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.



This questions is very strong

Hello Joann,

I'm afraid we don't provide help with homework or similar tasks. We're happy to try to clarify particular points as best as we can or to explain things from our own pages, but we can't help with these kinds of tasks.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question . when I say ''His smoking so often makes me feel angry about him'' can we think that it is a compound modal nominal predicate, I somehow feel that ''makes'' has a modal meaning in the sentence. but still I have some doubts.

Hello Nu barcelona,

I'm afraid this goes beyond the focus of this site. Our focus here is on learning English and helping our users to learn English, not on linguistics and this kind of linguistic analysis. For this kind of question you need a linguistics site.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

OK, thank you :)

hey, i want to ask:Only these 8 are modal verbs? WHAt about must?

Hello VIcKtoRas,

Thanks very much for pointing this out to us! You are of course correct – 'must' is a modal verb. Although it's not listed at the top of this page, it is mentioned further down the page under Obligation and necessity. You can also find more about 'must' on our Modals 1 page.

We'll get this fixed soon. Thanks again for alerting us to it!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dea Mr. Kirk
hello again
and one more question
1-why is this sentence correct? i think what needs to be done is increase(why not is to increase) can we also use is to increase/increasing
2- what should be done is increase(after modal verb should, here we have be and done, so I think they need to be in base form not increase)

Hello again aris,

You can say either 'to increase' or 'increase' in sentence 1. 'what needs to be done' is a relative clause that is the subject of the verb 'is' and then you can use either a base form or an infinitive with 'to' in the complement. By the way, sentences that use a relative clause in this way are called 'cleft sentences'. I don't think we have a page on these on our site, but I'm sure you can find more about them on the internet.

Sentence 2 has essentially the same structure as sentence 1. It uses, of course 'should' instead of 'needs', and so since 'should' is a modal verb, a base form follows it. 'be' is the base form of the passive infinitive 'be done'. 'what should be done', like in sentence 1, is the subject, 'is' is the verb and 'increase' (or you could say 'to increase') is the complement.

I hope this clears it up for you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Mr. Kirk
I appreciate your very thorough reply Sir
thanks for the time and willingness you contribute.
God bless you,