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MODAL VERBS

Ability CAN (present) I can speak English

COULD (past) John could read when he was 3


years old.

Possibility / Probability COULD It could rain tomorrow.

MAY He may come to the party.

MIGHT Although she hasn’t studied, she


might pass the test.

Obligation MUST / HAVE TO You must wear a tie to enter this


place.

Absence of obligation DON’T HAVE TO You don’t have to

Prohibition MUSTN’T You mustn’t smoke in public places.

Give advice SHOULD (N’T) You should cut down on junk food.
You shouldn’t eat a lot of sweets.

1) Write the adequate modal verb to express ABILITY:

- Last year, I ……… run 3 miles without problems. Now, I ………… only run 2 miles
because I get really tired.
- When Sam was 2 years old, he …………….write down his name!
- Nowadays, you ……… do amazing things with computers!
- This magician is very good! He ……….do great tricks!
- When I was little, I …………….. touch the tip of my nose.
- His best quality is that he ………. be very friendly.

2) Underline the correct modal verb:

- I can’t/ couldn’t hear you! The music is too loud!


- You must/ might wear a tracksuit to go to Sports lessons.
- I have to/ has to finish these exercise for tomorrow.
- John must/ can be very annoying sometimes. He’s such an idiot!
- Camaron can/ could play the guitar very well.
- You should/ mustn’t go to the gym if you want to get fit.
- Where’s Jim? He might/ mustn’t be in his office.
- If I had a lot of money I could/ can buy I house, but I don’t!
- You should/ must arrive to school before 8.
- We mustn’t/ don’t have to do this exercise if you don’t want. It’s voluntary.
- You mustn’t/ don’t have to interrupt the teacher when he’s talking. It is very rude.
- You shouldn’t/ might drive if you are sick. It’s dangerous!

3) Circle the correct answer.


1. You can / must / shouldn’t colour your hair. I like it the way it is.

2. It’s 1 o’clock! I must / can / could go home now. My parents will be very angry.

3. Frank can / could / should run 10 kilometres when he was younger.

4. She couldn’t / mustn’t / can’t do her homework. There is too much noise.

5. She shouldn’t / can’t / mustn’t stay up late. She has an exam tomorrow.

4) This taxi cab full of labels telling you what to do.

Write at least five sentences using must / mustn’t, can / can’t, should / shouldn’t.

1. You mustn’t smoke cigars in the taxi.

2. _________________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________________

4. _________________________________________________________________________

5. _________________________________________________________________________