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MODAL AUXILIARIES

MODAL AUXILIARIES


Modal auxiliaries are “helping”
words that give specific meaning to
and indicate the tense of the verb.
Examples of modal auxiliaries are:
PRESENT/FUTURE

Shall*/will
Can
May/might
Should
Ought to

PAST/INDIRECT SPEECH

MODAL PERFECTS

would
will/would have

could
could have
might
may/might have
should
should have
ought to ought to have


*Shall was traditionally used for the
future in British English in the first and
third persons. Nowadays it is being
replaced more and more by will. Shall is
used in both British and American
English in formal speech to make an
offer or a suggestion in the form of a
question: Shall I answer the phone for
you? Shall we take another look at the
budget? It is generally not tested on the
TOEIC.


STRATEGIES FOR MODAL
AUXILIARY ITEMS
ASK YOURSELF THESE
QUESTIONS:


 Is the main verb of the
sentence in the present tense?
If so, is there a modal in a
present form in the
subordinate clause?


INCORRECT
[He is sure he could meet us
there]
CORRECT
He is sure he can meet us
there.


 Is the main verb of the
sentence in the past tense? If
so, is there a modal in a past
form in the subordinate
clause?


INCORRECT
[He thought he will retire
soon.]
CORRECT
He thought he would retire
soon.


 Has the action of the verb in
the subordinate clause
occurred before the action of
the main verb? If so, is there a
modal perfect in the
subordinate clause?


INCORRECT
[I think that I might make a
mistake yesterday.]
CORRECT
I think that I might have
made a mistake yesterday.


1. Last week the consultant
said (A) that the company
shall hire (B) a public
relations firm, which would
help (C) their image greatly
considering (D) recent profit
losses.


Consultant (on sth) (n) a person
who knows a lot about a
particular subject and is
employed to give advice about it
to other people:
Ex: The President’s consultant
on economic affairs


Firm (n) a business or
company:
An engineering firm.
A firm of accountants


1. Last week the consultant
said (A) that the company
shall hire (B) a public
relations firm, which would
help (C) their image greatly
considering (D) recent profit
losses.


2. The board of directors
should be (A) deciding now
who will get (B) promotions,
who may be (C) trained for
managerial positions, and who
would be (D) fired.


2. The board of directors
should be (A) deciding now
who will get (B) promotions,
who may be (C) trained for
managerial positions, and who
would be (D) fired.


3. Since She’s been told that
she would have (A) seniority
and can ask (B) for a transfer,
she should look (C) for an
opening in other departments
and submit (D) a request.


3. Since She’s been told that
she would have (A) seniority
and can ask (B) for a transfer,
she should look (C) for an
opening in other departments
and submit (D) a request.


4. The committee agrees that
a solution must be (A) found
right away, but the members
cannot (B) agree on what it
should be (C) or who might
have been (D) the best people
to implement it.


4. The committee agrees that
a solution must be (A) found
right away, hut the members
cannot (B) agree on what it
should be (C) or who might
have been (D) the best people
to implement it.


5. The procedures that we
must follow (A) when we will
have (B) problems using (C)
the new copier are posted (D).


5. The procedures that we
must follow (A) when we will
have (B) problems using (C)
the new copier are posted (D).


6. I would do (A) it if I could
(B), but I can't (C), so I
wouldn’t (D) even try.


6. I would do (A) it if I could
(B), butt I can't (C), so I
wouldn’t (D) even try.


7. Her mother, who passed
away (A) last year, must be
(B) a remarkable woman if
she could take (C) care of a
house, raise five children, and
work (D) at her family’s store
all at the same time.


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