English Daily Workout: Should & Modal Auxiliaries' Synonyms: Lesson +Exercise

Should & Modal Auxiliaries' Synonyms: Lesson +Exercise

 English Grammar Lesson on:

  5. Should
  6. Expressions Which are synonymous with the modal auxiliaries
         a. The pronunciation of have to

5. Should

In British English, the Simple conjugation with the auxiliary should is often used in subordinate clauses stating conditions. This construction is usually used to refer to events that may occur by chance.
e.g. If I should see him, I will tell him what I think.

Should is also used with the meaning ought to. This is the most common use of should in American English.
e.g. You should take an umbrella with you, in case it starts to rain.
      I should answer his letter as soon as possible.

Ought is said to be a defective verb, since it has no infinitive, or present or past participle. It does not modify, but has the same form, regardless of the subject. Ought can be used only in combination with other verbs. Unlike the modal auxiliaries, which are followed by the bare infinitive, ought is followed by the infinitive of whatever verb it accompanies.

In each of the following examples, ought is underlined, and the infinitive which follows it is printed in bold type.
e.g. You ought to take an umbrella with you.
      He ought to stop smoking.
      They ought to drive more carefully.

6. Expressions which are synonymous with the modal auxiliaries

The modal verbs can be used only as auxiliaries; they cannot be used on their own. They are defective, since they have no infinitive, or present or past participle.

It should be noted that in addition to the modal auxiliaries will and can, there are two other English verbs, to will and to can, which are conjugated regularly. The verb to will has the meaning to direct one's willpower toward something, or to bequeath by means of a will. The verb to can has the meaning to put into a can.

Because the modal auxiliaries are defective, they cannot be combined with one another. Thus, the fact that the English future tenses are formed with the modal auxiliaries will and shall means that the other modal auxiliaries cannot be put into the future.

When it is desired to put the ideas expressed by the modal auxiliaries into the future, synonymous expressions must be used. The following are the synonymous expressions most often used:

Modal AuxiliarySynonymous Expression
  can                                                                                            be able to
  may  be allowed to
  must  have to

It should be noted that the expression be allowed to is synonymous with may only when may is used in the sense of permission being granted.

The following examples illustrate how synonymous expressions may be used when it is desired to put the modal auxiliaries can, may and must into the future.

Present           Future
  I can work.                                                       I will be able to work.
  You may work.  You will be allowed to work.
  He must work.  He will have to work.

a. The pronunciation of Have To
The following table illustrates how the pronunciation of the words have and has in the expression have to differs from the usual pronunciation of the verb to have. In the expression have to, the consonant preceding the t of to is unvoiced. An imitated pronunciation of has and have is indicated in the right-hand column.

Usual pronunciation of Have

ExampleImitated Pronunciation
  She has two children.                      "haz"
  We have two children.  "hav"

Pronunciation of Have in the expression Have To

ExampleImitated Pronunciation
  She has to leave.                                  "hass"
  We have to leave.  "haff"

11. Rewrite the following sentences, putting the underlined verbs into the future. For example:
      They can explain the situation to us.
      They will be able to explain the situation to us.

      May they leave whenever they wish?
      Will they be allowed to leave whenever they wish?

      She must obtain a license.
      She will have to obtain a license.

1. She can describe it to you.
2. You must lock the doors when you leave.
3. He can follow the instructions.
4. May they stay overnight?
5. We must remember to buy groceries.
6. She can finish the work on time.
7. Must he take his glasses with him?
8. Can they buy the tickets in advance?
9. She must learn to be more careful.
10. You may choose your own seat.

by Mary Ansell

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