IndiaIndia UKUKUSUS
Enjoyable and Effective Quizzes for Learning and Quick Revision
IndiaIndia UKUKUSUS
Grammar 12 - Using the Right Modals
"It's a temple so you mustn't drink or smoke." - MUSTN'T is a prohibitive modal verb.

Grammar 12 - Using the Right Modals

Modal verbs are helping verbs and they help main verbs to express or to describe a host of situations. Modal verbs are also called auxiliary verbs and they are always used with main verbs as they cannot stand on their own. The use of modal verbs is governed principally by the 9 pure modals - CAN, COULD, MAY, MIGHT, MUST, SHALL, SHOULD, WILL and WOULD. Many situations can be explained or described by the use of modal verbs and it is possible that a modal verb can explain different situations and also a situation can be expressed by different modal verbs.

Specific rules govern the use of modal verbs:

Modal verbs are followed by the base form of a verb – "I MUST COMPLETE my assignment well in time."

A modal can be followed by the base form of the auxiliary verbs BE or HAVE followed by a participle - "Spectators MAY BE WATCHING."

Modals are immune to subject-verb agreements.

Modals don’t use the infinitive form TO except in the case of OUGHT TO.

Questions are formed by interchanging the verb and subject – "I CAN go to the movies" – "CAN I go to the movies?"

The negative is formed by adding NOT after the verb. - "You SHALL NOT go to the movies" or "You MAY NOT sit for the exam'.

Remember that all modals except 'might' and 'may' when used with NOT can be contracted as 'couldn't' or 'shouldn't' or 'can't'. The quiz that follows will test your knowledge of modals.

1.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
Take an umbrella as a precaution as it can rain later.
Take an umbrella as a precaution as it might rain later.
Take an umbrella as a precaution as it should rain later.
Take an umbrella as a precaution as it will rain later.
Rain is unpredictable and so the right modal is 'might' as this expresses a possibility or probability
2.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
If I could afford the car I would buy it.
If I shall afford the car I would buy it.
If I would afford the car I would buy it.
If I must afford the car I would buy it.
'Could' expresses ability whilst the other three modals express a condition, an intention and a possibility
3.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
There is milk in the refrigerator so you needn't buy any.
There is milk in the refrigerator so you could buy any.
There is milk in the refrigerator so you shall buy any.
There is milk in the refrigerator so you wouldn't buy any.
'Needn't' is the contracted form of 'need not' and it is the right modal as it seeks a negative action. The negative of a modal is formed by adding NOT after the modal
4.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
"Should you stand on one foot for more than a few minutes?"
"No, I can't."
"Will you stand on one foot for more than a few minutes?"
"No, I can't."
"Can you stand on one foot for more than a few minutes?"
"No, I can't."
"Must you stand on one foot for more than a few minutes?"
"No, I can't."
Here the modal is used to find out one's ability. In the other options the first modals are not appropriate
5.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
One shouldn't leave small plastic bags where children play as they ought to be swallowed by children.
One should leave small plastic bags where children play as they may be swallowed by children.
One ought to leave small plastic bags where children play as they shall be swallowed by children.
One shouldn't leave small plastic bags where children play as they may be swallowed by children.
The use of modals should make sense and must express or describe situations appropriately. The other three options are inappropriate
6.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
Roger Federer is playing in Delhi so I mightn't be there to watch him play.
Roger Federer is playing in Delhi so I mayn't be there to watch him play.
Roger Federer is playing in Delhi so I ought be there to watch him play.
Roger Federer is playing in Delhi so I will be there to watch him play.
The modal here is expressing the future course of action or intention. In the case of contracted forms MAYN'T and MIGHTN'T are not used, whilst OUGHT needs to be paired with TO
7.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
He has just lost his father so, as a close friend, you may to be with him in his hour of need.
He has just lost his father so, as a close friend, you ought to be with him in his hour of need.
He has just lost his father so, as a close friend, you could to be with him in his hour of need.
He has just lost his father so, as a close friend, you shall to be with him in his hour of need.
'Ought to' is the modal that is appropriate as it is expressing obligation. Remember modals don’t use the infinitive form TO except in the case of OUGHT TO
8.
Choose he sentence with the right modal.
The chauffeur has been driving continuously without a break - he shall be tired.
The chauffeur has been driving continuously without a break - he can be tired.
The chauffeur has been driving continuously without a break - he should be tired.
The chauffeur has been driving continuously without a break - he must be tired.
From the first part of the sentence it is deduced that the chauffeur is tired
9.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
It's a temple so you must drink or smoke.
It's a temple so you should drink or smoke.
It's a temple so you mustn't drink or smoke.
It's a temple so you can drink or smoke.
Here the appropriate modal is used to prohibit something. The negative form is used by adding NOT after MUST and contracting MUST NOT to MUSTN'T
10.
Choose the sentence with the right modal.
If you want to learn to speak Kannada well, you need to know grammar.
If you want to learn to speak Kannada well, you can know grammar.
If you want to learn to speak Kannada well, you may know grammar.
If you want to learn to speak Kannada well, you might to know grammar.
Here the modal is expressing a condition under which one can speak Kannada well. The modals in the other options do not do so. Remember the infinitive TO is not used with modals except in the case of OUGHT TO
Author:  V T Narendra

© Copyright 2016-2019 - Education Quizzes
TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire
View Printout in HTML

Valid HTML5

We use cookies to make your experience of our website better.

To comply with the new e-Privacy directive, we need to ask for your consent - I agree - No thanks - Find out more