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Modal Verb Rules, Exercises and Worksheets


Modals are the verbs which are used with other verbs (not modals) to express ability, possibility, permission, obligation etc.

 Here is a list of modals :

can         might         need     would   ought to               could     should

shall       used to      may      must      will                         dare

Uses of Modals

 1. Uses of Shall

A- Use of ‘shall’ with 1st person shows pure future :

  • I shall be in my class at this time tomorrow.
  • We shall decorate our houses for Deepawali.

B- Use of ‘shall’ with and the 2nd 3rd person shows:

1. Promise:

  • You shall get a prize.
  • Ile shall get Rs 500/-

2. Command:

  • You shall not come to my house.

3. Threat:

  • You shall be punished for your misconduct.

2. Uses of Should

 ‘Should’ is used to show :


  • We should serve our parents.

2. Advice or recommendation:

  • You should take milk, not coffee.

3. Probability or expectation:

  • He was in the final year of MBBS. He should be a doctor now

3. Uses of Will

Use of `will’ with 3rd person shows pure future:

  • He will be in his office at this time tomorrow.
  • Use of ‘will’ with 1st and person shows :

1. Wish:

  • I will go home now.

2. Request:

  • Will you please lend me your scooter?


  • I will find out the truth.

4. Willingness:

  • I will lend you my pen.


  • I will surely punish him.

4. Uses of Would

 ‘Would’ is the past tense of ‘will’. It is used to denote :

1.A polite request:

  • Would you lend me your pen?

2. An enquiry about the wish of the person addressed:

  • Would you like to have a cup of tea?

3. A wish:

  • Would that I was the Prime Minister!

5. Uses of Can

 ‘Can’ is used to indicate :


  • He can teach you how to speak English.

2. Possibility:

  • He can come at any time.

 6. Uses of Could

‘Could’ is the past tense of ‘can’. It is used to indicate :


  • He could swim well at the age of ten.

2. Permission:

  • Could! see what is in your hands?

3. A polite request:

  • Could you pass on the salt, please?

7. Uses of May

‘May’ is used to indicating:


  •  May I come in, Sir?

2. Possibility:

  •  It may rain Way.

3. Purpose:

  • Work hard so that you may pass.

4. Wishes and hopes:

  • May he win a scholarship!

8. Uses of Most

‘Must’ is used to indicate:


  • You must pay your bill by the 7th of this month.

2. Advice or recommendation:

  • The patient is serious. You must take him to the hospital.

3. A logical conclusion:

  • You have worked a lot. You must be tired.

9. Uses of Need

‘Need’ is used to indicate obligation or necessity.

  • You need not go there now. You are too late.
  • Need I remind you of your promise?

10. Uses of Might

‘Might’ is used to showing:


  • It might rain, but we can’t be sure.

2. Purpose (in the past):

  • He worked hard so that he might pass.

11. Uses of Ought to

‘Ought to’ indicates:


  • You ought to attend the class regularly.

2. Advice or recommendation:

  • He ought to consult a good doctor.

12. Uses of Used to

 ‘Used to’ indicates:

1. A habitual action in the past:

  • I used to fly kites when I was young.

2.A state of things that existed in the past:

  • There used to be a restaurant here ten years ago.

13.Uses of Dare

‘Dare’ means having the courage to be brave enough.

  • I do not know how he dares to say all that.
  • I low dare you to disobey your parents

Some Exercises of Modals Are:-

Modal Exercises and Worksheets No. 1 & 2
Modal Exercises and Worksheets No. 3 & 4
Modal Exercises and Worksheets No. 5 & 6
Modal Exercises and Worksheets No. 7 & 8
Modal Exercises and Worksheets No. 9 & 10


“Read More Rules of Modal Auxiliaries”