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Using Modal Verbs


Modal verbs

Modal verbs have practical uses in various aspects of English language communication. They are versatile and serve specific functions that are essential in both spoken and written language

Possibility and probability

Making Requests and Offers

Expressing ability

Necessity and obligation

Advice and suggestion

Certainty and deduction

Politeness and Formality

Giving and Seeking Permission

Future Intentions

Possibility in the Past

Hypothetical Situations

Polite Refusals

Preferences and Desires

The Day of the Dead, or "Dia de los Muertos," is a vibrant and deeply rooted Mexican tradition that takes place on November 1st and 2nd each year. It's a time when families come together to honor and remember deceased loved ones. People create colorful ofrendas (altars) adorned with marigolds, candles, and favorite foods of the departed to welcome their spirits back to the world of the living. Families visit cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves, sharing stories and memories while celebrating life through music, dance, and traditional cuisine. This unique blend of indigenous beliefs and Catholicism creates a festive and meaningful celebration of both life and death in Mexico.

Creating an altar

In the Day of the Dead tradition in Mexico, altars, known as "ofrendas," play a central and significant role. These altars serve as elaborate and heartfelt offerings to honor and remember deceased loved ones. For this reason, there are certain elements that must be included, because of what they represent, and some others are suggested to be included because they could give a more colorful environment to the altar.

Symbolism and Symbolic Items: Ofrendas are adorned with various symbolic items, including marigold flowers, and incense. Each of these elements carries specific meanings. For example, marigolds are believed to guide spirits with their vibrant color and scent.

  • You must have marigolds in your altar.
  • You have to include candles, to guide the spirit back home.

Religious Symbols: Some ofrendas also incorporate religious symbols, such as crosses or images of saints, reflecting the syncretism of indigenous beliefs with Catholicism in Mexico.

You must include religious symbols.

Prayers and Remembrance: Families gather around the ofrenda to recite prayers, share stories, and remember the lives of their loved ones. It's a time of reflection and celebration of the departed's existence.

We could pray together.

Personal Touches: Families often add personal touches to their altars, including mementos, personal belongings, and even the deceased's favorite music or possessions.

We can include his picture.

We should also include his favorite food and drink.

Water and Salt: Water and salt are included to quench the thirst and purify the souls of the visiting spirits after their long journey from the afterlife.

Don't forget you must include water and salt.

Community and Connection: Ofrendas are sometimes displayed publicly in community spaces, creating a sense of unity and shared remembrance among neighbors and the broader community.

We can set an altar in school.

In summary, altars in the Day of the Dead tradition serve as a means of connecting with and honoring deceased loved ones, inviting their spirits to return, and celebrating their lives through symbolism, offerings, and personal memories. These "ofrendas" or altars are a powerful expression of cultural identity, spirituality, and the enduring bond between the living and the departed.Some elements should and could be included, but definitely, some must be included as part of the tradition.

Let's drag the elements that must be included in an altar.

Drag the elements that must be included

Let's drag the elements that could be included in an altar.

Drag the elements that could be included

  • Can you think of any other element you could add?
  • Let's make a beautiful altar including all the elements, those that must and those that could be included.

Drag the elements!

Thank you, see you next class.

Possibility or probability

• Can/could: Used to indicate the possibility or likelihood of an event occurring. "It can rain later." • May/might: Indicate a possibility that something could happen. "She might arrive early."

Expressing Ability

• Can/could: Indicate a person's ability to do something. "I can swim." "He could speak five languages."

Politeness and Formality

Modal verbs are often used to add politeness and formality to requests, offers, and invitations. "Could you please pass the salt?" "Would you like to join us for dinner?"

Expressing Preferences and Desires

• Would like/would prefer: Used to express preferences or desires. "I would like a cup of tea, please."

Certainty and Deduction

• Must: Indicates a high degree of certainty or deduction. "He must be at home." • Can't: Indicates a high degree of certainty in the negative. "She can't be late; she's very punctual."

Requests and Offers

• Can/could: Used to make polite requests or offers. "Can you help me with this?" "Could I borrow your pen?" Expressing Ability: • Can/could: Indicate a person's ability to do something. "I can swim." "He could speak five languages."

Future Intentions

• Will/would: Indicate future intentions or willingness "I will call you later." "I would like to travel next year."

Polite Refusals

• Could/may/might: Used to politely refuse requests or invitations. "I'm sorry, but I can't attend the party."

Hypothetical Situations

Modal verbs are used in conditional sentences to express hypothetical situations or unreal conditions. "If I could, I would help you."

Possibility in the Past

• Must/can't/may/might: Used to speculate about past events. "She must have forgotten the appointment." "He can't have seen it."

Giving and Seeking Permission

• May/might/could: Used to ask for permission politely. "May I use your phone?" • Can/could: Used informally to ask for permission. "Can I go to the restroom?"

Necessity and Obligation

• Must/have to: Express necessity or obligation. "You must finish your homework." "I have to go to the dentist."

Expressing Advice and Suggestions

• Should/ought to: Used to provide advice or suggestions. "You should exercise regularly." "You ought to apologize."