Lesson 63

  1. Modal Auxiliary verbs -1
  2. Examples
  3. Exercises
  4. Describe the picture


Lesson 63 Modal Auxiliary Verbs Part 1

This lesson is about the modal auxiliaries in Tamil. In Tamil, we do not find many modals, but they are used in such a way that you can bring out the right meaning on the sentence, and a person can express the right stress in the sentences.

All modal verbs are auxiliary verbs, which means they can only be used with a main verb. Modal verbs cannot be a main verb. InEnglish,the modals such as can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, and would, do not change form for different subjects.

1. I can walk fast.
John can walk fast.
Polly can walk fast.
They can fast.

Example2: The same happens with negations as well.
2. You shouldn’tgo to the movie.
I shouldn’t see him.
Heshould’nt go to work.
They shouldn’t go to the party.

Note: The modal auxiliaries ‘can’ and ‘should’ doesn’t conjugate, but remains the same for all the different subjects.

This is the same with Tamil too. We will see this in the examples.

1a. Can/ Could – Mudiyum

Can/ Could denotes ability, permission and capacity.
Mudiyum is the Tamil word for Can. Mudiyaadhu is the negation.
Let us see a table of the different forms of Mudiyum – Can


Modal form

Past Tense

Present Tense

Future/ Habitual Tense

Can/ CouldMudinjidhuMudiyidhuMudiyum
Negation form Can’t/ Couldn’tMudiyaleMudiyaleMudiyaadhu
In Tamil we use –aala/-kku to the subject in the sentence and finish the sentence with ‘mudiyum’, which means the ‘can’.


Doctor : Sollunga, Mr. Anubhav, udambueppadiirukku. Tell me, Mr. Anubhav. How is your health?

Mr. Anubhav: Aruvaisigichchai/ Surgery-kkumunnaadi, en-ale nadakkamudiyale. Rombamuttyvaliirundhichu. Before the surgery, I couldn’t walk. I had knee pain.

Aanaa, ippo, aruvaisigichchai-kkupiragu, en-aalenallanadakkamudiyidhu. But now, after the surgery, I can walk well.

Mundhi, en-aalenallaodamudinjidhu.Aanaa, ippoodamudiyale. Earlier, I could run. But now I can’t run.

Doctor : Kavalaipadaatheenga. Konjamnaalleungal-aaleodakoodamudiyum. Don’t worry. In sometime, you could run.


1b. Can/ Could – Mudiyum

Karthikorunallaisai-amaippaalar. Karthik is a very good music composer.

Avar-ale rombanallaapaada-ummudiyum. He can also sing really well.

Aanaa, inaikkuavarukkurombathondaivali. Avar-aaleippokonjamkoodapaadamudiyale. But today, he has a sore throat. He can’t sing at all.

Inaikkuorukatcheriirukku.Avar-ale paadamudiyuma? There is a concert today. Will he be able to sing?

Avar-aalenichchayamaapaadamudiyaadhu! Neengaennaninaikireenga? He won’t be able to sing for sure. What do you think?


Try Translating A Few Sentences:

  1. Anu can speak English really well.
  2. Arjun can participate in the competition.
  3. I couldn’t run fast two years back.
  4. Nethra can walk long distances.
  5. Can you sing this song?
  6. Raju can’t eat this much.a

1c. Could – Mudiyum

Could is used in sentences to

  1. Make a polite request.
  2. Make a polite offer.

Mudiyum is the Tamil word for Could as well. Mudiyaadhu is the negation.

Ennodaammakkuinaikkuudambusariyilla. My mom is not feeling well, today.

Naanavangalukkueppadiudhaviseiyamudiyum? How could I help her?

En-aaleavangalukkusoodaana coffee potutharamudiyum. I could make some hot coffee for her.

En-aalethuvachchathunigalekaayapodamudiyum. I could hang the washed clothes to dry.

En-aaleveetaisuththamseiyamudiyum. I could clean the house.


Try Translating A Few Sentences:

  1. Could I go now?
  2. Could I give you a lift?
  3. I could carry that for you.
  4. Could you lend me a pen, please?


2a. Should/ Have to – ….+num

Should/ Have to expresses an opinion, willingness and also a sense of duty.
In Tamil, the should/ have to is the verb with the +vendum added to it as a suffix.
Poga+vendum = pogavendum – poganum
Let us take the verb ‘write’ – Ezhudhu

Modal Form

Modal In Tamil

Spoken Form

Should WriteShould – VendumEzhudha+vendum = Ezhudhanum
Negation form Shouldn’t writeShould not – koodaadhuEzhudha+koodaadhu = Ezhudhakoodaadhu
Should have writtenShould have – past participle of the verb + irukkaEzhudhi+irukka+vendum = Ezhudhi-irukkanum
Should not have writtenShouldn’t have – past participle of the verb +irukka+ koodaadhuEzhudhi+irukka+koodaadhu = Ezhudhi-irukkanum


  1. You should write the maths lesson. Nee kanakkupaadamezhudhavendum/ ezhudhanum
  2. You shouldn’t write the letter. Nee kadeedhamezhudhakoodaadhu
  3. You should have written a poem. Nee orukavidhaiezhudhi-irukkavendum/ ezhudhi-irukkanum
  4. You shouldn’t have written this answer. Nee indhabadhilezhudhi-irukkakoodaadhu


‘Should’ and ‘Have to’ are interchangeable. So in Tamil, we always use verb+num in both the patterns.


Teacher : Leela, Nee unnodathervukkunallapadikkanum. Leela, you should study well for your exams.

Leela : Indhapaadampadikkanuma, teacher. Teacher! Should I study this lesson too?

Teacher : Aamaa. Nee naalupadangalpadikkanum. Ella badhil-um nallapadikkanum. Yes. You have to learn four lessons. You should learn all the answers well.

Leela : Indhakelvi-kkubadhilsariyaa, teacher. Teacher! Is the answer to this question, right?

Teacher : Illa Leela. Indhabadhilezhudhakoodaadhu. Idhuthappu. No Leela. You shouldn’t write this as the answer. This is wrong.

Indhakelvi-kku, nee andhabadhil-a thaanezhudhanum. You should write that as answer .

Leela : Aamaa. Naanindhabadhilthaanezhudhi-irukkanum. Yes. I should have written this answer.

Teacher : Nee unnodatheruvanallaezhudhanum. Appounakkusirandhamaanaviparisukidaikkum. Yes. You have to write your exams well, and only then you will get the best student award.




Rajesh : Sanghavi, Pranaav! Indha project-a naamanallaseiyanum. Sanghavi, Pranav! We have to do this project really well.

Sanghavi : Indhamurai, Karthik-oda teamjeyikkakoodaadhu. Karthik’s team shouldn’t win,this time.

Pranaav : Aamaa. Project mudikiravarainaamasorvaagakoodaathu. Yes. We should not feel tired until we finish the project.

Rajesh : Neraththaiveenaakazhikkakoodaadhu. Sariyaathittampottuseiyanum. We shouldn’t waste our time. We should plan well.

Pranaav: : Ponamuraimaadhiri, kadaisinimishavelaikoodaadhu. There shouldn’t be any last minute job, like the previous time.

Sanghavi : Indhamurai, naamathaan project-a mudhalemudikkanum. This time, we should be first to finish the project.


Try Translating A Few Sentences:

  1. I should obey my elders.
  2. You should’t gothere now.
  3. Sita should study tonight.
  4. We should always speak the truth.
  5. He has to work hard to support his family.
  6. She should come home on time.
  7. Raju shouldn’t eat sweets.



Try to frame sentences in Tamil:

1. Munnaadi:

2. Aruvaisigichchai:

3. Mutty:

4. Vali:

5. Thondai:

6. Isa-amaipaalar:

7. Katcheri:

8. Ninaikiraan:

9. Pechchupotti:

10. Soodaana:

11. Coffee Potutharen:

12. Thittampodu:

13. Kadaisi:

14. Thuvai:

15. Kaayapoduven:

16. Thappu :

17. Veenaakazhikkaakoodadhu:


Pudhu Vaarthaigal:

Aruvaisigichchai – surgery/ operation
Munnaadi – earlier
Muttyvali – knee pain
Piragu – afterwards
Mundhi – earlier
Isaiamaippaalar – music composer
Thondaivali – throat pain/ sore throat
Katcheri – concert
Nichchayamaa – definitely
Ninai+ – think
Soodaana – hot (adj.)
Coffee podu – make coffee
Thuvachchathuni – washed clothes
Kaayapodu – let it to dry/ hanging clothes to dry
Kelvi – Question
Badhil – Answer
Thappu – Wrong/ incorrect
Murai – Chance
Mudikiravarai – Until finishing
Sorvaaga – To become tired/ weary
Veenaa – Waste
Veenaakazhikka – To waste time
Thittam – Plan
Thittampodu – To make plans
Kadaisi – Last
Nimisham – minute



  1. He can speak four languages.
  2. She can’t swim.
  3. It’s dark. He can’t see.
  4. I can’t watch this movie. There is no power.
  5. Can you help me?
  6. No. He can’t carry this. It’s heavy.
  7. I can speak Hindi, but I can’t write.
  8. He should bring that too. Shouldn’t he?
  9. They can’t play outside, but they can sit quietly.
  10. He shouldn’t wear white. He has to wear black.
  11. Dad shouldn’t have come there. He should have gone to the party.
  12. He can attend the wedding. But his wife can’t.
  13. I can’t do this. Could you help me?


Try To Describe The Picture: