UKUK USUSIndiaIndia
Fun Learning and Revision for KS1, KS2, 11-Plus, KS3 and GCSE
Join Us
Verbs (Modal) 01
"Shall I make a cup of tea?" In this sentence the word "shall" is a modal verb because it helps the verb "make".

Verbs (Modal) 01

In the world of English, modal verbs such as "can", "will", "shall", "may", "ought" and "must" help main verbs. For example, in the sentence, "he can run fast", the verb is "run" and the modal verb is "can".

Each modal verb helps other verbs to express different shades of meaning. "You can read the newspaper" is very different from "you must read the newspaper". MUST, in turn, is much stronger than OUGHT. "You ought to read the newspaper" is a recommendation.

Sometimes people ask permission by requesting, "Can I....?", to which pedantic people will always respond, "May you". CAN means "to be able" to do something, whereas MAY asks whether one is permitted to do something.

WILL is interesting because it is now used in English to create the future tense: "I will go to the cinema". In the past, WILL meant "to want", so "I will go to the cinema" would've meant "I want to go to the cinema" (not that there were cinemas so long ago...). Use modal verbs for precision in your writing.

To sharpen your modal verbs skills, have a go at the following quiz.

Did you know...

You can play all the teacher-written quizzes on our site for just £9.95 per month. Click the button to sign up or read more.

Sign up here
1.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
Can you pass me the salt please? I might need it.
Can, might
pass, need
you, I
you, me
Modal verbs can make your speech or writing more polite. "Would you like" is more polite than "do you want"
2.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
Should we call him? He might still be at home.
call, be
him, he
Should, might
we, he
"Might" gives the sense of "perhaps"
3.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
I will see you next week; you must come when you can.
I, you, you
next, week, come
see, come, can
will, must, can
Modal verbs imply the future here
4.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
When can we meet? I must do my homework first.
can, must
meet, do
we, I
When, first
Modal verbs help the verbs "meet" and "do" here
5.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
I will receive my exam results later and Amy might too.
exam, results
I, Amy
receive, later
will, might
Modal verbs can also express possibility or uncertainty, as here with "might"
6.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
Would you like a cup of tea? I'd like coffee please.
like, like
tea, coffee
Would, I'd (= I would)
you, I
Modal verbs make requests more polite (i.e. not just "coffee please!")
7.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
I will see my cousins tomorrow; I might see my aunt too.
cousins, aunt
see, see
tomorrow, too
will, might
Modal verbs can be used to imply the future
8.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
I must go to the wedding and you ought to go too.
go, go
I, you
must, ought
to, too
"Must" is very definite; use it for a commanding tone
9.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
May I borrow this book please? I will read it tonight.
book, tonight
borrow, read
I, it
May, will
"May I?" is a polite way of asking permission
10.
Find the modal verbs in the following sentence.
They might not go to the wedding but I might go.
go, go
might, might
They, I
wedding, go
Use modals to change tone and effect in writing

 

Author:  Sue Daish

© Copyright 2016-2018 - Education Quizzes
TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire

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