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, I and my friends have trouble in pointing out the modal to fill in this sentence:
Anyone ....... make a mistake
whether to use can or could. the answer key show that the sentence uses could, but no explanaition. can you please give me the explanation about this case?

Hello Intanimakulata,

Both can and could are possible in this sentence; which is correct will depend upon the context.

Is this a question from LearnEnglish? If so then please let us know which page it is from and we will check it. If not, then you will need to contact the author of the task for an explanation. We do not comment on tasks and exercises from elsewhere as we cannot be sure of the intention or qualifications of the author.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for replying and I think I agree with you that there must be context to limit the meaning of the setntence. This is not question from LearnEnglish, actually it is from our English module. I will contact the author of the task for more explanation.

Hi! I read the following answer in the ECPE exam and i have a question!
-Why did he take the day off work?
He needed it...............take his mother to the hospital.- The correct answer is 'so could he'.
Please, could you please explain the meaning of that? Is tha really correct? It's the key's answer!

Hello Marilia,

I'm afraid we don't give feedback on exams. In 'so he could take', 'so' is a conjunction that introduces a clause that explains something, i.e. the reason he took a day off work.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir/madam,

for past discontinued habit we use USED TO/WOULD

for making negative we can use NOT

i used to have
i used not to have

is it possible for us to use DID NOT
i used to have
i did not use to have

my opinion is we should not use DID
it is not regular simple past and the verb useD is not ordinary verb when we use for past discontinued habit.

please help

what, when we change modal verbs containing sentences into negative or interrogative, for example, You must say hello. how to change it in interrogative, or you might find the book . like sentences

you must say hello..............positive
you must not say hello........negative
must you say hello................positive yes/no question
must you not say hello.........negative yes no question
why must you say hello .....+ wh question
why must you not say hello .........negative question

Hello faiza zaka,

This is explained in detail on our verbs - questions and negatives page. Please take a look at that, and if you have any questions, please ask us them there.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, what is the main verb in the sentence give below?
The irrigation department has to complete 85tanks.