English Language and Modal Verbs

Topics: English language, Verb, Modal verb Pages: 9 (2223 words) Published: May 27, 2013

In studying a foreign language, learners could not pay attention to only its pronunciation, vocabulary but also its grammar. The learners, in fact, have to meet grammatical problem about the phrase in English such as: noun phrase, adjective phrase, prepositional phrase…especially verb phrase. The correct use of verb phrase is complex and difficult problem in English grammar. It requires learners to have a very good knowledge of verbs and how to use them effectively. Therefore, in my study, I describe research to verb phrase, especially modal verb, which one of the essential parts of a verb phrase in English, because I myself regard it as a very useful tool for the learners of English.

Key words: phrase, verb phrase, modal verb


I. Introduction
1. Rational
2. Aims
II. Procedures
III. Findings
1. Overview of verb phrase
2. Overview of modal verb
IV. Analysis and Interpretation
1. Meanings of modal verbs
2. Position of modal verbs
3. English Modal Verbs: Can and Could
3.1 Can
3.2 Could

V. Conclusion
VI. Recommendation

1. Rational

Nowadays, English is considered as one of the most popular language for everyone all over the world. There are many problems in learning English as listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, lexicology, etc. Grammar plays a very important role in English; it is not easy for English learners to study. Moreover, learners are affected by their mother tongue during the process of studying that causes much confusion to them. However, it is not so difficult that English learners cannot study because English grammar is also systematic. In grammar, modal verb is one of English important verb phrase. It is useful for English learners to use modals in studying and daily life. A modal verb is an auxiliary verb and used to express intention, necessity, obligation, offer, permission, possibility, prohibition, question, request, suggestion, so sometimes also makes learners confused. Thus, though this study I will help learners understand more about modal verbs and use it more effective.

2. Aims

The use of modal verb so popular in English. However, it is not quite easy for learners to master. Therefore, English learner always meet difficulties even misunderstand and use wrongly. I will give some background information about the modal verb. For this reason, I have choose this subject for my study.


From the above aims, the following methods have been used:
- Collecting all data and information
- Studying many grammar books
- Searching on internet and other sources
- Asking for advice from teacher and friends


1. Overview of verb phrase

According to Tom McArthur : “A verb phrase is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition, any of which are part of the syntax of the sentence, and so are complete semantic units. Sentences, however, may contain direct and indirect objects in addition to the phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are particularly frequent in the English language. A phrasal verb often has a meaning which is different from the original verb.” According to Jackson H. (18):“ A verb phrase contains one lexical verb as head and may have auxiliary verbs”.

2. Overview of modal verb

In the English language, a modal verb is a type of auxiliary verb. The key way to identify a modal verb is by its defectiveness (they have neither participles nor infinitives). In addition, modal verbs do not take the inflection -s or -es in the third person singular, unlike other verbs.

Modal verbs used to express intention, necessity, obligation, offer, permission, possibility, prohibition, question, request, suggestion and they cannot function as a main verb...
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