CBSE Class 8 English Grammar – Modals
Modals, also known as modal verbs mix with another verb to point mood or tense. All the auxiliary verbs except be, do and have are called Modals. These modals cannot act alone as the main verb in a sentence.
Some Important Modals
Use of ‘Can’
‘Can’ is the most commonly used modal verb in English. The modal ‘can’ is used to express ability or opportunity, to request or offer permission and to show possibility or impossibility.
- I can dance very well. (Ability)
- We can stay with my mother when we are in the USA. (Opportunity)
- He cannot stay out after 11 pm. (Permission)
- Can you hand me the stapler? (Request)
- Any child can grow up to be a President. (Possibility)
Use of ‘Could’
‘Could’ modal is used to express possibility or past ability and also to make any suggestions and polite requests. ‘Could’ is also commonly used in conditional sentences showing the possibility in past.
- Extreme rain could cause a delay in the matches. (Possibility)
- Sam could sing like a pro by the age of one. (Past ability)
- You could wait or call again later. (Suggestion)
- Could I use your mobile to call my mother? (Request)
- Had we started earlier, we could have reached in time. (Conditional)
Use of ‘May’
‘May’ modal is usually used to express a possibility. It can also be used to give or request for a permission in formal cases.
- Cyrus may be at home or perhaps at work. (Possibility)
- John, you may go out for a trip along with your friends. (Giving permission)
- May I come in? (Seeking permission)
Use of ‘Might’
‘Might’ modal is usually used for expressing a possibility. It is also used in conditional sentences. English speakers can also use ‘might’ to make some suggestions or requests.
- Your luggage might be in the lobby. (Possibility)
- If you had called me, I might have come. (Conditional)
- You might visit the Taj Mahal during your visit to Agra. (Suggestion)
Use of ‘Will’
‘Will’ modal is used with promises and determinations that take place in the future. ‘Will’ can also be used to make predictions about the future.
- I promise that I will never repeat this mistake in future. (Promise)
- I will make the arrangements for the party tonight. (Voluntary action)
- I think it will rain today. (Prediction)
- We will overcome this situation soon. (Determination)
Use of ‘Would’
‘Would’ modal is usually used to create conditional verb forms. It also serves as the past form of the modal verb will. ‘Would’ is also used to indicate past habits for which we also use ‘simple past tense’ or ‘used to’.
- If he were a dancer, he would earn a lot of money. (Conditional shows: he is not a dancer)
- I (mew that she would be very successful in her career. (Past of ‘will’)
- As a young boy, be would participate. (Past habit)
Use of ‘Shall’
‘Shall’ is used to indicate a future action. ‘Shall’ is also used in promises or voluntary actions. It is also used to describe future events that often express inevitability or predestination.
- Shall I come along with you? (Suggestion)
- I shall never forget the way you helped me. (Promise)
- He shall become our next President. (Predestination)
Use of ‘Should’
‘Should’ is usually used to make a recommendation or give an advice. It might also be used to express obligation as well as an expectation.
- When you visit the USA, you should go and see the statue of liberty. (Recommendation)
- You should focus more on your studies than games. (Advice)
- I really should be in office by 9:00 am. (Obligation)
- By now, they should have reached London. (Expectation)
Use of ‘Must’
‘Must’ is most commonly used to express certainty. It can also be used to express necessity or strong recommendation.
- This must be the right ingredient for her dish! (Certainty)
- Students must pass an entrance examination to study at this school. (Necessity)
- You must take some extra food along with you. (Strong recommendation)
- Jennifer, you must not play outside after 7:00 pm. (Prohibition)
Use of ‘Ought To’
‘Ought to’ is used to advise or make recommendations. ‘Ought to’ is also used to express moral obligation. ‘Ought not’ (without ‘to’) is also used to advise against doing something.
- You ought to stop drinking. (Recommendation)
- We ought to respect our elders. (Moral obligation)
- This stock ought to increase in value. (Probability)
- Max ought not drink so much. (Advice against something) (notice there is no ‘to’)
Use of ‘Had Better’
‘Had better’ is usually used to make recommendations. It can also be used to express desperate hope as well as to warn people for something.
- You had better had your breakfast in the morning. (Recommendation)
- That train had better got here soon! (Desperate hope)
- You had better know your limits before talking to me! (Warning)
Use ‘should/must/ought to’ appropriately in the following sentences.
- The students………… respect their teacher.
- Every student……….. carry his or her i-card during the examination.
- You……….. keep away from bad habits like teasing girls, copying in exams etc.
- Madhur seems to be quite exhausted. She……. take some rest.
- What you are doing these days is a wild goose chase. You……… rather concentrate on your own project.
- Sejal has searched the file everywhere, but didn’t find it. I think, it……….. be in the almirah at the drawing room.
- Many new investors have started popping up these days. The stock exchange rates…………….. go on rising in coming few days.
- Every citizen of the country…………………. respect and obey its Constitution.
- I………. say that he is a fool.
- One……………. not disregard a religion that one does not follow.
- ought to (moral obligation)
- must (compulsion/obligation)
- should (advice)
- should (suggestion)
- should (suggestion)
- must (possibility)
- ought to (probability)
- ought to (moral obligation)
- must (certainty)
- should (advice)
In each of the following sentences, provide the blanks with suitable modal of permission, ability, possibility, probability etc according to the context of the sentences.
- Ruchira is ill today. She……………… not come to school.
- ……… I talk to Ms Shailaja, please?
- The sky is not clear today. The flight to Goa………. be delayed.
- If you believe in yourself, you…………… definitely do it.
- …………..I request you for your name madam?
- The lid of the box is very tightly fixed. ………………..you help me to open it?
- When Riya called up, Shreshth was not home. He………. be there at his friend’s home.
- Nicky, you………………. wait for the Director in the lobby. He………….. be here in 20-30 minutes.
- Driving without putting on the seat belt……… really prove to be harmful.
- He………….. solve even complex mathematics in a jiffy.
- may (possibility)
- Could (polite request)
- could (possibility)
- can (ability)
- May (formal request)
- can (informal request)
- might (probability)
- could (suggestion), should (expectation)
- can (possibility)
- could (past ability)
Pick out the correct sentence from among the four sentences in each of the following examples.
- (a) I was able to pass the exam. But I could not appear for it
(b) I could pass the exam. But I did not appear for it
(c) I was able to pass the exam. But I did not appeared for it ’
(d) I was able to pass the exam. But I did not appear for it
- (a) Nobody knows his whereabouts. He may was there in Doha
(b) Nobody knew his whereabouts. He may be there in Doha
(c) Nobody knews his where abouts. He is there in Doha
(d) Nobody knows his whereabouts. He might be there in Doha
- (a) The drug addicts may not be tortured but should be rehabilitated
(b) The drug addicts can not be tortured but must be rehabilitated
(c) The drug addicts should not be tortured but might be rehabilitated
(d) The drug addicts must not be tortured but should be rehabilitated
- (a) You ought to help the blind to cross the road
(b) You must to help the blind to cross the road
(c) You ought to help the blind to crossing the road
(d) You should help the blinds to cross the ‘ road
- (a) You need not worry at all. I am take care of your luggage
(b) You need not worry at all. I will take care of your luggage
(c) You need to not worry at all. I will taking care of your luggage
(d) You need not worry at all. I will be take care of your luggage
- (a) Everyone should follow the path shown by his or her parents and teachers
(b) Everyone may be follow the path shown by their parents and teachers
(c) Every should be follow the path shown by his or her parents and teachers
(d) Everyone might follow the path shown by his or her parents and teachers
- (a) Abhi can achieve his goal if they have strong determination
(b) Abhi may achieve his goal if he had strong determination
(c) Abhi can achieve his goal but he has strong determination
(d) Abhi can achieve his goal if has strong determination
- (a) This seems to be difficult. But I will make this happen
(b) This seemed to be difficult. But I may make this happen
(c) This seems to be difficult. But I shall make this happen
(d) This seemed to be difficult. But I should make this happen
- (a) One should not too careful about what is good or what is bad
(b) One should not be too careful about what is good or what is bad
(c) One may not be too careful about what is good or what is bad
(d) One will not be too careful about what is good or what is bad
- (a) He might be pass the exam in the first attempt
(b) He must be pass the exam in the first attempt
(c) He must pass the exam in the first attempt
(d) He should be pass the exam in the first attempt