589 FREE Modal Verbs Worksheets & Exercises
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FREE Modal Verbs Worksheets

Can you teach modal verbs? Will you be able to? Should you look for even better ways to teach them? The answers to all these modal questions are “Yes!” - and that’s why BusyTeacher.org offers 589 modal verb worksheets to bring some fresh, fun ideas to your ESL classroom.

Teaching modal verbs takes some strategy. A lot of other languages don’t have exact one-word equivalents for verbs like “should” and “would,” which means direct word-for-word translation probably isn’t an option. The next-best approach is to give examples - but it’s not always easy for students to guess the difference between, say, “can” and “could” from context alone. Some teachers start with the simplest modal verbs - “can” and “should” - and build up the list from there, using a variety of reading and speaking exercises.

However you plan to combine these approaches, BusyTeacher.org offers a wide variety of worksheets to help make sure your students can read, write, hear, and speak correctly when it comes to modal verbs. The sheer diversity of our worksheets means you’ll never find yourself repeating the same modal verb lesson twice - and the range of activities and exercises they provide will keep your students thinking about modal verbs in every kind of usage and context.

Whether you’re introducing some level-one students to modal verbs for the very first time, helping some level-two students review the modal verbs they’ve already learned, or introducing higher-level students to modal verbs in some new tenses, we’ve got worksheets tailored for your students’ ESL proficiency. With 589 modal verb worksheets to choose from, you’re sure to find some that are just right for your class.

Looking for simple fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice worksheets to use for quizzes? We’ve got ‘em right here! Interested in active games that help students learn to use modal verbs in realistic conversations? Just take a look below! BusyTeacher.org even has modal verb worksheets designed around popular song lyrics, so your students can show off their newfound understanding of those songs to their friends.

All these worksheets have been created and shared by ESL teachers around the world - teachers just like you, who want to help each other improve the learning potential of their classrooms. They’ve been generous enough to make every worksheet on this site completely free to download, share, modify, and use as you like - you don’t even have to register on our site. All we ask is that, if you have a worksheet of your own that you’d like to share, you click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page to contribute it to our ever-growing community.

BusyTeacher.org’s convenient thumbnail view makes it easy to browse our 589 modal verb worksheets at a glance, without having to click and download each one just to see what it looks like. You can even save time by checking out the top ten most popular modal verb worksheets on BusyTeacher.org, or use the search function at the top of the page to pinpoint exactly the worksheets you’re looking for. We’re sure that, one way or another, you’ll find the worksheet you need. And we’re sure your class will love it!

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GRAMMAR TIP:What Are Modal Verbs?
In the English language, a modal verb is a type of auxiliary verb. The key way to identify a modal verb is by its defectiveness (they have neither participles nor infinitives). In addition, modal verbs do not take the inflection -s or -es in the third person singular, unlike other verbs. A modal verb (also modal, modal auxiliary verb, modal auxiliary) is a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality -- that is, likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation. The use of auxiliary verbs to express modality is particularly characteristic of Germanic languages. Modal auxiliary verbs give more information about the function of the main verb that follows it. Although having a great variety of communicative functions, these functions can all be related to a scale ranging from possibility ("may") to necessity ("must"). Note that dare and need are much more commonly used as non-modal verbs, taking -s or -es in the third person singular and having an infinitive and past and present participles.
Freebase CC-BY
Source: English Modal Verb on Freebase, licensed under CC-BY
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Can – Can’t – Could – Couldn’t Multiple Choice Test

Can – Can’t – Could – Couldn’t Multiple Choice Test

hassy
This worksheet is designed to test the students' understanding of  modals can, can't, could, and couldn't. It is composed of 8 multiple choice questions which are particularly suitable for &n ...
1 Views 2,255 Int
Movie Worksheet: Should Have, Would Have- Discussing Mistakes

Movie Worksheet: Should Have, Would Have- Discussing Mistakes

English Through Videos
This fun video activity is to practise using past modals "should have.." and "would have..." to discuss past mistakes. The video describes the top ten stupid mistakes made by people. Learners shou ...
6 Views 2,485 Pre-IntIntAdvExam
Song Worksheet: Without You by Usher

Song Worksheet: Without You by Usher

eliasvitola
This listening activity has 3 exercises for students to review some modals such as "can" for ability and "will" for future, both positivie and negative stataments, and some common action verbs us ...
1 Views 3,772 Elem
Animals

Animals

This worksheet is appropriate for teaching animals related vocabulary items and animals abilities. This worksheet contains two parts. It's suitable for young learners and elementary students. ...
1 Views 2,975 BegElem
Movie Worksheet: Family Guy (Future Predictions)

Movie Worksheet: Family Guy (Future Predictions)

English Through Videos
This fun video activity is to practise future predictions. While watching a clip from the hit TV series Family Guy, learners have to make predictions about what they expect to happen next. Learner ...
3 Views 2,805 ElemPre-IntIntAdvExam
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A Visitor from Abroad

A Visitor from Abroad

This worksheet gives students an opportunity to practice their models of obligation and recommendation while practicing airport vocabulary. Students start off with a conversation and then talk abo ...
3 Views 2,831 IntAdv
Animals

Animals

I have designed this worksheet about animals for reviewing the third person singular and third person plural (do and does) for the elementary level. Also, it includes the grammar of can and c ...
3 Views 4,616 Elem
Had Better Practice

Had Better Practice

Larissa Neri
This worksheet was created to help students practice the use of had better. There are six situations which should be solved by the students. You can edit the worksheet so you can use it with other ...
1 Views 3,015 ElemPre-IntInt
Modal Verbs

Modal Verbs

Leticia
Modal verbs and their usage cause lots of problems to our students. I hope that with this ppt they will be able to understand not only what modality is but also when they can use one or another ve ...
2 Views 8,818 Int
Movie Worksheet: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Movie Worksheet: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Amanda Guimaraes
This is a good exercise to give to your students. It deals with History and using  the verb can exercises. Also there are instruments which they need to choose according to the movie. You sho ...
4 Views 7,325 ElemPre-IntInt
Must vs Have To

Must vs Have To

América Lorenzo
This worksheet will help you to identify the difference between have to and must, and there is a free exercise that you can do with your students in junior high or elementary school. I designed it ...
5 Views 5,392 Pre-Int
Can You ...?

Can You ...?

ClareW
This is a worksheet to help learners practise the modal verb 'can'. It is a short questionnaire to enable learners to conduct a mini class survey. They write the names of the learners they are int ...
2 Views 6,847 Beg
Color, Circle and Cross

Color, Circle and Cross

Can and can't for young learners. The worksheet contains a variety of pictures in which students will have to circle and cross depeding on the sentences given. E.g., She can dance. She can't ...
3 Views 5,126 BegElemPre-Int
Find Someone Who ...

Find Someone Who ...

BusyTeacher Contributor
This worksheet is a quick exercise where children move around in class in order to find someone who can or can't do specific activities which are listed in the worksheet. They ask: Peter, can you ...
5 Views 8,414 Elem
Requests in Class

Requests in Class

This is a Power Point Presentation of the most common requests  in class.E.g. May I go to the bathroom? May I come in? May I drink some water? Can you lend me...?) You can print them and have ...
6 Views 6,834 Beg
Animals: How to Describe an Animal

Animals: How to Describe an Animal

whoishossein
It is a power point file which gives the students the way to describe animals. Obviously it is suitable for Movers. I mean those who know can/simple present/ have got-has got. I use this kind of d ...
7 Views 10,997 Int
Warm Up Activities

Warm Up Activities

umnaja
This task will help the teachers in their carrier if they want to make the lessons mote interesting. The warm ups help the kids with lesson start - every student can work with the dictionary, or i ...
6 Views 6,224 ElemPre-Int
Can or Can't

Can or Can't

This is a worksheet for practicing and reviewing can and can't. It contains gap-filling and question activities. It is designed for elementary levels. Hope it helps!
11 Views 11,069 Elem
Grade 7 Midterm Test

Grade 7 Midterm Test

hepi anesti
This is a complete worksheet for grade 7 midterm test. It covers several topics  such as simple present tense, present continuous tense, and simple past tense, preposition of time (in, on, at ...
10 Views 9,939 Pre-Int
Have to or Has To

Have to or Has To

This is a worksheet for practicing the grammar of have to and has to. It contains two activities and it is designed for elementary level. Hope it helps.
13 Views 12,649 Elem
Selfie

Selfie

Authentic Teaching
Let me present you my handout on the topic of the last years – a selfie. This lesson gives your students an opportunity to talk about something they do every day - especially young learners ...
23 Views 14,574 Pre-IntIntAdvExam
Be Allowed to, Be Able to Triple Hit (Game)

Be Allowed to, Be Able to Triple Hit (Game)

BusyTeacher Contributor
Grammar exercise: teacher or pupil writes a sentence (from the grid) on the backside of the board. Pupils guess by making sentences. If he/she does one part rightly -it's a hit. If he/she does two ...
5 Views 5,871 Pre-Int
Talk about Illnesses

Talk about Illnesses

This worksheet is about illnesses. It contains two activities. First, the students are asked to complete the sentences using common problems, such as sore throat, backache, stomachache, etc. Secon ...
8 Views 19,087 Elem
Modal Verbs Review Quiz Game

Modal Verbs Review Quiz Game

HyunJung Cha
This is the first time to upload my file here. This is a PPT for modal verbs review quiz game. Each row in the second page means the level of the question and you get different points for correct ...
21 Views 14,707 Pre-IntInt
May, Might, Used to/ For

May, Might, Used to/ For

This power-point presentation is appropriate for teaching grammar: speculation with may and might, used to and used for and the use of made of in English grammar. It is suitable for elementary stu ...
8 Views 7,959 ElemPre-Int

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