Sunday, September 18, 2011

Modals and adverbs

Modals are verbs which usually enhance or restrict the main verb. In some cases, modal verbs are used to express possibility. 


might/may: something has the possibility of occurring, but it is not certain.
could: something has the possibility of occurring, but it is not certain. However, "could" is stronger (more likely to occur) than "may" or "might"
must: something will occur. It is stronger than "could."


It might rain tomorrow. (You do not know).
It could rain tomorrow. (There is a definite possibility it will rain).
It must rain tomorrow. (It is certain it will rain). 


*following each modal is a second verb which should always be in its base form.


Another way to express certainty/uncertainty is through adverbs. Adverbs modify things which are not nouns, usually verbs. 


Maybe/Perhaps: something has the possibility of occurring, but it is not certain. These are placed at the beginning of the sentence.
possibly/probably: something has the possibility of occurring, but it is not certain. However, "possibly" and "probably" are stronger (more likely to occur) than "Maybe" or "Perhaps." These are placed immediately after the subject.
definitely: something will occur. It is stronger than "possibly" or "probably." This is placed immediately after the subject.



Maybe it will rain tomorrow. (You do not know).
It possibly will rain tomorrow. (There is a definite possibility it will rain).
It definitely will rain tomorrow. (It is certain it will rain). 







2 comments:

  1. How do you know when to use them though?The usage is the same,to modify verbs so how can I teach my students what the differences are?I'm just teaching it in the present for speculating about noises,what students can see in photos.Any help would be much appreciated.

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