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 Peter,

Thank you for your reply!

I’d like to clarify if “dared” is the past form of both the semi-modal “dare” and the regular verb “dare”. If so, are the following example sentences grammatically correct?

1) Everyone dared not go into that haunted house.
2) Everyone did not dare to go into that haunted house.


Hello pradipsinhhada,

Modal verbs such as 'may' are followed by a bare infinitive. Therefore the correct sentence would be either 'I know I may be struggling' (talking about this moment) or 'I know I struggle' (talking in general).

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there.

I have been struggling with re learning English while studying for my TEFL qualification.

We have been asked to analyse certain grammatical parts of a sentence.
I am currently stuck on this; Eventually we 'HAVE TO SLEEP'

have to sleep being the section to analyse and explain the MFP of.

I understand according to my books that it is a phrasal modal verb, but is it possible to explain which tense this would fit into if it does as when i look i can't see how it would fit as it doesn't seem (to me) to fit into anything i.e. follow a rule. I'm really stuck on the form part

Ami being blind and not looking hard enough or is it another random English rule that has a clause to it?

Any help would be grateful as I'm really struggling with this section of grammar


Hello land32,

Perhaps I'm missing something, but the tense in 'Eventually we have to sleep' seems to me to be the present simple. Does that make sense to you?

By the way, this sort of question is the kind of thing that our sister site TeachingEnglish is made for. There you'll find a community of teachers who might have some great advice for you on this.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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