English: Modal Verbs

English Grammar. Is this sentence correct?

"I would do what a man can to save you from sorrow."

Answer:

The sentence is correct.

We know that modal verbs are not followed by "to". However, if the meaning is "in order to", it is correct.

Extra examples:

He uses the verb can to talk about possibility. (in order to)

Her sister was doing all she could to pass her exam. (in order to)

Modal verbs:

Can, could, might, may, must, should, will, would and shall

These are some important Rules:

They are not followed by ‘to’.

Wrong: I must to play.

Correct: I must play.

Do not use two modal verbs together:

Wrong: I will can...

Correct: I will be able to...

They do not have "s":

Wrong: He musts...

Correct: He must..

They do not need an additional auxiliary in negatives or questions:

Wrong: do you can....?

Correct: Can you....?

Some of them:

Modal: Meaning --> Example

can: to express ability --> We can speak English.

can: to request permission --> Can I use your pen, please?

may: to express possibility --> I may pass this test.

may: to request permission --> May I speak, please?

must: to express obligation --> I must wear the seat belt.

must: to express strong belief --> She must be really rich.

should: to give advice --> She should start working.

would: to request or offer --> Would you like a glass of wine?

would: in if-sentences --> If I were you, I would go now.

NOTE:

The sentece: "I would do what a man can to save you from sorrow." is from the book "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.

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