No more mistakes with MODALS! 3 Easy Rules

I’m Rebecca from engVid. In this lesson you’ll learn how to use modal
verbs properly, and how to avoid making the most common mistakes that students sometimes
make when using these special helping verbs. Now, even though modal verbs doesn’t sound
that exciting, when you see what they are you’ll realize that we use these verbs all
the time, and so you need to know how to use them correctly. Right? Okay. So, let’s look at
what modal verbs are. So, these are words that express
different kinds of things. For example, they might express ability,
possibility, permission, obligation. Okay? And some other things like that. And they behave differently from regular verbs,
and that’s why they’re sometimes a little bit confusing. But let’s look at some examples
of what modal verbs are. “Can”, “could”, “may”, “might”, “should”,
“ought to”, “must”, “have to”, “will”, “shall”, and “would”.
Okay? These are the most common ones. All right. So, I’m going to give you now three basic
rules that you can follow to avoid most of the mistakes that are usually
made with the modal verbs. Okay? So, first of all, make sure
to use the modal verb as is. That means don’t change it in the
present, or the past, or the future. For example, we can
say: “He can swim.” This is a correct sentence. It would be wrong to
say: “He cans swim.” Because, here, the student
put an extra “s” there. All right? And we don’t need to change
that modal verb ever. Okay?
All right. Second, use the base form
of the verb after a modal. Don’t use “to”. What do I mean by that? For example, you should
say: “He might join us.” Not: “He might to join us.” Okay? This is a really common error, so
make sure you don’t make this one. So don’t use the full infinitive
to join after a word like “might”. Just use the base form of
the verb, which is: “join”. “He might join us.”, “He could join us.”, “He
should join us.”, “He must join us.” and so on, without “to”. All right?
Very good. Now, the next point is if you need to, say,
use the modal verb in the negative form, then just use “not” after the modal. All right? Don’t add any extra words most the time; there’s
one little exception, I’ll explain that to you, but for most of them, don’t use words like:
“don’t”, or “doesn’t”, or “isn’t”, “aren’t”, “wasn’t”, “won’t”. Okay? So, with most of these modal
verbs just say “not”. For example: “You
should not smoke.” Not: “You don’t should smoke.” All right? So, here the student knows and learned all these
lovely words: “don’t”, “doesn’t”, “isn’t”, “aren’t”, all that and try to use it when
using the modal verb, but that’s wrong. Okay? So, the only exception
is with the verb… With the modal verb “have to”, there if you
want to make it negative, you need to say: “You don’t have to
do this”, okay? But with the other ones, we just say: “You
cannot”, “You could not”, “You may not”, “You might not”, “You should not”,
“You ought not to”, okay? So there you have to be
careful where to place it. “You must not”, this one I
told you is an exception. “You will not”, “You shall
not”, and “You would not”. Okay? And the other thing to keep in mind when you’re
using this word and “not”, this is a really common mistake, so the important thing to
remember: This actually becomes one word. Okay? Only in that case. You don’t say… You say: “cannot”, but
it’s actually one word. All right? Most of the time, almost always “not” is a
separate word with all of the modal verbs. But not with “can”. With “can” it actually becomes one word: “I
cannot arrive”-okay?-“on time”, like that. Okay? So, now that you’ve got these basic rules
and you’ve understood how it works, let’s do some practice to see how
well you’ve understood. Okay, so let’s get started
with our exercises. Now, the rules are written at the top just
in case you didn’t remember them exactly. First one, remember use it as it
is, don’t change the modal verb. Second one, use
with the base verb. Don’t use the full
infinitive “to” something. And the last one: Use “not” after
the modals when it’s negative. Okay? All right. Try to keep those in mind, but most of all
let’s look at the actual examples and you tell me what’s wrong with them. There is something wrong with each
and every one of these sentences. Okay. Number one: “You must to
finish your homework. You must to finish
your homework.” What’s wrong there? What did the person do wrong? They added “to”.
All right? This was our second rule. Right? You cannot use “to”. Just say: “You must
finish your homework.” Okay? That’s it. Number two: “I don’t can drive.
I don’t can drive.” That’s wrong. What should it be? “I cannot drive.” Okay? That’s what we said
here in the third rule. Right? That just use “not”
when it’s negative. All right? And remember with the word
“cannot”, it’s one word. All right. Number three: “You
should not to smoke. You should not to smoke.” What’s wrong there? Okay, again, we want
to take out this “to”. The sentence should be:
“You should not smoke.” So, again, you don’t
want to use the “to”. Just use the base
form of the verb. Don’t use the full infinitive. Okay, number four: “We
not could call you. We not could call you”, some
people say, but it’s not right. What should it be? “We could not call you.” Remember? “not” goes after the modal. Okay?
Not anywhere else. Next: “He mights go to sleep. He mights go to sleep.” It’s not right. It should be: “He
might go to sleep.” Okay? This was our rule number
one, here, at the top. And the rule was that we
don’t change anything. Right? We just say: “He
might go to sleep.” We never change the modal. Right. Next, number six: “They
can to stay with us.” Somebody says very kindly:
“They can to stay with us.” It’s a very kind suggestion. It’s not grammatically correct. Let’s make it correct. What do we need to take out? This, okay? It should be just: “They can stay.”, “They can
go.”, “They can leave.”, “They can come.” Whatever. But no “to”. All right? So this was our rule number two. Okay? All right. Number seven: “We would
not to arrive on time. We would not to arrive on time.” Again, you want to
take out this “to”. And the reason why this keeps happening is
because this is the most common mistake. All right? So that’s why I have more of
those here for you to review. “We would not arrive on time.” Good. And the last one: “She
wills return soon. She wills return soon.” Okay? So what’s wrong there? The first rule up here, okay. The rule says that the modal verb doesn’t
change, and here it did get changed, so we have to take out the “s”, and then it
will become: “She will return soon.” which is correct. Okay? I know there are a few things to keep in mind,
but the more you practice, the better you’re going to get at it. So, please go to our
website: There, you can do a quiz on this and you can
also watch lots of other wonderful English lessons on engVid. Okay? And if you enjoyed this lesson, please subscribe
to my YouTube channel so you can get a regular dose of English lessons. Okay? Thanks for watching.
Bye for now.

99 thoughts on “No more mistakes with MODALS! 3 Easy Rules”

  1. Play it back. At around the 3:00 mark, you used contractions in your lecture. At one point just before that, you actually said, "DON'T use 'don't." Contractions are deeply rooted in colloquial English. I would agree that contractions should not be used in formal writing, but they needn't and shouldn't be banished from what we term "proper" use.

  2. In the 5th practice questions:
    "He mights go to sleep."
    If I make it-
    "He might sleep "
    Will that be grammatically correct?

  3. Do you want an easy, effective system to improve your English every day? Check out my online course, "Correct Your English Errors in 10 Minutes a Day":

    Thanks for watching and all the best to each of you!

  4. Hi, Rebecca I just wanna say thank you for this lesson. I understood the lesson easily because of the way you teach. You are awesome!

  5. I didn't know that word "ought to" was a word common until 1:23, I apreciatte your work, thanks so much. 🙂

  6. OMG you are a great teacher WELL DONE!!!🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒🖒

  7. Beautiful , meaningful cute classes. English is best when heard from an English speaking human being

  8. Great video. I want to make a comment about 'have to'. You mentioned that modal verbs stay the same pretty much all the time, without changing of endings. However, I'm pretty sure 'have to' is an exception here (sneaky bastard). For example, the correct sentence would be 'he has to be at home already', not 'he have to'. Additionally, you already said that 'have to' demands 'do/don't' in questions/negative sentences. These exceptions make me wonder, is 'have to' actually a modal verb? Because, it behaves pretty much as a regular one.

  9. Mam such as you speaking about english when we think to speak Easley that is not impossible

  10. It's useful for me. I'm enjoying watching this lesson videos. Thanks a lot. GOD bless you. From Malaysia with love.

  11. Those who disliked this video probably have a problem 😂😭. So detailed and easy to understand. Thanks

  12. Could you please explain to me what "BE LIKELY TO & PROBABLY" mean?
    I really need the exact answers!!!!! 🙏🙏🙏

  13. Wait, can't I use HAVE TO, as a modular verb, with HE/SHE/IT then?
    As far as I know, it's possible to say: She has to pay her bills . You did not mention that, is it wrong?

  14. People saying English is easy because no grammar cases (or much simpler than in slavic languages) but I think English is not too easy, this is just crazy. 🙂 I think better is listening and remember specific common phrases than learning how it works. At least for me. Instead of may or might I am using just maybe in 90% of cases, it's probably totally incorect but I am slavic native speaker so that is what is expected from us, we can't speak correct. 😀

  15. While ecplaning the modal. Why first not describe the meaning modal. And some mistake are very uncommon and created unnecessarily.

  16. Hi Rebecca🌺

    I want to note your page for me practise and remember modalls
    I hope it doesn't matter yours🌺😊🌺

    Present Modalls

    can :
    -e, -a bilmek, yetenek, izin, rica
    subject + can + v1

    could :
    -e bilir, -a bilir, olasılık
    subject + could + v1

    couldn't :
    -emedi, -amadı, -emiyordu, -amıyordu, geçmişte gerçekleşmemiş yetenek
    subject + couldn't + v2

    could you :
    -er misiniz? -ar mısınız? rica
    could you + v1

    may :
    -ebilir, -abilir, izin, olasılık
    subject + may + v1
    may + subject + v1

    might :
    -ebilir, -abilir, izin, olasılık
    past cümlelerde "may"in yerine kullanılır
    subject + might + v1

    might as well :
    -iyi olur
    subject + might as well + v1

    shall :
    -yapayım mı? -edeyim mi ? izin, fikir sorma, tavsiye
    shall + subject + v1

    should :
    tavsiye, doğru davranış, ödev
    -meli, -malı, -iyi olur, -gerekir,

    will you :
    -yapar mısın { ız }? -eder misin { iz }? rica
    will you + v1

    would :
    -yapardı, -ederdi
    subject + would + v1

    Past Modalls

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