Modal verbs会 huì要 yào想 xiǎng能 néng

Modal verbs such as 会 huì要 yào想 xiǎng能 néng and 可以kěyǐ signify abilities, demands, wishes and possibilities, ect. and are used before the main verbs. The negative form is “不 bù+ modal verb”. And the affirmative-negative question is formed by juxtaposing the positive and negative format of the modal verb instead of the main verb in the sentence. Modal verbs cannot be reduplicated. 了le cannot be added to the end of the sentence.

A brief introduction to the usage of the modal verbs:

会huì (can, may)

会huì denotes “capable of doing something”. The negative form is 不会 + verb + noun.

SubjectOpVVO


huì

shuō
汉语。
hànyǔ
SubjectOpVOPvVO


huì


huì

太极拳?
tàijíquán?

想xiǎng  want to , would like to

Used to express wishes, desires and demands.

SubjectOpVV


huì
去逛街。
qù guàngjiē 
SubjectOpVOPvV


xiǎng



xiǎng
去逛街?
qù guàngjiē?

要 yào   want to, wish to, must

I is used to express a desire for doing something. the negative form is 不想bù xiǎng or 不愿意bú yuànyì, not 不要bú yào.

SubjectOpVV


yào
去   邮局   寄信。
qù yóujú jìxìn
SubjectOpVOPvV


yào


yào
休息一下?
xiūxi yī xià?

要yào also means “should” or “must”. In this case, its negative form is 不bú yào or 别 bié,which is used to persuade someone from doing something.

SubjectOpVV

Qǐng 
大家
dàjiā
不要
bú   yào
说话。
shuōhuà

能 néng /可以  kěyǐ can, may

These two words mean “to have the ability to do something”. The negative form is : 不能 bùnéng, that is 不+OpV

SubjectOpVV

能/可以
néng/kěyǐ
说一点儿汉语。
shuō yì diǎnr Hànyǔ

Also when we use them to ask permissions, o have requests.

SubjectOpVV

能/可以
néng/kěyǐ
在这儿
zài zhèr
吸烟    吗?
xīyān ma?  

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