Grammar: Shall, Can and Will (Suggestion, Request, and Instruction)
Grammar: Shall, Can and Will (Suggestion, Request, and Instruction) – Basic competence: Expressing and responding to the conversation relating to the expressions of suggestion, request, and instruction.
Learn about it!
In this lesson, you will learn some expressions of suggestion, request, and instruction by usingshall, can, and will to express suggestion, request, and instruction.
Modals are part of the auxiliary verbs, a group of helping verbs functioning to give additional meanings in a sentence in order to enhance its meaning. One thing to be remembered is that modals must be followed by bare infinitives (V1/be).
There are many functions of modals in a sentence. They, as you may have learned, are able to demonstrate ability, possibility, et cetera. In this lesson, we are going to focus on using modals shall, can, and will to express suggestion, request, and instruction.
Suggestion is an idea or plan which is offered by someone to be considered by someone else. In making suggestion, we mention a possible course of action to other persons. There are many ways to express suggestion in English, such as by using “Let’s…”, “Why don’t we…?.
- Let’s go camping this weekend.
- Why don’t we watch a movie? Besides those two, we also can make a suggestion by using “Shall”. The negative form of this modal is “Shall not” .
Ara : “Shall we come to the party?”
Iba : “No, we shall not”
As someone wants other persons to do something, he or she can use expressions of request or instruction. Requests are considered to be a more polite form of asking something to other persons. Those are considered polite because a person who is being asked can choose whether or not to do it, and that’s why requests are usually in form of questions. When someone is making requests, he or she often use modals of ability such as “May…” or“Can…”. Besides that, “Will…” also can be used.
Look at the examples below.
- Can you come to my house today?
- May I take a break?
- Will you come to my farewell party?
Please” is an additional word showing an even more polite version of a request. It is often used in the beginning or at the end of a sentence. Look at the examples below.
- Can you close the door, please?
There are several ways to answer and respond to someone’s request, in formal agreement or in informal agreement which indicates a more relaxed situation. Look at the table below to see the difference.
Instruction means someone gives an order to other persons. Instruction can be assumed as the “straight” version of requests, and that’s why sometimes the use of grammar and sentence structure is similar. However, instruction is usually used by someone who has more power or is more important. Generally, we do not really need the used of modals here. Look at the examples below.
- Intan, come quick!
- Be quiet!
- Can you stop talking?
To summarize, there are many uses of modals as helping verbs in a sentence. You have to notice how they function and how they are used in a sentence.
• In making a suggestion, you can use “shall”.
• In making request, you can use modals “can” and “will”.
• Requests are considered more polite than instruction.