Modal verbs


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.


Hello everyone,
I'm a little confused with the use of "would" and "should". Which one of the following is correct:

1. If Linda should call, please ask her to leave a message.
2. If Linda would call, please ask her to leave a message.

Since both can be used to express a possible situation, are both acceptable then?

Hello RachTHK,

1 is correct and 2 is not, though it would be correct with 'calls' instead of 'would call'. Our Conditionals 1 page explains sentences with 'if', though it doesn't discuss the way 'should' is used in 1. 'should' can be used after 'if' in first conditional sentences to express the idea that something is unlikely, i.e. in this case the speaker doesn't think it's likely that Linda will call.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,

I just have a small confusion..that..can "has" be used after does?

i.e. "Does she has a pen?" is this sentence is grammatically correct? Or we only use "have" along with 'do' and 'does'? Please explain.

Thank you.

Hello PrashantK,

No, when 'do' is used as an auxiliary verb (e.g. in 'Does she have a pen?' or 'Did she go to the bookshop?'), the rest of the verb goes in the infinitive form, in this case, 'have'. 'has' is incorrect here. See our question forms page for more on this.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Is it right to ask:
Can I haz cheezburger?
Could I haz cheezburger?


Hello Corrado,

Neither of these is correct, though the use of 'can' and 'could' in both is correct. The correct versions are:

  • Can I have a cheeseburger?
  • Could I have a cheeseburger?

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

hello sir i just want to know when we use ing form with modal. for example what is the different between should we move? or should we moving? please guide me.

Hello tripti chaturvedi,

We do not follow a modal with the -ing form by itself. 'Should we move' is correct, grammatically, whereas 'should we moving' is incorrect.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team