600 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 600 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 600 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 600 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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Should/shouldn't

Should/shouldn't

Khatuna Tavartkiladze
Students in turn take cards and ask for advice from the rest of the group. For example, 'I want to improve my English. What should I do?' Students could challenge each other's advice to make the a ...
2 Views 1,474 ElemPre-IntIntAdv
Should and Shouldn't Exercises

Should and Shouldn't Exercises

S.I.
This is a simple worksheet which practices the use of 'should' and 'shouldn't'. The first activity is a gap fill and the second activity asks students to write sentences according to the situation ...
1 Views 12,817 BegElem
Do I Have To? (Chores, Responsible For and Have to/Has To)

Do I Have To? (Chores, Responsible For and Have to/Has To)

suhedabektas
This worksheet includes fill in the blanks activity with a wordcloud which is about household chores. Also, it provides a sentence level activity, in that part learners use 'have to/has to' and 'r ...
5 Views 7,966 Pre-Int
Do, Does and Can

Do, Does and Can

I have designed this PDT to review the grammar of do/ does and can. Students are asked to write short answers to the questions. It includes two activities and it contains the names of African and ...
2 Views 8,010 Elem
Song Worksheet: These Boots Were Made for Walking

Song Worksheet: These Boots Were Made for Walking

BusyTeacher Contributor
This is a listening song worksheet. Your students will hear how people sound when they speak English through a song. There is a list of the special contractions and uniquely pronounced words at ...
4 Views 7,576 BegElemPre-IntInt
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Song Worksheet: Masters of War by Bob Dylan

Song Worksheet: Masters of War by Bob Dylan

Blanca
It's based on the song "Masters of War" written by Bob Dylan, with activities to be done while listening to the song. Students will have to organize and complete lyrics as well as look for example ...
2 Views 10,539 Elem
World Heritage Site Rules

World Heritage Site Rules

Filomena Francisco
This worksheet can be used in conjunction with other World Heritage Site activities. In groups, students use imperatives, 'must, and 'should' to create their own rules for visitors to World Herit ...
1 Views 4,688 Pre-IntInt
Test- Grade 8

Test- Grade 8

nergis memili
This is a test for grade 8. The answer key is included. Here you can find questions about some grammar like simple past and the past continuous tense. Also there are some questions about suggestio ...
1 Views 8,683 Elem
Find Someone Who

Find Someone Who

Khajit Foythong
Teach can and can't. You can use this worksheet for  as an ice-breaking activity. First, teach vocabulary. Second, ask students to walk around and ask their friends. Finally, ask students & ...
4 Views 8,361 ElemPre-Int
Song Worksheet: Yes I Can (Paralympics Song)

Song Worksheet: Yes I Can (Paralympics Song)

Gabriela Modroff
This is a worksheet I prepared to make my students watch the youtube video promoting the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. There are 4 exercises : a fill in the blanks, order the lines, match the lin ...
3 Views 10,910 Elem
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 ...
2 Views 14,108 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 ...
13 Views 13,488 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 ...
3 Views 14,059 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. ...
2 Views 9,150 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 ...
8 Views 13,852 ElemPre-IntIntAdvExam
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 ...
7 Views 11,681 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 8,247 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 6,616 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 ...
7 Views 19,179 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 ...
6 Views 11,499 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 ...
6 Views 12,093 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 ...
6 Views 10,771 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 7,304 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 ...
6 Views 11,917 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 ...
8 Views 14,845 Beg

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