Super Grammar: The Modal Helping Verb!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Modal Helping Verb!

The Modal Helping Verb is another faithful sidekick to The Verb, and this helpful Verb Team member has the power to modify the Main Verb in order to help a sentence express possibility, necessity, or expectation.

Here’s an example:
I may spare your planet.

The main verb of this sentence, “spare,” is being assisted by a modal helping verb, “may,” to help it express possibility.

Without the aid of the modal helping verb, “may,” the main verb of this sentence would only be able to express a basic state of action, “I spare.”

But with the modal helping verb’s assistance, the main verb, “spare,” can make the shift into expressing the possibility of the action, “I may spare.”

The chart below is a list of modal helping verbs and how they’re used to help the main verb of a sentence.

Modal Helping Verbs
Help to express possibility
can, could, may, might
Help to express necessity
must, ought
Help to express expectation
will, would, shall, should

The Modal Helping Verb has the power to help The Verb express possibility, necessity, or expectation. 


I can crush you.

can: helping the main verb, "crush," show possibility. 

I must defuse this bomb.

must: helping the main verb, "defuse," show necessity.

I shall protect you.

shall: helping the main verb, "protect," show expectation.


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