GRAMMAR – Modal Verbs

  • Tom can write poetry very well. (Ability)
  • Lisa can’t speak French. (Lack of ability)
  • When I was a child I could climb trees. ( Past ability)
  • Can you lend me ten dollars? (Request, informal)
  • Could I have your number? (Request, polite)
  • You may start your exam now. (Permission, formal)
  • Our company might get the order if the client agrees to the price. (Possibility)
  • Shall we go for a walk? (Suggestion, polite)
  • You should check that document before you send it out. (Advice)
  • You must have a passport to cross the border. (Necessity)
  • May I sit here? (Request)

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs that express necessity, possibility, permission, ability, or other conditions. Unlike regular verbs, modal verbs do not change form based on the subject and are followed by the base form of the main verb.

1 / 12

Lisa can’t speak French.
What does the modal verb "can't" indicate in this sentence?

2 / 12

Tom can write poetry very well.
What does the modal verb "can" indicate in this sentence?

3 / 12

When I was a child I could climb trees.
What does the modal verb "could" indicate in this sentence?

4 / 12

Can you lend me ten dollars?
What does the modal verb "can" indicate in this sentence?

5 / 12

Could I have your number?
What does the modal verb "could" indicate in this sentence?

6 / 12

You may start your exam now.
What does the modal verb "may" indicate in this sentence?

7 / 12

Our company might get the order if the client agrees to the price.
What does the modal verb "might" indicate in this sentence?

8 / 12

Shall we go for a walk?
What does the modal verb "shall" indicate in this sentence?

9 / 12

You should check that document before you send it out.
What does the modal verb "should" indicate in this sentence?

10 / 12

You must have a passport to cross the border.
What does the modal verb "must" indicate in this sentence?

11 / 12

May I sit here?
What does the modal verb "may" indicate in this sentence?

12 / 12

Which sentence uses a modal verb to express a past ability?

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