Modals – Uses of Modals | Types of Verbs – Transitive, Intransitive & Helping Verbs



A sentence generally comprises of subject, verb and object.  Verb is a word showing some action or deed in the sentence.

The child drinks milk.

In this sentence ‘drinks’ shows an ‘action’. It is a verb.


Types of Verbs : —— Transitive Verb and Intransitive Verb.

Transitive verb
Intransitive verb

A sentence with an intransitive verb has no object.
Come, go, laugh, sleep are similar words.

These are intransitive verbs according to their use in a particular sentence.

Some verbs are used both as transitive as well as intransitive verbs.

Birds fly in the sky.                                                     Boys fly kites.
The slate broke.                                                         He broke the slate.
The train stopped.                                                    I stopped him from going there.
The office opens at 10 a.m.                                     He opened the door.
The examination begins tomorrow.                      I shall begin my work now.
Boys run in the garden.                                         He runs a factory.



Rise, Lie & fall are intransitive verbs but raise, lay & fall are transitive verbs.

The sun rises in the east. The child raised his head.

The old man lies in the bed. She laid the book on the table.

The tree fell down. He felled the tree.


Such verbs are called Principal Verbs but along with these there are words which are used in the sentence to help to form the tense or the mood of the Principal Verb.

These  are called ‘Auxiliary’ or ‘Helping’ verbs or ‘Modals’.


Modal means relating to some “mode, or form “. A modal verb is a helper that gives additional information about the verb that follows it, and includes such words as “can,” “will,” “should,” and “may,” among others.

Modals are : Will, Shall, Should, Would, May, Might, Must, Can, Need, Ought to, Used to.

Main features of Modals are:

These are used in the sentence to express a request, permission. willingness, possibility, ability or power to act.

These verbs are used along with the main verb. These are not used alone.Along with a modal first form of verb is used.

A Modal remains unchanged irrespective of number or gender of the subject.

The word ‘to’ is used along with ‘ought’ and ‘used’.


We should help him.

He may not come today.

In these sentences ‘should’ and ‘may’ are helping verbs.



The Use Of Shall & Will
The Use Of Should & Would
The Use of 'Can'
The Use of Could
The Use of 'May'
The Use of 'Might'
The Use of Must
The Use of 'Used to'
The Use of 'Need'
Difference between 'Need not' and 'Must not'
The Use of Dare


Reflexive Verbs:


A verb which has a reflexive pronoun as its object, is called a Reflexive Verb; as

The boy hurt himself.                                       The boys cried themselves hoarse.

In the above sentences, the words in italics are Reflexive verbs and the words in italics after them are Reflexive objects.


Impersonal Verbs :

An impersonal Verb is one which has no real subject; as,

It rains. It hails. It is very fine.It is very pleasant.

In the aforesaid sentences,the subject ‘it’ may refer either to the sky or the weather.


Causative Verbs:

A verb in respect of which the work is got done instead of doing by the subject is called a causative verb ; as ,
He got her punished.
The subject  himself  ‘He’ is not doing the work but on his behalf someone else is doing the same.
Let him sit here.
Did you get the door opened?
Get this letter posted.
The mother made her do this work.

In the aforesaid sentences causative verbs are used.


OBJECTS :         Direct   &  Indirect

Sentences with two objects.
Some verbs govern two objects, one of which is a person and the other is a thing ; as
He gave me (person) a gift (thing).
She told her son (person) a story (thing).
She gave the child (person) a toy (thing).

The name of a person or animal is called the Indirect object and the name of the thing is called the Direct object.


Cognate Object.

Intransitive verbs sometimes take after them an object similar in meaning to the verb.Such an object is called Cognate Object.

She sighed a deep sigh.

The child sleeps a sound sleep.

They laughed a hearty laugh.

I dreamt a horrible dream.

The patient  died a natural death.

He fought a good fight.

The girls sang a beautiful song.

Boys ran a race.

He had to wait for the fruit to fructify.


The words – sighed,sleeps,laughed, dreamt,died,fought,sang & ran are verbs.
The words — sigh,sleep,laugh,dream,death,fight,song  & race are Cognate objects.


Some more Examples:

He did not object to the object.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

I was content to know the content of the message.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

The blessed virgin blessed her.

The king subjected the subject to his tyranny.




Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.