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.


Thank you so much Kirk. I am very grateful to you and to British Council.

Thanks a lot Kirk for your kind and prompt reply. I like this site very much. One can find thorough solution to one's query related to English Language. This site is proving very beneficial to all the English language learners. The entire team of this site is very supportive and polite. Words can not explain how grateful I am to you and to British Council. Thank you so much. 

'It may sound strange to you'. In this sentence there isn't a infinitive after the modal verb 'may'.I learned after a modal verb definitely there is a infinitive.But here I can't see verb.Can you explain this?
Thank you.

Hi bimsara,

Modal verbs are followed by a bare infinitive, which lacks "to". In this sentence, "sound" is the verb (it can also be a noun) in its bare infinitive form.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

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,