How to Modal Verbs - May Might Must for English
Updated: Jan 10
Brief overview of the Modal Verbs-May /Might / Must
The modal verbs are used to say how sure we are about something. Here we are going to discuss the Modal Verbs- May / Might / Must
-We use ‘must’ when we feel sure that something is true because there’s very strong evidence.
You must be freezing in this weather, have a cup of coffee
-We use ‘might’ and ‘may’ to say that we think something is possible but we’re not sure.
We may arrive late if there’s a lot of traffic
I think there might be rain today.
All grammar rules for Modal Verbs- May /Might / Must
-The modal verbs May /might/ must are used differently in active and passive voices
Active: She may eat a banana
Passive: A banana may be eaten by her
Active: He might harm the animal
Passive: The animal must be harmed by him
Active: He must learn the lesson
Passive: The lesson must be learned by him
Sentence patterns for Modal Verbs- May /Might / Must
Subject + Auxiliary (May /Might / Must) + main verb
e.g.: I may/might/ must like the book
Subject + Auxiliary (May /Might / Must) + Not + main verb
e.g.: She may/might/ must not go today
Auxiliary (May /Might / Must) + Subject +Main verb
e.g.: May /Might he learn the lesson?
Use of ‘May’
1. It is used to ask for formal permission
May I come in, please?
May I say something now?
2. It is used to suggest something that is possible
She may not be happy about the results
It may rain today
Use of ‘Might’ (past form of ‘May’)
It is used to suggest a smaller possibility than may does
He might not come to the class today
She might have lost the game
Uses of ‘Must’
1. It is used to express something formally required or necessary
Every building must have a fire alarm.
You must answer all the questions
2. It is used to show that something is very likely
There is lot of traffic, there must be an accident
He must be a genius.