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CBSE Class 10 Grammar Revision Notes for Modals

MODAL AUXILIARIES

What are Modals? 

Modal auxiliaries are helping verbs which are used to indicate modality (likelihood, ability, permission, certainty and obligation). They give information about the tense and function of the main verb in the sentence. They exist only in relation to the main verbs, without which, they make little sense in the sentence.

 

Characteristics of Modals

How are Modals Used?

In affirmative sentences, the modal auxiliary is placed between the subject and the main verb.

 

 

In negative sentences, the modal auxiliary is placed between the subject and the negative adverb. 

 

 

Rules of Modals

 

  • They do not agree in number with the subject except for the modals ‘need’ and ‘dare’.

  • With the exception of ‘ought’, ‘need’ and ‘dare’, the modal auxiliaries are followed by infinitive forms of verbs without the preposition ‘to’.

  • They have no non-finite forms (‘-en’, ‘-ed’ or ‘-ing’ forms).
  • All tense forms are not represented by the modal auxiliary.

 

Types of Modals

There are three types of modal auxiliaries:

  • Single concept modals – having just one meaning
  • Double concept modals – having two meanings
  • Past modals – modals in the past tense
 
 
Single Concept Modals

 
Double Concept Modals
 
 
 
 
Past Modals
 
  • These modals help to refer to actions which took place in the past.
  • The structure of such sentences is as follows:



 

 

 

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