English Grammar Tutorials

  • Preface & Content
  • Letter, Word, Sentence
  • Parts of speech
  • Pronoun
  • Adjective
  • Adverb
  • Articles
  • Number and Gender
  • Person and Case
  • Mood and Modal verbs
  • Tense
  • Clause
  • Voice
  • Narration
  • Punctuation
  • Preposition
  • Conjunction
  • Participles and Gerunds
  • Transformation of sentences
  • Phrasal verb
  • Exercise
  • Correction
  • Simple Conjugate
  • Chapter 9. Mood and Modal Verbs (Cont'd...)


    9.2 Modal verbs (cont'd..)


    The past tense of can is could. The uses of could are:
    1. to denote possibility in the past: We could wait for two days more for his returning.
    2. to ask permission politely: Could you show me the way to Evergreen street.
    3. to denote ability in the past: He could not ascertain the meaning of his word.
    4. to express anger when it is used with perfect infinitive: You could send at least a message for your non-compliance.

    Shall, will

    In British English the use of shall and will could be summarized with the following verse. You must remember that the American English does not follow this rule.

                      Shall in the first person
                      Implies simple future.
                      Will exposes promise or
                      Strong determination here.
                      While will in the second and third,
                      Expresses simple future action.
                      Shall here imposes order,
                      Command or compulsion.       

    Here we write few examples which explain the use of shall and will.

    We shall play cricket. (simple future)
    He will come here tomorrow.
    (simple future)
    You will get it tomorrow.
    (simple future)
    We will go to Mumbai.
    (promise/ strong determination)
    The school shall remain closed tomorrow.
    You shall be punished, if you proceed further.
    Have a faith in God, He shall help you.
    How often shall this patient take medicine?
    (asking decision)

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