Past Modals

Jun 25, 2015

Using modal verbs in the past can be tricky since they can be used in different ways with slight but important differences in meaning.

The first way in which we use modals in the past is relatively straightforward and requires only a simple word change:

I can speak French                         (Present ability)

I could speak French                      (Past ability)

I have to go to Porto                       (Present obligation)

I had to go to Porto                         (Past obligation)

 

Some past modals can be formed with have and the past participle. When we use past modals using this structure, special meaning needs to be considered:

I should go to the party                    (Feel obliged)

I should have gone to the party      (I didn’t go. Now I regret it)

He might help her                             (Future possibility)

He might have helped her               (Modal of deduction)

 

Further information can be found on the EC Learn English Website (www.ecenglish.com). Have a look and then try to use past modals in your next composition. The more you use them, the more natural they will feel. Good luck!



Category:

Add Pingback

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

 ICE blogger ally_pic.jpg

 Ally

 

 

 

 

Category List


Tag List

english course london (12)
making predictions (1)
english school (2)
London markets (4)
English food (3)
saga (1)
exams (1)
Fun (1)
Reading in English (1)
Learn english online (12)
Journalism evening course London (1)
Islington Centre for English (6)
Field day (1)
grammar (1)
Insider info London (14)
defining relative clauses (1)
Learning tips (10)
pronuciation (3)
future tenses english (1)
IELTS (2)
Relaxing London (4)
New blog (1)
london events (1)
Things to do in London (6)
FCE (4)
Hello from Ally (1)
study tips (9)
student study tips (1)
Cool as a cucumber (1)
writing a mini saga (1)
Beautiful London (8)
mini-saga (1)
Polite questions (1)
grammar tips (1)
english review (1)
music festival London (1)
Cycling (1)
study english (1)
english grammar online (1)
english school london (12)
Shopping in London (4)
Journalism Course London (1)
Learn English (15)
english study tips (1)
English tips (4)
English grammar (4)
Where to visit London (3)
Adjective (2)
Barney Ronay (1)
ILEC (1)
Journalist Course London (1)
Idiom (3)
Places to see in London (4)
Tweed (1)
english courses london (1)
english school online (1)
Francais (2)
future tenses efl (1)
CAE (3)
World Naked Bike Ride (1)
English vocabulary (3)
Social programme (1)
Recording vocabulary (3)
free english grammar (2)
efl (4)
study english onlline (1)
London Summer (7)
silent disco (1)
Improve your vocabulary (5)
english grammar help (1)
English (1)
London (5)
narrative voice (2)
Historic moment (1)
Journalism classes London (1)
spelling (1)
ICE (5)
Things to see in London (4)
Sport Journalism Course (1)
Covent Garden (1)
the people's tower (1)
New language (7)
Somewhere to visit London (1)
the shard (1)
Free english lessons (10)
Listening in English (2)
Victoria park (1)
Peaceful London (2)
Winter in London (6)
english grammar tips (1)
Journalism Masterclass (1)
Cambridge Exam Preparation (1)
Events in London (1)
Somewhere to go London (3)
Business English (1)
Halloween (2)
writing a mini-saga (1)
Students (2)
things to do london (1)
reading tips (1)
Vocabulary (11)
Attractions in London (1)
past modal verbs (1)
Vocabulary notebook (8)
New vocabulary (4)
english as a foreign language (3)
music festivals uk (1)
Basic English mistakes (1)
Christmas in London (3)
London Marathon (1)
past modals (1)
Tourist tips (5)
Somewhere to visit (9)

Tag Cloud

FCEstudy englishenglish course londonHistoric momentTweedJournalism MasterclassLearn english onlineLondon marketsstudy english onllinepast modal verbsCool as a cucumberVocabularyenglish school onlineAttractions in LondonFree english lessonsspellingstudent study tipsenglish courses londonChristmas in LondonBeautiful Londondefining relative clausesILECmusic festival LondonSomewhere to visit Londonthe people's towerfuture tenses eflPeaceful LondonEnglish grammarfree english grammarenglish as a foreign languageEnglish vocabularygrammarHalloweenmini-sagaStudentsSocial programmeJournalism evening course LondonICEEnglish tipsListening in EnglishReading in EnglishFunFrancaisCovent Gardenreading tipsJournalism classes LondonPlaces to see in Londonfuture tenses englishsilent discoRelaxing Londonenglish grammar helpCambridge Exam Preparationenglish grammar tipsBusiness EnglishEnglishLondon MarathonPolite questionsNew vocabularygrammar tipsnarrative voiceEvents in LondonInsider info LondonShopping in Londonthe shardenglish school londonWhere to visit Londonwriting a mini-sagaVocabulary notebookCyclingWinter in LondonJournalism Course LondonIslington Centre for Englishthings to do londonLondonenglish schoolEnglish foodCAEJournalist Course Londonenglish reviewIdiomField dayIELTSenglish grammar onlineHello from AllyRecording vocabularyAdjectiveSomewhere to go Londonenglish study tipsTourist tipsThings to do in LondonpronuciationSomewhere to visitexamswriting a mini sagamaking predictionssagaeflLearn EnglishBasic English mistakesstudy tipsBarney RonayNew languagemusic festivals ukImprove your vocabularyWorld Naked Bike Ridelondon eventsNew blogLearning tipspast modalsLondon SummerVictoria parkSport Journalism CourseThings to see in London


Archive