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Curso de Inglés Intermedio: Gramática Clase 17

Phrasal modals: types and use

Presentation of phrasal modals (expressions that behave as a modal verb but are composed of more than two words)
Think about public places and the rules they have, make a list about them, vary the expressions and the structures based on the topic.

Explanation: Phrasal modals are combinations of verbs and up to two other words that together work as a modal verb.

Be able to
To express ability. It can be used in any tense depending on the conjugation of the verb to be.

  • I am able to speak three languages at conversational levels.
  • Mary was able to swim for 40 minutes non-stop when she was younger.
Have got to
Have got to expresses a strong advice or suggestion, often with a negative result if it is not followed.
  • You've got to stop sleeping so much, you won't take advantage of your time!
Be allowed to
It expresses permission. It is usually used in contexts where you can or can't do something according to some rules.
  • At the library you are not allowed to yell or speak loudly.

Phrasal Modals Equivalent Modals
be able to can
be going to will
are about to will
have to must
have got to must
be supposed to should
ought to should
be allowed to may
be likely to could
be about to would