English Exercises > modals exercises

Be ready for your English exam. Modals.

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Be ready for your English exam.

 Modals: Obligation - Necessity -  Prohibition - Suggestion 

 Match the verbs in bold to their meanings. Which express: obligation, prohibition,suggestion,necessity, lack of necessity?


You must hurry or you'll miss your appointment.   A. This is very important: it is  essential.                                         

You ought to see your dentist for a check-up.   B. This is forbidden. You're not allowed to do it.

You must eat a balanced diet.       C. This is necessary.

You need to drink about eight glasses of water every day.   D. I advise you not to do this.

You mustn't park here.    E. This is a rule/law.

You don't have to study medicine to become a social worker.   F. It would be a good idea to do this.

You shouldn't go out in the sun without a hat.   G. You can do this if you want to but it's not necessary.

In the UK you have ( got ) to be 18 to be able to vote.    H. It is important that you do this.


Fill in: ( not ) have to, should ( n't ), need, ought to or must.


  •     Although you like spicy food, I think you  use less chilli when cooking.

  •    All medicine  be kept out of children's reach.

  •     To be healfhy you  exercise regularly.

  •     You     eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

  •     Mr Simms      to have an operation immediately.

  •     You  check the expiry date on food labels.

  •     We       replace proper meals with junk food.

  •      I can stay in bed late tomorrow as I       work.


Which modal verbs express: permission, lack of permission, ability, lack of ability, request, possibility? 


Could/Would you please help me carry this box?  

You may/can borrow my bicycle as long as you promise to bring it back before 6pm.  

Jason can speak French and German.  

Carol may/might/could help you if she's free.  

You can't use the computer.  

You can't/mustn't/may not eat or drink in the library.  


Fill in: didn't have to, needn't have, should ( n't ) have, ought ( not ) to have could ( n't ) have

1. You  gone to bed earlier if you wanted to catch the early train.

2. Helen  eaten so much ice cream. It always gives her indigestion.

3. You  bought a ticket. I had an extra one just in case.

4. I wasn't well prepared for the exam. I'm sure I  passed it.

5. Dennis  pay any medical expenses as he's got private health insurance.

6. Harriet  visited the dentist because she didn't have any cavities.