Auxiliaries and Modal Verbs
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Lesson 366
Auxiliaries and Modal Verbs
Auxiliary Verbs
The verbs be (am, is, was), have and do, when used with the ordinary verbs to make tenses, passive forms, questions and negatives, are called auxiliary verbs or auxiliaries. (Auxiliary means 'helping')

Modal Verbs
The verbs 'can', 'could', 'may', 'might', 'will', 'would', 'shall', 'should', 'must' and 'ought' are called modal verbs or modals. They are used before ordinary verbs and express meanings such as 'permission', 'possibility', 'certainty' and 'necessity'.
'Need' and 'dare' can also sometimes be used like modal verbs.
The auxiliary 'be' and its forms (is, am, are) are used:
a) In the formation of continuous tenses.
E.g. He is working. I was writing.

b) In the formation of the passive.
E.g. The doors were opened.

c) 'Be' followed by the infinitive is used:
i) To indicate a plan, arrangement, or agreement.
E.g. I am to see him tomorrow.
ii) To denote command.
E.g. You are to write your name at the top of each sheet of paper.
Pick the correct option:
I ______
was to
have to
am to
Pick the correct option:
The delicious meal ______
was devoured
was devour
has devoured
The auxiliary have is used:
i) In the formation of the perfect tenses.
E.g. He has worked.

ii) 'Have to' is used with the infinitive to indicate obligation.
E.g. I have to be there.
The past form 'had to' is used to express obligation in the past.
E.g. I had to be there by five o'clock.

iii) Word usage: In negative sentences and questions, 'have to' and 'had to' are used with do, does, did.
E.g. They have to go->They don't have to go -> Do they have to go?
The auxiliary 'do' is used:
i) To form the negative and interrogative of the simple present and simple past tenses of ordinary verbs.
a) He works -> He doesn't work -> Does he work? (Note: we do not add -s/-es after the verb with 'does')
b) He worked -> He didn't work -> Did he work? (Note: we do not use past forms of verbs with did not/ did)

ii) To avoid repetition of a previous ordinary verb.
E.g. Do you know him? Yes, I 'do'. (Instead of: Yes, I know him)

iii) Do is also used to emphasize the affirmative nature of a statement.
E.g. You do look pale.

iv) In the imperative, do makes a request or invitation more persuasive.
E.g. Oh, do come! It's going to be such fun.
Pick the correct option:
This ______
doesn't make
doesn't makes
not makes
Pick the correct option:
Many of us ______
Pick the correct option:
A bike ______
isn't cost
doesn't cost
hasn't costed
wasn't cost
Pick the correct option:
A: Will you go with me? B: ______
No, I won't
No, I am not
No, I don't
No, I aren't
Pick the correct option:
You used to stay up all night and study. ______
Didn't you?
Hadn't you?
Usen't you?
Used not you?
a) Can/could:
They usually expresses ability or capacity.
E.g. i) Can you lift the box?
ii) I could lift this bag when I was young.

b) May/might:
'May' is used formally to express possibility in affirmative sentences.
E.g. It may rain tomorrow.
c) Shall/should:
1) 'Shall' is used in the first person to express pure future. It is also used in the second and third person to express a command, a promise, or a threat.
i) You shall have a holiday tomorrow. (promise)
ii) You shall be punished. (a threat).

2) 'Should' is used in all persons to express duty or obligation.
E.g. You should obey the laws.

d) Will/would: 'Will' is used to express a volition (personal will), a characteristic habit, an assumption or probability and even an invitation or a request.
i) I will carry your books (means I am willing to)
ii) Will you have tea? (invitation)
iii) That will be the postman, I think (assumption).
e) Must:
1) 'Must' is used to express necessity or obligation. It refers to the present or near future.
E.g. I must visit my aunt Sally. She has not been feeling well since three days.
To talk about the past we use 'had to' (the past form of have to); must has no past form.
E.g. Yesterday we had to get up early.

'Must' is often used when the obligation comes from the speaker. When the obligation comes from somewhere else, 'have to' is often used.

2) 'Must' can also be used to express logical certainty.
E.g. Living in such crowded conditions must be difficult. (implying: I am sure it is difficult.)
f) Ought to:
1) It expresses moral obligation or desirability.
E.g. We ought to love our neighbors.
2) Ought to can also be used to express probability.
E.g. Prices ought to come down soon.

The auxiliary 'need', denoting necessity or obligation, can be conjugated with or without do.
i) He needs to go. (meaning: It is not necessary for him to go)
ii) Need I write to him?
iii) Do I need to go.

h) Dare:
It is generally used in negative and interrogative sentences.
E.g. He dare not take such a step.
Pick the correct option:
I don't think I ______
Pick the correct option:
You ______
Pick the correct option:
The Prime Minister ______
will be
need to
is to
Pick the correct option:
You ______
couldn't wait
hadn't waited
needn't have waited
Pick the correct option:
I wish he ______
'Possibly she isn't Anil's sister.' Rewrite this sentence, using a modal verb.
She must not be Anil's sister.
She may not be Anil's sister.
'It is not necessary for you to wash the car. (It is clean.)' Rewrite this sentence, using a modal verb.
You need not wash the car.
You mustn't wash the car.
'I was in the habit of going to the beach every day, when I was in Chennai' Rewrite this sentence, using a modal verb.
I used to go to the beach every day when I was in Chennai.
I had to go to the beach every day when I was in Chennai.
'I am sure he is over seventy.' Rewrite this sentence, using a modal verb.
He must be over seventy.
He ought to be over seventy.
'I am certain that they have left already.' Rewrite this sentence, using a modal verb.
They must have left already.
They could have left already.
Pick the correct option:
We ______
will play soccer if it doesn't rain.
will play soccer if it didn't rain.
Pick the correct option:
Is there anything ______
I can
can I
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