Modals for kids
Modals definition for kids: The words that describe the mode or manner of the action denoted by the verb are called modals.
They are not used alone.
They are always used with the principal verb that follows them. They express meanings or ideas such as permission, possibility, certainty, necessity, obligation, command, compulsion, ability, capacity, etc.
The main modals are:
can, could, may, might, shall, should, wall, would, must, ought to, need to, have to, used to, dare, etc.
The negative modals are:
couldn’t, shouldn’t, mustn’t, needn’t, wouldn’t, ought not to, etc.
10 Examples of modals
- She can swim very well.
- You must do your duty.
- We should obey traffic rules.
- Would you have lunch with us?
- We could go to a movie on monday.
- You need to lose weight.
- I will get you a camera from the U.K.
- When may I get a refund?
- Can I help you?
- How can I help you?
Usage of Modals
‘Can’ is used:
- To express permission, for example – You can go home now.
- To express ability or capacity, for example – I can run very fast.
‘Could’ (past form of can) is used:
- To express ability/capacity in the past, for example – He could walk very fast in his youth.
- To express a polite request, for example – Could I take your pen?
‘Must’ is used:
- To express obligation or duty, for example –
- You must never tell lies.
- We must obey our parents.
- To express emphatic advice/ determine, for example – You must consult a doctor at once.
- To express assumption or possibility, for example:
- He must have gone by now.
- He must be twenty-two.
‘Need’ is used:
- To show absence of necessity or compulsion, for example –
- You need not pay the bill.
- You need to see a doctor soon.
‘Shall’ is used:
- To express a pure future with first-person (I, we), for example –
- I shall help you.
- We shall help you.
- To express command, threat, promise, determination, etc. with second and third person (you, he, she, they, etc.)
- You shall do it now. (Command)
- He shall be punished for his mistake. (Threat)
- She shall have a reward. (Promised)
- They shall protect their country. (Determination)
‘Should’ (Past form of shall) is used:
- To express duty, obligation, advice, for example –
- We should obey our elders.
- You should not neglect your health.
- You should not be late for school.
- To express purpose after ‘lest, for example – Walk fast lest you should miss the train.
‘Will’ is used:
- To express a simple future with a second and third person (you, we, she, it, they), for example – The PM will visit the flood-affected areas.
- To express willingness, promise, determination with the first person (I, we), for example –
- I will help you (Willingness/Promise)
- We will make all efforts to please the boss. (determination)
‘Would’ (Past Tense of will) is used:
- To express a habit, for example – He would rise early and go for a long walk.
- To express a polite request, for example – Would you bring a glass of water, please?
- To express a wish, for example – I wish you would come with us to Jaipur.
‘Dare’ is used
- To express ‘to have courage‘ in negative and interrogative sentences, for example –
- She does not dare to disobey her father.
- He dares you to talk like this?
- ‘Used to’ is used to express a past habit or existence of something in the past for example –
- My mother used to go for a walk every morning.
- There used to be a shop in this place long ago.
Modals Solved Exercise/Examples
Question 1: Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals, choosing from the given options.
- I _____ always help you.
- We _____ brush our teeth daily.
- I wish you _____ tell this to me earlier.
- There_____ be a shop here.
- have to
- used to
- It _____ rain today.
- used to
Question 2: Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals, choosing from the given option. (modals for kids)
Most parents wish that their children (a) _____ spend more of their leisure reading than watching television or playing computer games. Gone are the days when children (b) _____ still be read Amar Chitra Katha, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Homes, etc. Reading (c) _____ still be the most absorbing pastime. Children (d) _____ be encouraged to read books. It (e) _____ definitely sharpen their intellect and help develop good vocabulary.
- used to
- used to
Questions 3. Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals, choosing from the given options.
- It is raining so I _____ stay at home.
- You _____ serve your parents.
- ought to
- _____ you prefer tea or coffee?
- I _____ complete this work by tomorrow.
- have to
- used to
Modals Exercise/worksheet for kids
Question 1: Complete the following dialogue with appropriate modals, choosing from the given options.
Rohan: You (a) _____ do something to reduce your weight. (can, have, will, must)
Harman: I am also worried about it. What (b) _____ I do? (should, may, might, will)
Rohan: You (c) _____ follow a strict diet plan. (shall, must, will, could)
Harman: I (d) _____ definitely make a diet plan. (might, can, shall, would)
Rohan: You (e) _____ also exercise regularly. (should, will, used to, dare)
Harman: Thank you for your precious advice.
Question 2: Complete the following passage with appropriate modals, choosing from the given options.
A forest is fascinating at night. If you sit stills you (a) _____ (could, may, will, would) see a tiger. On a dark night you (b) _____ (can, might, should, could) not see at all. You (c) _____ (might, shall, must, will) carry a torch with you to find your path, otherwise, you (d) _____ (may, have to, need, will) stumble and fail. You (e) _____ (might, may should, need) not be afraid as wild animal do not attack without provocation.
Question 3: In the following passage, one word has been omitted. Choose the correct word from the given option and write in the space. Put a slash between the words that come before and after it. (modals for kids)
- Eating too much makes us fail. (a) _____ (could, can, will) ill.
- We take care of our health (b) _____ (must, could, might)
- We remain fit if we take care (c) _____ (must, might, can) of our diet and exercise regularly.
- We build up our strength (d) _____ (should, would, might) by eating nutritious food.
- We be (e) _____ (should, would, could) aware of the dos and don’ts of keeping fit.
- We also exercise. (f) _____ (should, must, shall)
Question 4: The following passage has not been edited. There is one error in each line. Underline the error and write the correct word from the given option, in the space provided.
- We can do something to clean (a) _____ (must, will, might) river Yamuna.
- In the past, it will (b) _____ (dare to, used to, must) be a sacred river.
- We might make (c) _____ (should, could, may) the people aware of its importance.
- They could surely come forward to clean (d) _____ (could, will, might)their beloved river,
- Government can make (e) _____ (shall, may, should) some plans.
- It shall also encourage people (f) _____ (can, should, used to) to join the cleanliness drive.
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