Modal Verbs – What are you saying?

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

What are you saying? Seriously, I don’t understand you. Is it a question, a request, a suggestion, an obligation, an invitation, some advice, a complaint……..?????!!!!! Oh no, I have a headache! Help me, help me: where are the aspirin?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND MODAL VERBS

The English language is often very difficult to understand and sometimes seems to be completely illogical. Well don’t worry, as the British Government said after World War 2: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’

THE BASICS
What are Modal Verbs?
Modal Verbs are auxiliary verbs that modify another verb in order to change the meaning of the expression: (i.e. what is being said)
Examples of Modal Verbs include:

  • Can, Could, Must, May, Might, Should, Shouldn’t, Ought To, Would

When do you use them?
To express the following language functions:

  1. Requests, Permission, Offers and Invitations
  2. Advice and Recommendations, Suggestions and Prohibition
  3. Obligations, Duties, Necessities and Ability
  4. The likelihood: Certainty, Possibility
  5. A complaint

General Rules:

  1. They do not have infinitives
  2. They don’t take s, ing or ed suffixes
  3. They are followed by the bare infinitive. The infinitive without To, for example: walk, eat, drink. Not: To walk, To eat, To drink
  4. They come before the subject in questions

EXAMPLES OF LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS
Look, learn and use:

  1. Requests, Permission, Offers and Invitations. Click here:modals_LF_orpi
  2.  Advice and Recommendations, Suggestions and Prohibition.Click here:modals_LF_arsp
  3. Obligations, Duties, Necessities and Ability. Click here:modals_LF_odna
  4. The likelihood: Certainty, Possibility. Click here:modals_LF_cpl

Relationship Problems: The Noisy Neighbours

party animalImagine you live next to a group of young fun-loving neighbours. You get on really well with them but their late night partying and obsession with rap music is disturbing your sleep and consequently your work performance. You are afraid of being fired. What would you do?

Relationship Problems: Dating

online datingImagine after 10 years of being happily single, you’ve decided that you would like to start dating. What would you do to find someone?

Relationship Problems: The Break Up

break upImagine you and your partner have not been getting on well for years and you’ve decided that your relationship is irreparable, i.e. it’s over! What would you do?

Formal expressions and phrases

It is widely accepted that using formal expressions and phrases, in both written and oral contexts, is a little more difficult than using informal expressions and phrases.  Wouldn´t you agree? However, as the well-known saying goes: ”Practice makes perfect!” So, with this in mind, why not try a few exercises from the Flo-Joe website.

Yoda is intelligent and wise, but his grammar is mental!

If you watch the Star Wars films, without a shadow of a doubt, you will learn a lot about life, power, greed and the delicious seduction of the dark side, (seriously, who doesn´t want to be Darth Vader?!)

On the other hand, if you copy Yoda´s speech patterns, and his use of grammar and word order, you are definitely going to confuse the hell out of native English speakers.  So Yoda, please, get back to basics and have a look at how to ask  a question.

Education: What is it?

Education: what is it?

Well, it´s a word which uses all of the 5 English vowels. And, phonetically speaking,  it looks like this: /ɛdjʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/. In addition, it´s a word that politicians repeat to infinity and beyond during an election campaign.  Finally, it´s something that affects all of us.

OK Janette, but what does it mean?

Well, I have my opinions, but I think this guy has something more interesting to say than me.  If you check out this video, you will improve your English listening and comprehension skills, learn new vocabulary, and you will definitely think. Perfect; bring on the brain shake!

To search for something

To search for: Try to find something by looking or otherwise seeking carefully and thoroughly.

This is, by far, the most useful verb for Janette.  As a curious person, with a wide variety of interests,  she´s always searching for information, facts and data about a plethora of stuff.

With this in mind, why not use the Inglés Málaga Search Pages Tool to search for words, phrases and ideas on the Inglés Málaga website.  It´s extremely easy to use, just type in a word or short phrase and click the search button.  In addition, you can narrow your search by using the Learning Disciplines filter.  You can find these tools on the right hand column of this site. Happy improving your English level!

The must link-in websites

English Link InThere is a lot of information on the Internet that you can use to improve your English and get yourself linked-in.

Why not check out the sites that Janette and Inglés Málaga recommend? The Inglés Málaga Link In section gives you direct links to external sites which will help you improve your English level.  To help you on your way, here are a selection of online resources you might find useful:

  1. Downloads: Provides general information for grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  2. Topic of the Month: Provides ideas for writing and speaking on specific topics.
  3. Link In: Provides links to external support.
  4. Written Work: EOI suggested Levels: A2, B1, B2
  5. Written Work: The British Council
  6. Cambridge Write and Improve

Happy surfing!

 

Chill-out or cultural getaway?

Are you suffering from the blues? Do you fancy a getaway to a chilled-out, unspoilt tropical island?  Or, are you more culture vulture than beach bum?

Adventure holiday

Having a ball, having a blast!

I personally have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I´m really keen on sunbathing at the beach with a mojito in one hand and a trashy novel in the other hand.  However, on the other hand, I´m nuts about learning about the history, traditions and culture of a new city.  In fact, if I had more time and money, I would definitely take more city breaks.  However, truth be told adventure holidays are my real cup of tea.  I love danger, risk and a challenge.  Indeed, the last time I went scuba diving I was scared stiff but I loved every second.  Bring on the adventure, let the good times roll!

Of course, it’s possible that your idea of having fun is completely different to mine.  So, if you could go on any type of holiday, what would it be?