The following is a conversation between two artists.
Shankar: Shanti, yesterday the ABC Movies called me up regarding a recommendation.
Shanti: What is that?
Shankar: They've a role for a heroine in their film that is going to sets very soon.
They wanted to offer that role to you. Will you accept it?
Shanti: Did they really mean it? I've two doubts about it. First, can I do it?
The second, should I do it?
Shankar: Yes, you can certainly do it. Regarding your second doubt
-I think it's not that you should do it, you must do it.
Shankar: We may like some roles and others we may not.
But we accept them for the sake of our career.
Shanti: Mmm... .
Shankar: Certain roles we should accept for the sake of satisfaction.
That's why, I said you must do it.
Shanti: Then I take your word as final to me. I shall do it.
Tell the ABC Movies that I have accepted the offer.
The words given in bold letters in the above conversation perform different functions.
They are called modal auxiliaries or modals. Their functions are given below.
shall obligation, offer, order, suggestion,
should obligation, advice
can ability; possibility, permission
could request, suggestion, permission, possibility, ability
will certainty, intention, futurity , purpose
would offer, preference, past habit, future of the past
may permission, possibility, wish
must compulsion, inference
Some important points about modals:
1. Modals take any subject before them. There is no Subject-Verb agreement problem.
2. No two modals co-occur in a sentence.
e.g: The film will be released next week.
3. The main verb will always be the V1 form after the modals.
e.g: He cannot move the big stone.
4. Past form of some modals stands for 'politeness'.
e.g: i) Would you like to have some tea?
ii) Could you lend me your book?
Read the following sentences and identify the functions performed by the modals.
a) He can sing for eight hours at a stretch.
b) You could take an umbrella, it's raining outside.
c) We should complete the shooting by tomorrow evening.
d) Shall I wait till you come?
e) The time was up. But makeup person would not turn up.
f) The car hasn't arrived yet. It must've got a flat tyre.
g) There may be heavy rains tomorrow. So, why couldn't we go for indoor shooting?
h) Will you join us for tea?
i) The agreement between the two parties shall be in force for two years.
j) It might be an idea to postpone the release of the film.