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.


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. 

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,

Hello Livon,

Yes, that is correct.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

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

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:
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