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Understand Modal Verbs 1

In this worksheet, students consider how modal verbs are used to give shades of meaning to sentences.

'Understand Modal Verbs 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Modal Verb Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

There is special group of verbs called modal verbs. These are:

can / could

will / would

shall / should

may / might

must / ought to

 

They are used in three main ways:

 

1) To show how likely something is to happen.

I will come.

I might come.

 

2) To show skills or abilities.

She can play the piano.

He could speak French when he was three.

 

3) For giving permission, orders and advice.

You must work harder.

May I leave the room, please?

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

Katie might visit them again.

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

You must not go in without knocking.

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

Sarah could play the violin very well.

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

You should wipe your feet before you go in.

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

We would have won if we hadn't conceded that penalty.

Which of the following modal verbs is used for asking permission to do something?

could

will

may

might

Which of the following modal verbs is used for showing that something is possible but not definite?

must

might

can

will

Which of the following modal verbs is used to show a person's ability to do something?

would

can

must

shall

Choose the best modal verb to complete the following sentence.

 

You ________ listen to the instructor before you go into the cave or it will be dangerous.

can

may

should

must

Choose the best modal verb to complete the following sentence.

 

Please ________  I go to the toilet?

will

would

may

can

  • Question 1

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

Katie might visit them again.

CORRECT ANSWER
might
EDDIE SAYS
Great job. Modal verbs are special verbs that are used to show the possibility of something happening. Using 'might' shows that it is not certain whether Katie will visit them again or not.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

You must not go in without knocking.

CORRECT ANSWER
must
EDDIE SAYS
Good effort. Using 'must' makes the sentence very definite. It should not happen. Keep it up!
  • Question 3

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

Sarah could play the violin very well.

CORRECT ANSWER
could
EDDIE SAYS
In this sentence, 'could' is the past tense of the modal verb 'can'. Remember a modal verb shows the possibility of something happening. Keep up the great effort.
  • Question 4

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

You should wipe your feet before you go in.

CORRECT ANSWER
should
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? The modal verb 'should' is not as strong as 'must', but it suggests that wiping your feet is the right thing to do.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentence and identify the modal verb. Write it in the answer box.

 

We would have won if we hadn't conceded that penalty.

CORRECT ANSWER
would
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this now? Remember to read it through, which would shows the possibility of the event happening. Using 'would have' shows that the team didn't actually win the match.
  • Question 6

Which of the following modal verbs is used for asking permission to do something?

CORRECT ANSWER
may
EDDIE SAYS
Try to think about if you were asking a question yourself which option are you most likely to use? If you use the modal verb 'may' you are asking whether you are allowed to do something or not. Keep up the great work.
  • Question 7

Which of the following modal verbs is used for showing that something is possible but not definite?

CORRECT ANSWER
might
EDDIE SAYS
Good job, keep it up. If something might happen then it is not clear whether it will or not.
  • Question 8

Which of the following modal verbs is used to show a person's ability to do something?

CORRECT ANSWER
can
EDDIE SAYS
Which option would work best when describing a person's ability to do something? If you 'can' do something then you are able to do it. You got this!
  • Question 9

Choose the best modal verb to complete the following sentence.

 

You ________ listen to the instructor before you go into the cave or it will be dangerous.

CORRECT ANSWER
must
EDDIE SAYS
'Should' could also be used but it gives the impression that the person has a choice, so 'must' is better.
  • Question 10

Choose the best modal verb to complete the following sentence.

 

Please ________  I go to the toilet?

CORRECT ANSWER
may
EDDIE SAYS
Fantastic effort! People often use 'can' in sentences like this, but 'can' shows ability rather than permission, so 'may' is better.
---- OR ----

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