriate in a wider variety of contexts, so I'd recommend using 'can' over 'may', but that really depends on who's correcting the gaps. In many social situations (i.e. outside of class), though, sometimes it's better to be too formal than it is to be too informal, so 'may' might be more appropriate then. It really depends on the context and the on the relationship between the speakers.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to know more about "Auxiliary Verbs" please.

Hello aneeshtk,

Auxiliary verbs are also called 'helping verbs'. They are used only with another verb (the main verb) in order to make various tense, aspects, voices, or to make questions and negatives, or to add modality - modal verbs are auxiliary verbs too, and are followed by a main verb.

You can learn a little more about how the English verb phrase is constructed here.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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