Are Do and Did Modals in English Language?

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By Guruji Sunil Chaudhary

I asked a question to the publc – Are Do and Did Modals in English Language? – Below are the answers given by different people.

Modals Modal Verbs English Grammar | TAMS Studies Are Do and Did Modals in English Language?

As per Vishal Kumar Gautam 

‘Do’ and ‘ Did’ are used as a helping verb. They are no modals. Did is the past form of Do


As per Offer Deals 

No, “do” and “did” are not modal verbs in English. They are known as auxiliary or helping verbs.

Modal verbs in English include words like “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “shall,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “must,” and “ought to.” These words are used to indicate necessity, possibility, permission, ability, and other such qualities in verb phrases. Modal verbs have specific meanings and are used to modify the meaning of the main verb in a sentence.

Auxiliary or helping verbs, on the other hand, are used to form questions, negatives, and verb tenses. “Do” and “did” are two common auxiliary verbs used in English. Here’s how they are typically used:

  1. Do: It is used as an auxiliary verb to form questions and negatives in the present simple tense.Question: “Do you like ice cream?”Negative: “I do not like spinach.”
  2. Did: It is the past tense form of “do” and is used as an auxiliary verb to form questions and negatives in the past simple tense.Question: “Did you go to the park yesterday?”Negative: “She did not finish her homework.”

While “do” and “did” are important in English for forming questions and negatives, they are not modal verbs because they do not convey the same type of meaning as modal verbs like “can,” “must,” or “should.” Modal verbs express modality, which involves expressing necessity, possibility, obligation, and similar concepts.

As per Vijay Mhaske

The most common modals in English are:

  1. Can: Used to express ability, capability, or permission. Example: “She can swim.”
  2. Could: Similar to “can,” but often used to indicate past ability or as a polite form of requesting something. Example: “Could you please pass the salt?”
  3. Will: Used to indicate future actions or make predictions. Example: “I will call you later.”
  4. Would: Often used to express politeness, make requests, or talk about hypothetical situations. Example: “Would you like some coffee?”
  5. Shall: Primarily used in formal or legal contexts to express future actions or to seek advice. Example: “Shall we proceed?”
  6. Should: Used to express obligation, advice, or expectation. Example: “You should finish your homework.”
  7. Must: Indicates strong necessity or obligation. Example: “I must attend the meeting.”
  8. May: Used to express possibility or permission. Example: “You may leave early.”
  9. Might: Similar to “may” but conveys a lower possibility or is used in more tentative situations. Example: “I might go to the party.”
  10. Ought to: Similar in meaning to “should,” indicating moral or practical obligation. Example: “You ought to apologize.”

Modals have some unique characteristics, such as the fact that they do not have infinitive or participle forms and do not change according to the subject (except for “be” which can act as a modal in some cases). They are followed by the base form of the main verb (without “to”) except for “ought to,” which is followed by the base form with “to” (e.g., “ought to go”). Additionally, modals can be used to create various combinations, such as “could have,” “should have,” “might be,” and so on, which expand their range of meanings


As per Bistappayya Nadiger


Shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might , must,, ought, need and dared are termed as Model Auxiliaries.

Primarily they serve the following three functions.

1. They are never used alone. They take main verbs ( V1 ) along with them to make complete sense.

Ex: I can go there.

You may come with me.

She shall wait for us.

I would like to be alone.

You could wait for her.

Note: Some times the present form is implied .

Ex: May you come ? Sorry, I may not.

2. They have a single form throughout the Present Tense / Past Tense ,in all persons.

Ex: I may go. You may go. She may go.

I should have waited. . You should have waited. He should have waited.

3. They do not have the Infinitive and participle forms .

You can not say: to shall. To will, to may , to must ( No infinitive form )

You can not say: maying, coulding, musting, ( No present participle form)

You can not : canned , mayed, musted ( No past participle form)

Modal verbs are your helpers or assistants. Employ or engage them only when there is a necessity.






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