562 FREE Modal Verbs Worksheets & Exercises
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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 562 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 562 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 562 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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562 FREE Modal Verbs Worksheets

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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

Recently added worksheets in Modal Verbs:

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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 ...
13 Pre-IntermediateIntermediateUpper Intermediate and AdvancedExam Level
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 ...
3 Pre-Intermediate
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 ...
4 Elementary
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 ...
10 Pre-IntermediateIntermediate
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 ...
5 ElementaryPre-Intermediate
Modal Verbs

Modal Verbs

This power-point presentation provides brief and simple explanations of each modal verb (can-could-may-might-must) and some exercises related to them. The aim is to clarify the use of each modal v ...
12 Pre-IntermediateIntermediate
Song Worksheet: White Flag by Dido - Relationships

Song Worksheet: White Flag by Dido - Relationships

Yanina
Thia worksheet will allow students to start a debate about painful relationships and broken hearts. First, they have to spot the extra word in some verses and then guess the meaning of some idioms ...
1 Intermediate
Song Worksheet: Green Eyes by Coldplay

Song Worksheet: Green Eyes by Coldplay

BusyTeacher Contributor
This is a song that I used to introduce the modal verbs "must", "should" and "could". Students are asked to first complete sentences with the words they listen to (only modals) and then they are a ...
1 Pre-IntermediateIntermediateUpper Intermediate and Advanced
Modal Verbs

Modal Verbs

This worksheet contains brief explanations of each modal verb (can- have to- must- should) and some graphic examples that illustrate each of them. There are lots of exercises to practice. You can ...
5 Pre-Intermediate
Life through the Microscope

Life through the Microscope

I created this worksheet to help my students practise the modals of deduction and supposition in a fun way. They look at the picture through the microscope and try to guess what it might be. I'm ...
11 Pre-IntermediateIntermediateUpper Intermediate and Advanced
School Rules - Must, Must Not, Have To, Don't Have To and Can

School Rules - Must, Must Not, Have To, Don't Have To and Can

The target language for this worksheet is must, must not, have to, don't have to and can. The way I used it was to first have students guess what the school rules were in my old school (in the US ...
9 Complete BeginnerElementary
First Aid Kit PowerPoint

First Aid Kit PowerPoint

This PowerPoint deals with some vocabulary items that we can find in a first aid kit, such as ice pack, thermometer, bandages, etc. It follows with some questions about when we should use these it ...
5 Elementary
My Favourite Superhero

My Favourite Superhero

This worksheet focuses on the revision of the following grammar points: can/can't, like+ing,  dislike+ing, degrees of ability, imperative, free-time activities, why/b ...
7 Elementary
Modal Verbs and Emotions

Modal Verbs and Emotions

anderson
A test for emotions and modal verbs for 8th grade students. It contains grammar exercises and some activities matching emotions with pictures. Some exercises of completing sentences and gap comple ...
6 ElementaryPre-IntermediateExam Level
Test

Test

Here you will find exercises about modal verbs and vocabulary from compound nouns and other that can be very useful for teachers and students. This can be used as a worksheet or as a test for your ...
3 Pre-IntermediateIntermediateExam Level
What Do They Have to Do?

What Do They Have to Do?

This task practises describing particular jobs. With the help of vocabulary sets students build up sentences about what each proffessional has to or doesn't have to do. You can use it either as a ...
4 Pre-Intermediate
Have To and Has tT

Have To and Has tT

This is a PowerPoint presentation which is appropriate for teaching "have to" and "has to" grammar part. It is suitable for young learners. It contains some pictures and sentences about daily rout ...
5 ElementaryPre-Intermediate
Song Worksheet: Without You

Song Worksheet: Without You

Here is a worksheet using the lyrics of David Guetta and Usher's song Without You. It was originally designed for Brazilian students of English, that's why the vocabulary list provides a translati ...
3 Complete BeginnerElementaryPre-Intermediate
Never Again! Shudda Stayed at Home

Never Again! Shudda Stayed at Home

This worksheet is to practise talking about regret while working on the pronuncation shudda (should have). Students start by reading a review of gig, then they have to identify at least ten proble ...
3 IntermediateUpper Intermediate and Advanced
Can and Can't PowerPoint

Can and Can't PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is useful when you want to teach your students how to express their abilities with can or can't. It contains the basic rules of this modal verb and also includes some fill in the g ...
7 Elementary
Reading- Should, Should't Have to, Don't Have To

Reading- Should, Should't Have to, Don't Have To

This worksheet contains a reading comprehension exercise about smoking and the consequences it has for someone's health. It also has some grammar excercises to complete using should ,shouldn't, ...
7 Pre-Intermediate
Elementary Hex Game with Questions

Elementary Hex Game with Questions

This is a set of questions for use with the game Hex. It's like playing tic-tac-toe: you number all the squares, and when a team chooses that square, it must answer the question corresponding to t ...
6 ElementaryPre-Intermediate
Song Worksheet: Could You Be Home by Heffron Drive

Song Worksheet: Could You Be Home by Heffron Drive

This worksheet will be good to use for practising grammar requests 'could you?' This song worksheet has pre-listening, while-listening and after-listening activities. After working with the worksh ...
2 Pre-IntermediateIntermediateUpper Intermediate and Advanced
Diagnostic Test Grade 5

Diagnostic Test Grade 5

Diagnistic written test - this test is a way to see what the students remember after summer holidays. It starts with a text with a true/ false exercise and some questions about it. Other contents: ...
2 ElementaryPre-Intermediate
Can-Could Quiz

Can-Could Quiz

Consuelo Ardila
Quiz about the use of can-can't-could-couldn't for elementary school students. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the modal auxiliaries. You can use it in class to practice or as a quiz. ...
6 Elementary

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