"I'm about to leave. I shouldn't answer it."
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Modal Auxiliaries and Similar Expressions

Definition:

The modal auxiliaries in the American English language are can, could, had better, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, and would.

Modals are used to explain a speakers emotions or attitude towards an object or idea.

Modals will never be put in the plural form.

Correct: I might go to the store.
Incorrect: I mights go to the store.

Modals always come before the simple form of a verb.

Correct: I must(modal) go(verb).
Incorrect: I go(verb) must(modal).

Example:
 
can go
 
could go
I
 
had better go
We
 
may go
You
 
might go
They
+
must go
He
 
ought to go
She
 
shall go
It
 
should go
 
will go
 
would go

Definitions of Modals:
Can: be able to
Could: be able to (past tense of can)
Had better: be sure you will perform
May: will possibly happen
Might: something is true and could happen in the future
Must: a rule or law, you have no choice
Ought to: a good idea that you should perform the action
Shall: It will happen in the future
Should: a good idea that the action happens in the future

"Shall we stay in the pool, or should we get out."
 
Writing Exercise
Practice your writing by using the definitions above and completing the sentences. Finish each sentence. The first sentence has been completed for you.
  Example:
I can...
I can drive to the store.
1.
You could...
2.
We had better...
3.
I can...
4.
They may...
5.
He might...
6.
She ought to...
7.
It might...
8.
You should...
9.
I will...
10.
I would...

 

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