What are modal verbs?
Modals (also called modal verbs, modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries) are special verbs that behave irregularly in English. They are different from normal verbs like “work, play, visit…” They give additional information about the function of the main verb that follows it. They have a great variety of communicative functions.

Looking for an easy way to Learning of new elementary english grammar and composition for class 8 answers, Solutions. You have to learn basic English Grammar topics like Tenses Verbs, Nouns, etc… In this article, we will review the best English Grammer Topics and compare them against each other.

Modals Exercise For Class 8 CBSE With Answers PDF

Here are some characteristics of modal verbs:

  • They never change their form. You can’t add “s”, “ed”, “ing”…
  • They are always followed by an infinitive without “to” (e.i. the bare infinitive.)
  • They are used to indicate modality allow speakers to express certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity, ability.

List of modal verbs Here is a list of modal verbs:

can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must

The verbs or expressions dare, ought to, had better, and need not behave like modal auxiliaries to a large extent and may be added to the above list.
Modals Exercises for Class 8 With Answers 1

Use of modal verbs:

Modal verbs are used to express functions such as:

  1. Permission
  2. Ability
  3. Obligation
  4. Prohibition
  5. Lack of necessity
  6. Advice
  7. possibility
  8. probability

Examples of modal verbs
Here is a list of modals with examples:

Modal Verb Expressing Example
must Strong obligation You must stop when the traffic lights turn red.
logical conclusion/ Certainty He must be very tired. He’s been working all day long.
must not Prohibition You must not smoke in the hospital.
can Ability I can swim.
Permission Can I use your phone please?
Possibility Smoking can cause cancer.
could ability in the past When I was younger I could run fast.
polite permission Excuse me, could I just say something?
Possibility It could rain tomorrow.
may Permission May I use you phone please?
possibility, the probability it may rain tomorrow!
might polite permission Might I suggest an idea?
possibility, probability I might go on holiday to Australia next year.
need not lack of necessity/ absence of obligation I need not buy tomatoes. There are plenty of tomatoes in the fridge.
should/ought to 50% obligation I should/ought to see a doctor. I have a terrible headache.
Advice You should/ought to revise your lessons
Logical conclusion He should/ought to be very tired. He’s been working all day long.
had better Advice You’d better revise your lessons.

Modal verbs are followed by an infinitive without “to”, also called the bare infinitive.


  • Shall

Uses of Shall:
Shall Suggestions

  • Shall I get a pizza for dinner tonight?

That bag looks heavy. Shall I carry it for you?

Will Rapid Decision

  • I’m thirsty. I think I will buy a drink.


  • That looks heavy. I will help you with it.

Instruction (asking for or giving)

  • What shall I do with your mail when it arrives


  • You shall be the first person to know.

Confirmation (statement of act)

  • I shall meet you there at 7.


  • Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.


  • If you don’t stop, I will tell your mother.

Refusal won’t = will not

  • She won’t listen to anything I say.

In all of the examples above, shall can be replaced by another modal verb.
Suggestion/Instructions — Should Offers — CanlCould Promises/Confirmation — Will

Uses of Should:
Advice or Suggestion

  • Your hair is too long. You should get a haircut.

The situation likely in the present

  • Mary should be at home now. Give her a call.

Likely in the future (Prediction)

  • They should win tonight, they’re a better team.
    Should + Have + Past participle

Meaning: The subject did not fulfill their obligation in the past or did not act responsibly.

  • You should have given your boss the report yesterday when he asked for it.

Should + be + verb -ing

Meaning: The subject is not fulfilling their obligation now or is not acting sensibly.

  • You should be wearing your seatbelt,
  • We should be studying for the test right now.

Should vs. Ought To
Should can be replaced by ought to without change in meaning.

  • You ought to study more. =
  • You should study more.

Note: ought to sounds more formal than should and is used less frequently.

We use Shouldn’t to advise not to do something, usually because it is bad or wrong.

  • You shouldn’t throw your litter onto the street.
  • He shouldn’t play with those wires if he doesn’t know what he is doing.
  • You shouldn’t work so much.

Mind Map for Modals

Modals Exercises for Class 8 With Answers 2
Can and could

  • Can is used to express ability, request, permission or possibility.
  • The negative of can is cannot or the contraction can’t.
    Example Function
    I can ride a bicycle Here can expresses ability.
    Can you pass me the butter? Here can expresses requests.
    Can I use your pencil? Here can expresses permission. It is more polite to use ‘may’ instead of an
    Very bright light can hurt your eyes. Here can expresses possibility.
    I cannot/can’t make tea. Here cannot/can’t express negative ability or the absence of ability.
    You can’t leave early. Here can’t expresses a lack of permission.

Could has several functions:

  • It functions as the past tense of can to express ability.
  • It is used in place of can to express willingness in a formal situation.
  • It replaces can and gives the phrase a more conditional tone.
  • It suggests that something is a possibility.

The negative of could is could not or the contraction couldn’t.

Example Function
He could run a kilometer in 4 minutes when he was in college. Here could express past ability
Could you help me finish the report? Here could expresses requests more politely than ‘can’.
You could be an architect if you wanted to. Here could expresses conditional ability.
We could help you if we had the time. Here could expresses possibility.
She couldn’t lend me her pen because she was using it. Here couldn’t express a lack of permission in the past.
We couldn’t leave as the programmed has started. Here couldn’t expresses a negative possibility in the past.

Could is used to express possibility, past ability, make suggestions and polite requests. Could is also used in conditional sentences as the conditional form of can.
Extreme rain could cause the river to flood the city. (Possibility)
Manjeet could skate skillfully when he was only three years old. (past ability)
We could see a film to go to a restaurant for a ‘meal. (suggestion)
Could I use your computer to check my email? (polite request)
We could go on the trip if I did not have to work this weekend. (condition)
We can use could to express present, past and future.

Most modal verbs behave quite irregularly in the past and the future. study the chart to learn how could is used in different contexts.

Modal use Positive form Negative form
Possibility 1. Jaya could be the one who stole the money, (present)
2. Jaya could have been the one who stole the money, (past)
3. Jaya could go to jail for the crime, (future)
1. Maya couldn’t be the one who stole the money, (present)
2. Maya couldn’t have been the one who stole the money, (past)
3. Maya couldn’t possibly go to jail for the crime, (future)
Conditional of can 1. If I had more time, I could travel around the world, (present)
2. If I had a lot money, I could have traveled around the world, (past)
1. Even if I had more time, I couldn’t travel around the world, (present)
2. Even if I had a lot of money, I couldn’t have traveled around the world, (past)
Suggestion 1. No present form.
2. You could have spent Your vacation in Hawai. (past)}
3. You could spent your vacation in Hawai. (future)
No negative forms
Past ability I could run a kilometer is less than 6 minutes when I was young.
Note: could cannot be used in positive sentences to describe a one – time ability. (yesterday, I could lift the couch by myself incorrect)
I couldn’t run a kilometer is less than 6 minutes when I was young.
Note: could can be used in negative sentences to describe a one – time ability, (yesterday, I couldn’t lift the couch by myself. – correct)
Polite request Could I have something to drink? Could I borrow your stapler?
Note: requests usually refer to the near future.
Couldn’t he come with us?
Couldn’t you help me for just a little while?

Would is most commonly used to create conditional verb form. It also serves as the past form of the auxiliary verb will.
If he were an actor, he would be in adventure movies. (conditional)
I knew that she would be very successful in her career. (past of will)
When they first met, they would always have picnics on the beach. (requested action in the past).
Using would in present, past and future.

Modal use Positive form Negative form
Conditional 1. If I were the prime minister, I would provide free education (present)
2. If I had been the prime minister, I would have provided free education. (Past)
3. If I were elected prime minister next year, I would provide free education, (future)
1. If I were the prime minister, I would not raise taxes, (present)
2. If I had been the prime minister, I would not have raised taxes, (past)
3. If I were the prime minister, I would not sign the bill to raise taxes, (future)
Past of will 1. I said I would help you.
2. He told me he would be here before 8 a.m.
1. I said I wouldn’t help you.
2. He told me would not be here before 8 a.m.
Repeated actions in the past 1. When I was in school, I would always go to a science camp.
2. When we were young, we would often have a night picnic at the beach.
1. When I was a child, I wouldn’t go into the pool by myself.
2. When he was in his teens, he wouldn’t let anyone enter his room.

May and Might
May is used to express possibility.

  • It may rain today.
  • I may become a doctor.

The negative of may is may not. It is used to express negative possibility.

  • We may not got to the concert.
  • It may not rain tonight, after all.

May is also used to express permission or request. It is more polite than can.

  • May I have a glass of water?
  • May I barrow your eraser?

Might is used to express possibility. It differs from “may” in that the possibility it expresses is usually smaller.
The negative of might is might not.

  • She might become an actress when she grows up, but I doubt it.
  • He might not get the job, though he was the most qualified candidate.

Might is used as the past form of may of permission.

  • He asked if he might borrow your bicycle.
  • They asked if that might come late for the morning.

Might is also used to make very polite requests.

  • Might I ask you a questions?
  • Might I interrupt you for a moment?

Uses of Must: Obligation

  • You must wear a seatbelt when you drive.

Deduction (certain something is true)

  • Look at all that snow. It must be cold outside.

Emphasize Necessity

  • Plants must have light and water to grow.

Strong Recommendation

  • We must get together for dinner soon.

Mustn’t = Prohibition

  • You mustn’t use your phone while driving.

Must vs. Have to
Must expresses obligation imposed by the speaker while Have to expresses external obligations.
Teacher: You must complete this essay by Friday.
Student: We have to complete this essay by Friday.

It is more common to use Have to instead of Must in questions.

  • Does he have to do the test?

We use Had to instead of Must in the past tense.

  • I had to pay my speeding ticket yesterday.

See our chart about Mustn’t vs. Don’t have to

Modals Exercises Practice Examples for Class 8 CBSE

A. Complete B’s sentences using can/could/might/must/should/would + the verb in brackets. In some sentences you need to use have/must have/should have, etc. In some sentences you might have to use the negatives (can’t/couldn’t, etc.) The first one has beers done for you.

1. A : I’m hungry.
B : But you’ve just had lunch. You can’t be hungry already, (be)

2. A : I haven’t seen our neighbours for ages.
B : No. They _____________ away, (go)

3. A : What’s the weather like? Is it raining?
B : Not at the moment but it _____________ later, (rain)

4. A : Where has Manshu gone?
B : I’m not sure. She _____________ to the bank, (go)

5. A : I didn’t see you at John’s party last week.
B : No, I had to work that evening, so I _____________ (go)

6. A : I saw you at John’s party last week.
B : No, you didn’t. You _____________ me. I didn’t go to John’s party, (see)

7. A : When did you post the letter to Maya?
B : This morning. So she _____________ it tomorrow, (get)

8. A : When was the last time you saw Prateek?
B : Years ago. I _____________ him if I saw him now. (recognise)

9. A : Did you hear the explosion?
B : What explosion?
A : There was a loud explosion a few minutes ago. You _____________ it. (hear)

10. A : We weren’t sure which way to go. In the end we turned right.
B : You went the wrong way. You _____________ left. (turn )

B. Write ‘will’, ‘would’, ‘shall’ or ‘should’ in the blanks.

1. We _______________ certainly have time for lunch. Where _______________ we go?
2. “You _______________ suffer for this,” he swore. “I _______________ see to it that you do!”
3. He said that it _______________ be all right for you to enter, but I think you _______________ wait until he gets here.
4. _______________ you not reconsider your decision? You _______________ regret it if you do not.
5. I _______________ do whatever pleases me. No one _______________ tell me what to do!
6. If anything _______________ go wrong while I am away, you let me know, _______________ you?
7. _______________ you please lower your voices? You _______________ wake up the baby if you do not.
8. I _______________ not stop her from leaving. She _______________ go if she wants to.
9. If my friends _______________ come while I am having my bath, _______________ you invite them in?
10. The angry man insisted that I _______________ pay for the damages. He said that if I did not, _______________ he have to lodge a report against me.

C. (A) Complete the following with suitable modals.
Student: Madam, _______________ I come in?
Teacher: Where were you? You _______________ be in the class at the right time.
Student: Sorry madam. I _______________ not catch the bus on time.
Teacher: You _______________ leave early.
Student: Kindly, forgive me this time. I _______________ not be late in future I take my seat now?
Teacher: You _______________
Student: Madam, _______________ you please check my home work?
Teacher: I _______________ not check your homework right now. I am teaching a lesson.

(B) Complete the following with suitable modals.
1. Milk is a complete food in itself. Children _______________ drink it regularly otherwise they _______________ suffer from malnutrition. Elders _______________ also take it but those who _______________ not afford it _______________ take pulses, fruits and vegetables as an alternative.

2. The Government _______________ not run away from its responsibility of providing protection to the people. What _______________ the Government do? The Government _______________ tackle the problem of terrorism with an iron hand. The police _______________ be equipped with the latest weapons and techniques. Even the laws _______________ be amended to deal with the terrorists. Once they are caught, they _______________ not be freed.

3. You _______________ reach school at the right time. You _______________ be punished if you come late. You _______________ visit your school library regularly. You _______________ take any books you like. But spoiling the books _______________ be avoided at any cost. You _______________ n’t tear or spoil the pages of the books. You _______________ also respect your teachers.

Let’s Exercise

A. Choose the correct modal verb.

1. He must/must to come to me this evening.
2. He ought to/ought come to me this evening.
3. This program must to/must have succeeded.
4. You must not/must to talk loudly.
5. He ought/ought to not to talk loudly.
6. He ought to/ought have reached well in time.
7. She ought to/ought have done it earlier.
8. He must not/must to fight with his neighbour.

B. Choose the correct modal verb.

1. I need /needs a good friend.
2. I am in need/needs of a bigger house.
3. She doesn’t need/needs my help.
4. Ram need/needs not go there.
5. She hardly need/needs help from anybody.
6. Need/need he meet you?
7. Does she need/needs to come there?
8. You need/needs not quarrel over such a petty matter.
9. You need/needs not have sold your car.

C. Choose the correct modal verb.

1. He dares/dare me to compete with him.
2. I dare/dares you to compete with me.
3. She dares/dares not to accept my challenge.
4. He dares/dare not to speak before me.
5. I dare/dares not disobey him.
6. She dares/dares not challenge me.
7. I dare/dares not act against your will.
8. How dare/dares you to neglect me!

D. Choose the correct modal verb.

1. We used to/used go there together.
2. I used to/used go in a crowded bus.
3. She used not/use to wear cheap material.
4. I am used to/use an easy-going life.
5. I am not used/use to drive his car.