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.



Sir Thanks for your reply

Hello may I know which tense comes after a modal verb past or present

Hello Lamastry,

Either the base form (also called 'the infinitive without to') or a perfect infinitive (have + past participle) is used after modal verbs.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Is it true that all modal verbs are followed by verbs in present forms

Hello Lamastry,

Modal verbs are followed by the base form or bare infinitive form of verbs, which is often the same as the present simple form, but not always. For example, we say 'He can be very moody' not *'He can is very moody'. I'd suggest you read through the pages in this section, where you can see lots of examples of these verbs in use.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi All
Good Evening,

I am new in site and try to learn the model verb.

During the Future Plan test I found a Question:

'I would love to go out with you tomorrow' in this sentence i am not able to understand why would is used here.
Please help me to understand this.

Thanks in advance.

Hello vishwa chauha,

We use [would like to + verb] to express a preference in a polite way. It can be seen as a conditional form with a hidden 'if' clause ('if you agreed' or 'if you didn't mind').

However, I don't think trying to analyse this as an example of the use of 'would' as a modal verb is particularly helpful, to be honest. Seeing it as a functional exponent - a way of expressing preference - is more communicatively helpful, I would say.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Friends,

My colleagues often correct me when I miss out a modal verb when I write sentences like this:

"It is essential that the foundation be firmly established."

Can you please confirm that this is mistaken, and if so, how to watch avoid such mistakes in the future?
Thank you for your time.

Hello Vaughan,

That sentences is perfectly correct. I assume you are referring to the use of 'be' in the second part of the sentence, but it is quite correct. This is an example of a subjunctive form, which is an uncommon form in English, but is quite correct.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Good Day from Brasil, dear Friends.

I understand that there are almost 13.000 verbs in English and almost 700 regular verbs. Do You think that I can consider these numbers in my researches about English Verbs? Is there a number? Thanks a lot.

Sidarta Martins (Mr.)