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UNIT 5

Functions of modal verbs

Uso:

Los verbos modales trabajan junto con el verbo principal para aadir un significado extra.

Prohibition cant Students cant use it.


mustnt Children mustnt talk in the corridors.
Permission can You can wear your own clothes.
be allowed to Were allowed to watch this show.
Ability can I can speak Italian.
could He could understand everything.
be able to They are able to finish it.
managed to We managed to finish it.
Obligation must You must obey the law.
have to All students have to sit this exam.
need to You need to wear smart clothes.
No obligation dont have to We dont have to go to the party.
neednt You neednt read this chapter.
Advice should Students should study for this test.
ought to You ought to change your T-shirt.
had better He had better have a haircut.
Possibility may This dress may be expensive.
might We might go out for dinner.
could It could rain later.
Deduction cant No, that cant be the end.
must This must be his coat.

Forma:

Los verbos modales comparten las siguientes caractersticas:

Despus de la mayora de ellos va infinitivo sin to:


She should learn Greek.

No llevan s de tercera persona de singular


I can play the drums. He can play the drums too.

No utilizan los auxiliares do/ does para formar frases negativas, preguntas o respuestas cortas.
She shouldnt wear that skirt.
Can I speak now?

Pueden contraerse cuando son utilizados en forma negativa:


They should not visit. They shouldnt visit.

Affirmative/ Negative/ Question


I/ You/ He/ She/ It/ We/ They modal verb infinitive
I/ You/ He/ She/ It/ We/ They modal verb + not (nt) infinitive
modal verb I/ You/ He/ She/ It/ We/ They infinitive ?

I can sing. I mustnt sing. Should you sing?


Los semi-modales como ought to, son verbos que poseen algunas de las caractersticas de los verbos modales.
Algunos verbos, como have to, funcionan de manera similar a los verbos modales pero no comparten ninguna de sus
caractersticas modales comunes.

Affirmative/ Negative/ Question


I/ You/ We/ They have to infinitive
He/ She/ It has
I/ You/ We/ They dont have to infinitive
He/ She/ It doesnt
Do I/ you/ we/ they have to infinitive ?
Does he/ she/ it

He has to go. He doesnt have to go. Does he have to go?

Ability, permission and prohibition

Habilidad

Utilizamos can y be able to para hablar sobre habilidad en general. Las formas negativas son: cant y not be able to/
be unable to.

I can ride a bike. / I cant ride a bike.


Im able to attend the fashion show. / Im not able to attend the fashion show.

Usamos could para hablar sobre habilidad en general en el pasado.

I could ride a bike when I was a child.

Utilizamos was able to y managed to para referirnos a un esfuerzo particular en una situacin especfica en el pasado.
Las formas negativas son: wasnt able to y didnt manage to.

He was finally able to get to the next level. / He wasnt able to get to the next level.
I managed to get hold of the new handbag by Dior./ I didnt mange to get hold of the new handbag by Dior.

Usamos couldnt en situaciones generales y especficas en el pasado.

I couldnt ride a bike when I was younger.


I couldnt get hold of the new handbag by Dior.

Permiso

Utilizamos can y be allowed to para hablar sobre permiso.

We can wear whatever we like to the party.


The children are allowed to eat chocolate today.

Prohibicin

Utilizamos mustnt o cant para hablar sobre prohibicin.

You mustnt wear trainers in this restaurant.


Students cant borrow more than four books at a time.
Consejo

Utilizamos should, ought to y had better para dar consejo y hacer recomendaciones.

You should go to that meeting.


You shouldnt wear that dress.

Ought to es ms formal que should.

He ought to think about retiring.


They ought not to behave like that.

Had better implica consecuencias negativas si no se sigue el consejo.

Theyd better wear a coat or theyll be cold.


Youd better not be late or youll miss your exam.

Obligacin y no obligacin

En frases afirmativas, podemos utilizar must, need to y have to para hablar sobre obligaciones.

We must take our passports.


You need to have this vaccination.
We have to wear smart clothes.

En frases negativas, podemos utilizar neednt y dont have to cuando no hay obligacin.

We neednt buy a ticket.


You dont have to wear trainers.

Possibility, deduction and modal perfects

Posibilidad
Podemos usar may, might o could para mostrar posibilidad.

I may wear that purple dress.


He might study fashion.
It could be fun.

Podemos usar may noto might not en forma negativa.

I may not wear that purple dress.


He might not study fashion.

Deduccin
Utilizamos must y cant cuando hacemos una deduccin lgica.
Utilizamos must cuando estamos seguros de que algo es verdad y cant cuando estamos seguros de que algo es
imposible.

It must be time for dinner because Im hungry.


That cant be the end already!
Modales perfectos
Forma:
Affirmative/ Negative/ Question
I/ You/ We/ They modal verb have past participle
He/ She/ It
I/ You/ We/ They modal verb not have past participle
He/ She/ It
modal verb I/ you/ we/ they have past participle ?
he/ she/ it

He might have gone to the cinema.


You shouldnt have opened the door.
Should she have told him yesterday?

Uso:
Podemos utilizar algunos verbos modales con have + past participle para hablar sobre eventos pasados:
Utilizamos must have + past participle para expresar certeza o hacer una deduccin lgica sobre el pasado.
He must have been sad when he heard the news.

Utilizamos cant have + past participle para expresar una imposibilidad en el pasado.
It cant have been John you saw hes abroad.

Utilizamos might have, may have or could have + past participle para expresar posibilidad en el pasado.
He might have visited/ may have visited/ could have visited his friend.

Utilizamos could have + participio pasado para sugerir una accin pasada alternativa, incluso si ahora es
demasiado tarde.
The shop assistant could have been more helpful.

Utilizamos should have + past participle cuando queremos que algo hubiese pasado en el pasado, pero no
ocurri.
He should have studied for that test.

Utilizamos shouldnt have + past participle cuando queremos que algo no hubiera ocurrido en el pasado, pero
pas.
I shouldnt have borrowed your jacket without asking.