Учебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Английский язык Для студентов специальностей




НазваниеУчебно-методический комплекс по дисциплине Английский язык Для студентов специальностей
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Модальные глаголы (Modal Verbs)



CAN – be able to do smth. / be capable of doing smth.




Meaning

Use

Present

Past

1

physical or mental ability or possibility

+

-

?

You can use computer for various purposes.

We couldn’t use the floppy because of the viruses.

2

permission

+

You can try a new application for this task.

-

3

suggestions

+

We can/could try another procedure instead.

-

4

offer

?

Can I offer you this new product of IBM?

-

5

polite request

?

Can/Could you help me with the database?

-

6

surprise or astonishment

?

Can/Could you make such an inquiry?

How can/could you have entered this data?

7

doubt or uncertainty

-

-

The processor can’t/couldn’t have come to a halt.

8

certainty

-

They can’t/couldn’t be at our disposal.

They can’t/couldn’t have been used for that purpose.

9

prohibition

-

We can’t get access.

They couldn’t use that devise.

10

lost opportunity or complaint

+

-

The floppy could at least have been checked for viruses before.

Notes:

  1. Can has only two tense forms: can (present) and could (past), so for other tenses to be able to do smth. or to be capable of doing smth. are used. But if you mean that someone managed to do something in one particular situation (where can or could are possible), you have to use was/were able to do smth. or was/were capable of doing smth.

  2. Could is not always the past of can, sometimes it has a present or future meaning. Perfect infinitive after can or could in such cases shows that they refer to the past.

  3. Passive and progressive infinitives after can or could are also possible in some cases.

MAY – to be allowed (permitted) to do smth.




Meaning

Use

Present

Past

1

permission

+ / ?

You may use my ISP if you wish.

-

2

prohibition

-

You may not use my e-mail box.

-

3

possibility

+ / -

It may/might be a faulty program.

The modem may/might not have been switched on.

4

suggestion

+

We might use other graphical software.

-

5

complaint

+

They might pay more attention to the instructions.

He might have checked his e-mail at least sometimes.

Notes:

  1. May has only two tense forms: may (present) and might (past), so for other tenses to be allowed (permitted) to do sth. is used.

  2. Might is not always the past of may, sometimes it has a present or future meaning. Perfect infinitive after may or might in such cases shows that they refer to the past.

  3. Passive and progressive infinitives after may or might are also possible in some cases.



MUST




Meaning

Use

Present

Past

1

obligation (speaker’s authority )

+

?

They must provide us with all necessary data.

-

2

necessity (speaker’s thought)

+

He must work hard to learn this computer language.

-

3

prohibition

-

You mustn’t press any button.

-

4

certainty

+

He must be working in the Internet. I can’t call him.

They must have already opened this file.

Notes:

  1. Must has no other forms. To express past perfect infinitive can be used sometimes.

  2. Had to is the past form of must which refers to a past obligation.

  3. Need is used in its negative form to express the lack of necessity.

SHOULD / OUGHT TO




Meaning

Use

Present

Past

1

advice (giving/asking for)

+ / ? / -

Should these commands be carried out?

-

2

obligation

+ / -

The files ought to be fully defined.

The PC shouldn’t have been used inappropriately.

3

possibility

+

You should see the message on the screen.

They should have carried out the calculations.

4

complaint

+ / -

You should be using another application for this purpose.

These devices should have been handled with great care.

Note:

Should/Ought to have no other forms. To express past perfect infinitive can be used sometimes.

NEED




Meaning

Use

Present

Past

1

necessity

+

To do this, you need to understand how the data bus width affects performance.

He needed to back up that file regularly.

2

no obligation

-

You don’t need to use virus scanning every time.

You didn’t need to back up these files.

Notes:

  1. Need can be used in different forms with and without “to” after it.

  2. Needn’t and don’t need to are different.

  • We generally use needn’t when the authority comes from the speaker and don’t need to when the authority doesn’t come from the speaker.

To talk about the past, we use needn’t and Perfect Infinitive (means: you did but it wasn’t necessary) or didn’t need to (means: you knew in advance it wasn’t necessary).


HAVE TO




Meaning

Use

Example

1

necessity (circumstantial)

+ / -

You have to follow a number of rules when entering these commands.

Notes:

  1. Have to can be used in all forms (present, past, future).

  2. The difference between must and have to is that with must the speaker is giving his own feelings, while with have to he is just giving facts.

  3. Mustn’t and don’t have to are completely different. “You mustn’t do something” means “it’s necessary that you do not do it”. When “you don’t have to do something” means “it is not necessary to do it; you don’t need to do it”.



BE TO




Meaning

Use

Example

1

planned action or agreement

+ / ?

Old PCs are to be replaced next month.

2

prohibition

-

You are not to start working without antivirus prescan.

3

necessity (the result of orders or instructions)

+ / ?

You are to turn off the device at the end of work.

4

unavoidable events

+ / ?

What is to happen to the system?

Note:

        1. Be to can be used in all forms (present, past, future).

        2. Perfect infinitive after be to can express a planned or agreed action which didn’t happen.

WILL / WOULD




Meaning

Use

Example

1

willingness, intention, volition

+

It will only use the Toolbar buttons and popup menus for Insert, Change and Delete actions.

2

possibility

+

Sometimes the escape or altmode key will modify the actions of the next few keys pressed after the escape or the altmode key.

3

request

?

Would you help me with the installation procedure.

4

persistence

-

This program won’t work in this operating system.



SHALL




Meaning

Use

Example

1

promise, warning (for all the persons)

+

He shall have problems if he starts this program.

2

suggestion

?

Shall I carry out these calculations for you?

3

asking for instructions

?

Shall we format these disks?

Note:

Modal verb shall is rarely used in technical language.

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