Need

Need is used both as an ordinary verb and as an auxiliary verb.

As an ordinary verb

As an ordinary verb need is used in the sense of ‘require’. It has the usual forms needs and needed. Ordinary need is followed by an infinitive with to.

  • One needs to be punctual.
  • Everybody needs to be loved.
  • He needed some more time to decide the question.

Questions and negatives are made with do.

  • Do you need to go now?
  • I don’t need to talk to him.

As an auxiliary verb

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Ought to

Ought is a modal auxiliary verb. There is no –s in the third person singular.

  • She ought to understand. (NOT She oughts to …)

Ought is different from other auxiliary verbs. It is used with to

  • We ought to respect our parents.
  • We ought to help the poor.

Note that to is dropped in question tags. Continue reading „Ought to“

Must and Have to: The difference

Both must and have to can be used to express the conclusion that something is certain. Note that have to is more common in American English.

  • He must be mad to do this. (OR He has to be mad to do this.)
  • You must be joking. (You have got to be joking.)

Conclusions about the past are usually expressed with must followed by the perfect infinitive (have + past participle). Continue reading „Must and Have to: The difference“

Should, other uses

Should have + past participle

The structure should have + past participle can be used to talk about past events which did not happen.

  • I should have sent the money this morning, but I forgot.

This structure can also be used to talk about past events which may or may not have happened. Continue reading „Should, other uses“

Should

Should is a modal auxiliary verb. There is no –s in the third person singular.

  • He should be here soon. (NOT He shoulds …)
  • You should mend your ways.

Should is followed by an infinitive without to. Questions and negatives are made without do.

  • You should go now.
  • Should I go now?
  • No, you should not.

Note that should is the past equivalent of shall in indirect speech. Continue reading „Should“

Shall

Shall is a modal auxiliary verb. It is followed by an infinitive without to. Shall has no –s in the third person singular.

  • I shall be home soon.
  • We shall invite them to dinner.
  • I think I shall send him a wire.
  • We shall be leaving for Delhi tomorrow.

Questions and negatives are made without do. Continue reading „Shall“

Would

Would is a modal auxiliary verb. There is no -s in the third person singular. Would is followed by an infinitive without to.

  • He said he would try his best to help me.
  • I would like to know what my duty is.
  • The doctor said he would visit the patient.

Questions and negatives are made without do.

  • Would you like some coffee? (NOT Do you would like …)
Would and Will

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Will

Will is a modal auxiliary verb. It is followed by an infinitive without to. There is no –s in the third person singular.

  • She will come. (NOT She wills come.)
  • I will do it.

Questions and negatives are made without do.

  • Will you come with me? (NOT Do you will …)
  • I will not let him go.

Uses

Continue reading „Will“

Might

Might is a modal auxiliary verb. It is followed by an infinitive without to. There is no –s in the third person singular.

  • It might rain this evening.

Questions and negatives are made without do.

  • We might not be home before evening.

Might does not have infinitives or participles. When necessary, we use other words. Continue reading „Might“