Don't Commit this Modal Slip

Verbs bring life to a sentence so use them with care. We recall that verbs are classified into three: modals (can, may, will, could, etc.) always function as auxiliaries; full verbs (buy, live, work, etc.) always function as main verbs; and primary verbs (be,have, and do) can function either as auxiliaries or as main verbs. 

Scrolling through fashion blogs, I found a sentence that made me cringe.  Can you spot the unfashionable slip?

"This blog will serves as your daily dose of inspiring photos..."

Verb Form After Modals

 

 

I bet you found it. Modals are followed by the base form of verbs - verbs that are neither in singular nor past form. 

  • Examples: will serve, will guide, can live, may love, could rejoice, would stumble

Once and for all, remember this simple formula while proofreading for verb errors: Modal + Base Form of primary or full verb

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