Concept of Modal Verbs Explained -SSC CGL – Basic English Grammar

Scholarship Examination in India

Concept of Modal Verbs Explained -SSC CGL – Basic English Grammar

Concept of Modal Verbs-SSC CGL, Important Study Notes on Verb and its Usage for SSC Exams, English Modal Verbs| Can, Could, May, Might, For MP SI, BANK PO, English Short Notes Verb Rules For SBI Clerk


What are Modal Verbs?

Modal verbs are special verbs which behave very differently from normal verbs. Here are some important differences:

1. Modal verbs do not take “-s” in the third person.


  • He can  speak Chinese.
  • She should  be here by 9:00.


2. You use “not” to make modal verbs negative, even in Simple Present and Simple Past.


  • He should not be late.
  • They might not come to the party.


3. Many modal verbs cannot be used in the past tenses or the future tenses.


  • He will can go with us. Not Correct
  • She musted study very hard. Not Correct

Common Modal Verbs

Ought to 




Use modal verbs where possible. If a modal verb can’t be used with a certain tense, use its substitute.

  1. You (must) ____ must get up early tomorrow.
  2. You (not / need) ____ call a baby sitter.
  3. We (may) ____ watch the film tonight.
  4. He (not / can) ____ see me yesterday.
  5. She (must) ____ stay at school yesterday afternoon.
  6. (may / you) ____ go to the disco yesterday?
  7. He (not / must) ____ sleep now.
  8. You (not / need) ____ answer.
  9. He (ought to) ____ give evidence at the court yesterday.
  10. Since he bought the new car he (not / can) ____ sleep.




1. Complete the sentences using the words listed in the box below, then click the “Check” button to check your answers. Don’t forget to capitalize when necessary. Some gaps may have more than one correct answer.

can    could    have    to    must    might    should


1. Ted’s flight from Amsterdam took more than 11 hours. He  be exhausted after such a long flight. He  prefer to stay in tonight and get some rest.


2. If you want to get a better feeling for how the city is laid out, you  walk downtown and explore the waterfront.


3. Hiking the trail to the peak  be dangerous if you are not well prepared for dramatic weather changes. You  research the route a little more before you attempt the ascent.


4. When you have a small child in the house, you  leave small objects lying around. Such objects  be swallowed, causing serious injury or even death.


5. Dave:  you hold your breath for more than a minute?
Nathan: No, I can’t.


6. Jenny’s engagement ring is enormous! It  have cost a fortune.


7. Please make sure to water my plants while I am gone. If they don’t get enough water, they  die.


8. I  speak Arabic fluently when I was a child and we lived in Egypt. But after we moved back to Canada, I had very little exposure to the language and forgot almost everything I knew as a child. Now, I  just say a few things in the language.


9. The book is optional. My professor said we  read it if we needed extra credit. But we  read it if we don’t want to.


10. Leo: Where is the spatula? It  be in this drawer but it’s not here.
Nancy: I just did a load of dishes last night and they’re still in the dish washer. It  be in there. That’s the only other place it  be.


11. You  take your umbrella along with you today. The weatherman on the news said there’s a storm north of here and it  rain later on this afternoon.


12.  we pull over at the next rest stop? I really  use the bathroom and I don’t know if I  hold it until we get to Chicago. 


13. Oh no! Frank’s wallet is lying on the coffee table. He  have left it here last night.


14. Ned:  I borrow your lighter for a minute?
Stephen: Sure, no problem. Actually, you  keep it if you want to. I’ve given up smoking.


15. I  believe she said that to Megan! She  insult her cooking in front of everyone at the party last night. She  have just said she was full or had some salad if she didn’t like the meal. 


16. Do you  chew with your mouth open like that? Geez, it’s making me sick watching you eat that piece of pizza.


17. Mrs. Scarlett’s body was found in the lounge just moments ago, and it’s still warm! Nobody has left the mansion this evening, so the killer  be someone in this room. It  be any one of us!!!


18. Ted: I don’t know why Denise starting crying when I mentioned the wedding.
Pamela: It  have been what you said about her brother. Or, perhaps she is just nervous. After all, the big day is tomorrow.


19.  you always say the first thing that pops into your head?  you think once in awhile before you speak?


20. I was reading the book last night before I went to bed. I never took it out of this room. It  be lying around here somewhere. Where  it be? be swallowed, causing serious injury or even death.




2.  Complete the sentences using the words listed in the box below, then click the “Check” button to check your answers. Don’t forget to capitalize when necessary. Some gaps may have more than one correct answer.
may      had better      have got to      shall

1. I know it’s rather rude, but  I ask you where you purchased that pocket watch? I have been looking for one like that for my father. 


2. You  look good for your interview if you want to get the sales job. You  wear the white shirt and the maroon tie. I think that’ll look really professional. 


3. I  be at work tomorrow by 7:00. I  give a marketing presentation to one of our clients. 


4. It’s pretty hot in the desert at this time of year. If we are going to do some hiking, we  take at least two or three quarts of water with us. Actually, it  be hotter than we expect out there – maybe we should take a gallon or more. 


5. You  leave the table once you have finished your meal and politely excused yourself. 


6. I can’t stand these people – I  get out of here. I’m going to take off for awhile while you get rid of them. When I get back, they  be gone. 


7.  I try a little of your Black Forest cake? It looks absolutely delicious – I  taste it! 


8. You  take along some cash. The restaurant  not accept credit cards. 


9. You  take along some cash. The restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards.


10.  we move into the living room? It’s more comfortable in there and there’s a beautiful view of the lake. 


11. I’m not really sure if Susan is going to go snowboarding with us or not. She  decide to stay here and study for her Japanese final. She get a good score on the test if she wants to qualify to study abroad in Tokyo next semester. 


12.  I have a look at that necklace there in the display case. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.


13. We  no longer suffer the injustice of oppression. We  never give up the struggle for freedom! 


14. You  be joking! If you think I’m going to give you a tip after you mixed up the meal orders, spilled wine on me and insulted my wife, you get your head examined!!! 


15. Ian, Evelyn and Deborah will be attending the conference. I  be attending as well.



  1. You must get up early tomorrow.
  2. You need not call a baby sitter.
  3. We may watch the film tonight.
  4. He could not see me yesterday.
  5. She had to stay at school yesterday afternoon.
  6. Were you allowed to go to the disco yesterday?
  7. He must not sleep now.
  8. You need not answer.
  9. He was supposed to give evidence at the court yesterday.
  10. Since he bought the new car he has not been able to sleep.


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