CBSE Class 11 English Core Writing and Grammar – Modals

CBSE Class 11 English Grammar – Modals

We have already studied some of the uses of ‘be’ (is, am, are, was, were, being and been), ‘do’ (does and did) and ‘have’ (has, have, had). Be, do and have are Primary Auxiliaries. They help to form tenses, questions and negatives. They are also used in changing voice.

The forms of ‘be’, ‘do’ and ‘have’ can be used as Principal Verbs also; as—
Smriti is in her class.
I have a lot of work to do.
Do as I tell you.
Be careful in this matter.
She has no friend in this locality.

Modals express the mode of action. The most common modals are: may, might, can, could, shall, should, will, would, must, dare, need, have and used to.

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MODALS

  1. Modals are never used alone. A Principal verb is either present or implied; as—
    I can sing. He will help you.
  2. Modals do not change according to the number or person of the subject; as—
    I can. We can. You can. We can. They can. etc.
    I may. We may. You may. He may. They may. etc.
  3. Modals have no Infinitive, Present Participle or Past Participle forms.
  4. Modals cannot be used in all the tenses. When a modal does not fall in this pattern, it works as a Principal Verb; as—
    God willed so.
    He needs a pen.
    She dared to go into the dark forest.
    (Here will, need and dare are used as main verbs)

Relationship of Modals with Tenses

(i) May, can, shall and will are in present forms while might, could, should and would are their past forms.
The two forms express different meanings, but usually no difference of time, e.g. the difference between may and might is often that of degree of probability, as—
She may come today. (possibility / likely to happen)
She might come today. (remote possibility/less likely)
(ii) However, if the verb in the main clause is in the past tense, the forms might, could, should and would serve as regular past tenses; as—

  1. He said, “I can help you.”
    He said that he could help her.
  2. You said, “She will come back soon.”
    You said that she would come back soon.
  3. Sheetal said, “May I use this pen, madam?”
    Sheetal asked her teacher if she might use that pen.

(iii) When we want to express the past time in verb phrases involving modals, we use the Present Perfect Tense of the Principal Verb; as
She must have reached home by now.
You ought to have told me all the facts.

General Functions of Modals

  1. Modals express probability, logical necessity, possibility, future confirmation etc. These are not conceptions of the mind. Modals are not used to state facts.
  2. Modals are used in the main clause of conditional sentences. Since the condition is contrary to facts, the main statement cannot be actual. Hence a modal is used; as—
    If I were you, I should help the old beggar.
    If it were fine, we might play a cricket match.
    If you had told me, I could have helped you.

Apart from these general functions, modals are used in various ways.
Let us consider them separately.

USE OF MODALS

CAN/COULD

Can is used for all persons in the present tense.
Could is used for all persons in the past tense.
CAN is used

  1. to express permission:
    You can go now. (= I give you permission to go)
    You cannot touch the flowers. (= I don’t permit you to touch the flowers)
  2. to express ability:
    I can swim. (= I know how to swim)
    He can speak Sanskrit. (= He is able to speak Sanskrit)
  3. to express possibility:
    Anyone can make mistakes.
    Accidents can happen to anyone.
  4. ‘Can’t help’ is an idiom. It means ‘Can’t avoid’; e.g.
    He has a bad cold. He can’t help sneezing.
    The boys can’t help laughing on seeing the clown.
    COULD must be used
    to express ability, permission and possibility when the main verb is in the past tense; as—
    I could swim well when I was younger. (ability)
    Could you lend me some money, please?
    Could you tell me the time, please?
    Could you wait for a few minutes?

MAY/MIGHT

‘May’ is used for all persons of the present and future tense.
May’ is used

  1. to express or to seek permission: [in a formal way]
    You may go (= I permit you to go.)
    May I come in, Sir? (= seeking permission)
    Students may not bring any book or paper in the examination hall. (permission refused)
  2. to express possibility:
    It may rain. He may come today.
  3. to express a wish:
    May he live long! May she enjoy good health!
  4. to express purpose:
    He works hard so that he may pass.

MIGHT

Might is used for all persons of the past tense.

(i) to seek permission:
‘Might I’ can be used instead of ‘May I’when asking for permission and ‘Might I’ is a more polite form. The use of ‘might’ shows that the speaker is rather hesitant or doubtful about making the request; as—

(i) May I use your phone?
(ii) Might I use your phone?

Both express the same idea, but the second sentence is more polite.

(ii) to express possibility:
Might’ expresses greater doubt than ‘may’.
Might’ suggests remote/distant possibility; as—

It might rain. He might come today.

(iii) to put forward a suggestion:
Might’ is often used to put forward a suggestion or offer an advice which you are a little hesitant about; as—

You might try again. (= But I am not certain if you should)
You might wait.

(iv) in conditional sentences:
‘May / Might ’ can be used instead of ‘shall / will’ and ‘should / would’ in the conditional sentences respectively to express a possible result; as—

If you work hard, you may pass, (possibility)
If she had left early, she might have reached by now.

Might must be used when the main verb of the sentence is in the past tense.
(i) to express permission:
He said that I might borrow his car.
The teacher said that the boy might go.
(ii) to express possibility:
He thought that I might like it.
Sudha said that she might go abroad next year.
(iii) to express speculation (guess) about past actions. ‘Might have’ is used for past time.
He told me that she might have finished her work.
This medicine might have cured your cough.
Both ‘May’ and ‘might’ are used to suggest ‘there is a good reason’-, as—
You may as well say so.
She might as well come by the next train.
You might just as well go as not.
(There is just as much to be said in favour of going as against it)

EXERCISE 1
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with ‘can’ or ‘could’:

  1. ……………………. you prepare a cup of tea for me, please?
  2. She ……………………. not help laughing at the joker.
  3. We ……………………. execute your plan at once.
  4. He said that he ……………………. walk twenty kms at a stretch.
  5. A lame person ……………………. not walk.
  6. ……………………. you lift this box for me?
  7. She ……………………. read without glasses till last year.
  8. You ……………………. not see the principal now.
  9. He worked hard but ……………………. not pass the examination.
  10. She ……………………. play the piano when she was only eleven.

Answers:
1.could 2. can 3. can 4. could 5. can 6. could 7. could 8. can 9. could 10. could.

EXERCISE 2
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with May’ or “Might’:

  1. The news ……………………. not be true.
  2. With a little more effort we ……………………. win this time.
  3. The examinations ……………………. be postponed.
  4. We ……………………. have gone if they had invited us to dinner.
  5. With a little push, he ……………………. have got the job.
  6. ……………………. your future be bright!
  7. You ……………………. not attend the meeting this evening.
  8. He said that it ……………………. not rain.
  9. She asked if she ……………………. see the director.
  10. The sky is overcast. It …………………….rain any time.

Answers:
1. may 2. might 3. may, 4. might 5. might 6. may 7. may 8. might 9. might 10. may

EXERCISE 3
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’ or ‘might’ appropriate to the sense given in brackets:

  1. He ……………………. do this if he tried. (possibility)
  2. She ……………………. not run as fast as you. (ability)
  3. He ……………………. enter college next year. (possibility)
  4. I knew that I ……………………. borrow his car. (ability)
  5. You ……………………. tell me what he said. (claim)
  6. You ……………………. tell me what he said. (ability)
  7. I ……………………. help him if he asked me to. (wish)
  8. He works hard so that that he ……………………. get good marks. (purpose)
  9. When I was young, I ……………………. write Hindi verse. (capacity)
  10. Had you worked hard, you ……………………. have won a scholarship (possibility)

Answers:
1. might 2. can 3. may 4. could 5. might 6. could 7. may 8. may 9. could 10. might.

WILL/SHALL

(а) With the second and third persons, will is used

  1. to express simple future:
    She will leave for Ambala tomorrow.
    Lata will sing a song.
    You will study in the evening.
  2. to express an invitation or request Here ‘will you’ ? is not a question in the ordinary sense; as—
    Will you care for a cup of tea? (Invitation)
    Will you please lend me your pen? (Request)
  3. to express a command in an informal or impersonal manner expecting that it will be surely obeyed; as—
    All new boys will report for medical check-up.
    ‘‘You will not leave the class before completing your homework,” said the teacher.
    Officers will appear properly dressed in public places.
  4. to express something that happens again and again and is likely to recur; as—
    The old woman will sit in the park and sing songs.
    Vinod will go to the coffee house and discuss politics.
    Some persons will walk in the middle of the road.
  5. to express quantity or capacity; as—
    This jug will hold two litres of water.
    Two hundred persons will be seated in this tent.
  6. to express prediction; as—
    It is too close, it will rain.
    You will fall ill, if you eat all that.
  7. as a Principal Verb:
    God willed otherwise. We waited under different clocks and could not meet each other.

(b) ‘Will’ with the First Person is used

  1. to express willingness or offer; as—
    I will help you as far as possible.
    I will carry that parcel for you.
  2. to express intention or promise; as—
    I will go home to see my mother.
    We will come in time.
  3. to express threat; as—
    I will beat you.
    I will teach him a lesson.
  4. to express determination; as—
    I will lay down my life for my country.
    I will not take eggs; I am a strict vegetarian.

SHALL

(a) With the first person,‘shall’ is used

  1. to express simple future; as—
    We shall leave for Delhi tomorrow.
    I shall go for a long drive this evening.
  2. to express the plan or intention of the speaker; as—
    We shall shift to our new house next week.
    I shall go to Chandigarh via Rohtak.
  3. to express an offer or suggestion; as—
    Shall I shut the window?
    Shall we sit in the lawn?

(b) With the second and third persons,‘shall’ is used

  1. to express a command; as—
    You shall do it. You shall remain here till he comes.
    He shall report for duty at 8.30 a.m. tomorrow.
  2. to express a threat; as—
    You shall die for it. You shall not study further if you fail.
    She shall be punished for her misdeeds.
    He shall be sacked for his negligence.
  3. to express a promise; as—
    You shall get leave today.
    You shall have a scooter, if you pass.
    He shall get a reward for his faithfulness.
  4. to express command or wish of the person addressed if used with the third person; as—
    Shall he carry your luggage?
    Shall he wait outside for you?

EXERCISE 4
(Solved)

Use shall or will in the blanks in the following sentences:

  1. He ………………. leave this office at once. It is final.
  2. I ………………. file a case of defamation against the paper.
  3. We ………………. not allow this type of misrule to continue.
  4. All traitors ………………. die.
  5. How long ………………. you stay at Manali?
  6. ……………….you attend her farewell party?
  7. ……………….we be invited to her mango party?
  8. She ………………. just sit and brood over her past life.
  9. We ………………. not visit the Trade Fair tomorrow.
  10. ………………. we refresh ourselves with some coffee now?

Answers:
1. shall 2. will 3. will 4. shall 5. will 6. will 7. shall 8. will 9. shall 10. shall.

EXERCISE 5
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with ‘shall’ or ‘will’ whichever is appropriate:

  1. You ………………. not steal. (command)
  2. We ……………….be very glad to see you. (simple future)
  3. My son ……………….be twelve next month. (natural occurrence)
  4. ………………. you do it or shall I? (enquiry)
  5. All right! You ………………. have what you want. (promise)
  6. I ………………. meet you again if you so desire. (determination)
  7. I ………………. meet you again next week, I expect. (simple future)
  8. You ………………. stay till you have finished your work. (threat)
  9. You ………………. not prevent me from saying what I want, (simple future)
  10. If you carry the chairs I ………………. carry the table. (willingness)

Answers:
1. shall 2. shall 3. will 4. will 5. shall 6. will 7. shall 8. shall 9. will 10. will.

WOULD/SHOULD

Would is the past tense of ‘will’. ‘Would,’ is used

  1. to denote the past tense of will/shall in indirect speech; as—
    He said that he would go.
    The officer said that he would look into the matter.
  2. to express a habitual or customary activity in the past; as—
    He would go for a swim in the sea every morning.
    She would sit in the sun and talk all day.
  3. to make a polite request (with the second person); as—
    Would you spare some time for me?
    Would you mind telling me the way to the post office?
  4. To denote courtesy; as—
    Would you stay for dinner?
    Would you take a cup of tea?
    (Note. Here ‘would you ’ is more polite than ‘will you’)
  5. to express a wish; as—
    Would that I were a film star!
    Would that I were rich!
  6. to express a preference; as—
    I would like to ask you something.
    I would rather die than beg.
  7. To express improbable or unreal conditions; as—
    If I won a lottery prize, I would build a hospital.
    If I were an astronaut, I would take you to Mars.
    Had you helped her, she would have succeeded.

SHOULD

Should is the past tense of shall. It is used

  1. to denote the past tense of shall in indirect speech; as—
    I said that I should go.
    He said that they should report for duty on Monday.
  2. to express obligation or advice:
    We should respect our elders.
    You should do your job well.
  3. to express purpose:
    She works hard lest she should fail.
    He worked hard so that he should pass the examination.
    Hire a taxi, so that you shouldn’t miss your train.
  4. to express probability or likelihood; as—
    Should they play well, they will win.
    If they should play well, they will win.

Here the use of ‘should’ is preferred to the present tense to express a very unlikely condition.
If Urvi should come, I’ll inform you.

EXERCISE 6
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with ‘would’ or ‘should’:

  1. You ………………………… work hard to win a scholarship.
  2. He ………………………… rather starve than beg.
  3. ………………………… you post this letter?
  4. They ………………………… arrive here any moment.
  5. If I were a judge, I ………………………… do fair justice.
  6. I ………………………… like you to help him in his studies.
  7. We ………………………… help the poor and the needy.
  8. ………………………… she walk fast, she will catch the train.
  9. ………………………… you like to listen to music?
  10. I wish he ………………………… not fail this time.

Answers:
1. should 2. would 3. Would 4. should 5. would 6. would 7. should 8. should 9. would 10. would.

EXERCISE 7
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with the right word out of those given in brackets against each sentence:

  1. ………………………… she work hard, she will pass. (would, should)
  2. I …………………………prefer to keep quiet. (would, should)
  3. Work hard lest you ………………………… fail. (would, should)
  4. I am sure we …………………………cross the forest easily. (will, shall)
  5. …………………………you please stop talking so loudly. (will, shall)
  6. If I were you, I ………………………… not do it. (would, should)
  7. …………………………you please lend me your scooter? (would, should)
  8. I ………………………… carry out your orders at all costs. (would, should)
  9. I …………………………like to inform you of my inability to attend the meeting. (would, should)
  10. Walk carefully lest you …………………………fall down. (would, should)
  11. He ………………………… rather resign than submit to injustice. (would, should)
  12. You ………………………… not ask me to do anything against my will. (should, will)
  13. You ………………………… catch cold, if you go out in the rain. (shall, will)
  14. I ………………………… not budge an inch from the righteous path. (shall, will)
  15. You …………………………not go in for that old car. (would, should)

Answers:
1. should 2. would 3. should 4. shall 5. will 6. would 7. would 8. would 9. would 10. should 11. would
12. should 13. will 14. will 15. should.

MUST

Must’ refers to the Present or the Future Tense.
Must is used

  1. to express compulsion or necessity; as—
    A servant must obey his master.
    Every member must participate in the discussion,
  2. to express duty or a very strong obligation; as—
    We must work for the country. (duty)
    You must practise virtue. (duty)
    We must respect our parents. (obligation)
    We must obey the laws of our country. (obligation)
  3. to express emphatic advice; as—
    You must reach home before sunset.
    You must use seat-belt while driving a car.
  4. to express determination; as—
    I must see you again before the meeting.
    You must become a doctor.
    She must qualify the test.
  5. to express certainty or strong belief; as—
    All must die sooner or later.
    Everyone must grow old and perish.
  6. to express possibility or inference; as—
    She must be at least fifty years old.
    Nina must have reached the station by now.
  7. to express logical necessity or expectation; as—
    There must be some error of computation.
    You must feel sorry for your misbehaviour.
  8. to express strong negation by ‘must not’; as—
    He must not waste time in street plays.
    You must not be rude to your elders.

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MUSTN’T

Must not (Mustn’t) is used

  1. to express prohibition or negative command; as
    You mustn’t jump the traffic lights.
    One mustn’t smoke in the presence of ladies.
  2. to express the prohibition of “very strong obligation’; as—
    A peon mustn’t disobey his officer.
    You mustn’t leave home without mother’s permission.
  3. to express the prohibition of necessity; as—
    You mustn’t bring cameras or sticks inside the hall.
    Candidates mustn’t write anything except their roll numbers.

OUGHT

‘Ought’ refers to Present, Past or Future Tense.
‘Ought’ is used

1. to express the sense of duty or moral obligation; as—
Students ought to prepare well for their examinations. (duty)
You ought to maintain communal harmony. (social obligation)
We ought to love our neighbours. (moral obligation)
She ought to consult some doctor. (advice)
We ought not to use unfair means in the examination. (advice)

Note. The sense of moral obligation springs from within. There is no outside force or compulsion. ‘Must’ suggests speaker’s authority and emphatic advice ‘should’ implies what is proper or right action.
Ought to’ is less forceful and has the same meaning as ‘should’.

2. to express strong probability.
She ought to pass this time.

The past tense of ought is expressed with ought to have + Third form of the verb; as—

You ought to have attended the meeting.
The driver ought to have applied the brakes.
She ought to have helped the old woman.
You ought not to have criticised me in public.

HAVE TO

  1. Have to is used to express compulsion or necessity from without; as
    I have to cook my own meals these days.
    She has to help her mother in domestic affairs.
    People had to walk miles to fetch drinking water.
  2. Questions and negatives are formed both ways i.e. with or without ‘Do’; as
    Negatives : We don’t have to clean our own shoes.
    We haven’t to clear our own shoes.
    Questions : Do you have to cook your own meals?
    Have you to cook your own meals?

EXERCISE 8
(Solved)

Fill up the blanks with should, must, mustn’t, have to or ought to:

  1. You ………………………… respect your elders.
  2. He ………………………… be more careful in future.
  3. You ………………………… to take regular exercise.
  4. She is head strong. She ………………………… have her way in everything.
  5. You ………………………… not tell lies. It is not good for you.
  6. She ………………………… to develop good manners.
  7. She ………………………… contact the doctor at once.
  8. They ………………………… to have been more generous.
  9. Teachers ………………………… have affection for their students.
  10. Mohit, you ………………………… waste a minute now. Your examination is at hand.
  11. Varun, you ………………………… squander your parents’ hard-earned money.
  12. The students ………………………… be in school at nine a.m.
  13. You ………………………… disobey the laws of the land.
  14. You ………………………… mend your ways before you criticise others.
  15. You ………………………… disobey your parents.

Answers:
1. must 2. should 3. ought 4. must 5. should 6. ought 7. must 8. ought 9. should 10. mustn’t 11. mustn’t
12.
have to 13. mustn’t 14. have to 15. mustn’t.

NEED

  1. As a regular verb, ‘need’ expresses requirement; as—
    She needs money for a camera.
    He needed your help.
    I do not need any apples.
  2. As modal auxiliary, need is used to express necessity or obligation.
    It is used only in the Present Tense; as—
    Need I go there?
    Need she stay here more?
    Need he bring more milk tomorrow?
  3. Needn’t implies absence of necessity or obligation; as—
    You needn’t go there again:
    She needn’t wait for me.
    Needn’t he go to office today?

DARE

  1. As a regular verb, ‘Dare’ means ‘Challenge\ It is used in all tenses. Its forms are dare (dares), dared and dared.
    He dares to go into the forest.
    She dares to go into the forest.
    She dared to go alone.
    I dare say that you are a liar.
    He did not dare to come out with the truth.
    She does not dare to offend me.
  2. As a modal auxiliary, it means ‘to take courage’ or ‘venture’. Its other forms are dare, durst (dared), durst. It is used only in the Negative or Interrogative sentences.
    He dare not enter my room. (Present)
    She dare not oppose me.
    He durst not open my letters. (Past)
    How dare you open my letter? (Present)

EXERCISE 9
(Solved)

Fill in the blanks with the right word out of ‘Must’, ‘Ought’ ,‘used to’, ‘need’, ‘needn’t’, ‘dare’:

  1. How ……………………. you say so?
  2. She ……………………. have been ill.
  3. You ……………………. worry about the child. He will recover soon.
  4. ……………………. you disobey your father.
  5. Do I ……………………. to come here again?
  6. You ……………………. to have obeyed your teacher.
  7. He ……………………. not come tomorrow. We are going out on a picnic.
  8. I ……………………. to have been there this time.
  9. Gandhiji ……………………. spin every day.
  10. You ……………………. engage a tutor for your son.

Answers:
1. dare 2. must 3. needn’t 4. Dare 5. need 6. ought 7. need 8. ought 9. used to 10. must.

EXERCISE 10
(Solved)

1. Fill in the blanks with suitable modals:

may, ought to, would, must, need.

(i) You ………….. go home now.
(ii) The doctor told me that I ………….. not smoke any more.
(iii) You ………….. not see him. Just write a letter to him.
(iv) We ………….. show respect to our elders.
(v) ………….. you possibly lend a thousand rupees?

2. Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals:

may, could, must, ought, shall.

(i) You ………….. not enter my class. I forbid it.
(ii) He has been absent for a fortnight, he ………….. be ill.
(iii) ………….. I come in? I’m sorry to be late.
(iv) You ………….. to respect your elders.
(v) ………….. I spe’ak to the Principal for a minute?

3. Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals:

will, shall, should, can, could, must, ought to, need.

(i) I ………….. go there even if it rains.
(ii) You have burnt the midnight oil. You ………….. win scholarship.
(iii) If you have a ticket, you ………….. go inside.
(iv) I ………….. not come yesterday since I was too busy.
(v) We ………….. go to the station by taxi; it is getting late.
(vi) You ………….. not bring your umbrella. I’ll lend you mine.
(vii) Work hard lest you ………….. fail.
(viii) ………….. he bring the dinner now?

Answers:

  1. (i) may (ii) must (iii) need (iv) ought to (v) Could/Would
  2. (i) shall (ii) must (iii) May (iv) ought (v) Could
  3. (i) will (ii) ought to (iii) can (iv) could (v) must (vi) need (vii) should (viii) will.

EXERCISE 11
(Solved)

1. Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals:

May, must, can, could, should, would, ought, need.

  1. She ………….. run ten kms an hour.
  2. You ………….. go home now; it is getting dark.
  3. He ………….. to like this film?
  4. Walk carefully lest you ………….. stumble.
  5. You ………….. clean your teeth every morning.
  6. You ………….. not hurry; there’s plenty of time.
  7. She ………….. cross such obstacles very easily when she was young.
  8. The old man ………….. lie in the sun and dream of his past.

Answers:
1. can 2. must 3. ought 4. should 5. should 6. need 7. could 8. would

2. Fill in the blanks with suitable modals to convey the sense indicated in the brackets:

  1. I …………………… speak English fluently. (Present ability)
  2. You …………………… have the money tomorrow. (Promise)
  3. When I was young, I …………………… run faster. (Past ability)
  4. …………………… he disobey his father? (Courage)
  5. He …………………… apologise or face the consequences. (Command)
  6. You …………………… leave these papers on my desk and go.(Permission)
  7. …………………… we go to a movie? (Suggestion)
  8. I …………………… wait till you return. (Willingness)
  9. We …………………… not give up fighting. (Determination)
  10. You …………………… not touch those exhibits. (Prohibition)
  11. You ……………………. not worry about your son now. (Absence of necessity)
  12. I fear the weather …………………… not improve soon. (Possibility)
  13. You …………………… go (permission), if you …………………… (Compulsion)
  14. They …………………… sit together in the lawn and talk for hours.
    (Habitual action in the past)
  15. We …………………… to serve our nation. (Moral obligation)

Answers:
1. can 2. shall 3. could 4. Dare 5. must 6. may lean 7. shall 8. will /must 9. will 10. must 11. need 12. may 13. can; must 14. would 15. ought.

EXERCISE 12
(Solved)

Complete the following dialogue using suitable modals:

Father : (a) ……………………….. you go to the post-office just now and send these letters by registered post.
Son : There (b) ……………………….. be rush at this hour. Moreover, I (c) ……………………….. not go to the post office on foot.
Father : But, why (d) ……………………….. you go on foot? What happened to your scooter?
Son : It has no .petrol. I (e) ……………………….. not get it filled because there was a strike at the petrol station.
Father : O.K., You (f) ……………………….. use my scooter, but you (g) ……………………….. post the letters today. They are very urgent. We (h) ……………………….. suffer a loss if they were delayed.
Answers:
(a) Could (b) might (c) can (d) should (e) could (f) can (g) must (h) could/might.

EXERCISE 13
(Solved)

Complete the following paragraph by filling in the blanks with suitable modals:

If we sit in an incorrect posture, it (a) …………………………….. strain our back. As far as possible this (b) …………………………….. be avoided. If the posture becomes a part of habit, a low back pain invariably develops. It (c) …………………………….. cured if we become conscious of our posture. We (d) …………………………….. also take time out to perform a few exercises. If the exercises are done regularly the backache (e) …………………………….. certainly be cured. It (f) …………………………….. also improve blood circulation within the spine.
Answers:
(a) will (b) should (c) can (d) should (e) can /will (f) can / will.

EXERCISE 14
(Solved)

1. Fill in the blanks with appropriate modals:
(a) I (i) …………….. smell something burning in the kitchen, (ii)………………… you? It (iii) ………………… be the pudding in the oven. (b) Your essay is full of mistakes. You (iv) ………………… to be more careful. You (v) ………………… do much better if you tried harder. (c) She (vi) ………………… to play tennis before her marriage.
Answers:
(a) (i) can (ii) can’t (iii) may /must
(b) (iv) ought (v) could I would
(c) (vi) used.

2. Complete the following dialogue using suitable modals.
Mother : You (a) …………….. take an umbrella. It isn’t going to rain.
Son : Well, I don’t know. It (b) ……………..
Mother : O.K., then take care. You (c) ……………. lose it.
Answers:
(a) needn’t (b) might/may (c) mustn’t/shouldn’t.

INTEGRATED TASKS
I. ERROR CORRECTION
EXERCISE 14
(Solved)

Make corrections wherever necessary:

  1. All the traitors may die. (threat)
  2. Will I open the window? (offer)
  3. I wish she will come one time. (wish)
  4. Shall you post this letter, please? (request)
  5. I shall come if you need my help. (willingness)
  6. He shall rather die than beg. (preference)
  7. Shall you live long! (wish)
  8. Work hard lest you may fail. (fear)
  9. Can you give me five hundred rupees? (polite request)
  10. Shall you care for a cup of coffee, please? (polite request)
  11. None will leave the class. (prohibition)
  12. Will you lift this heavy bag? (ability)
  13. You need not walk in the middle of the road. (prohibition)
  14. When we were students we play games regularly (past habit)
  15. If she worked harder, she will pass. (condition)

Answers:

  1. All the traitors shall die.
  2. Shall I open the window?
  3. I wish she would come one time.
  4. Will you post this letter, please?
  5. I will come if you need my help.
  6. He would rather die than beg.
  7. May you live long!
  8. Work hard lest you should fail.
  9. Could you give me five hundred rupees?
  10. Would you care for a cup of coffee, please?
  11. None shall leave the class.
  12. Can you lift this heavy bag?
  13. You must not walk in the middle of the road.
  14. When we were students we used to play games regularly.
  15. If she worked harder, she would pass.

II. EDITING TASK
(i) ERROR CORRECTION
EXERCISE 15
(Solved)

There is an error concerning ‘modals’ in each of the following lines. Find the error. Write the incorrect word and the correction in your answer sheet as given below. Remember to underline the word that you have supplied.

Answers:

(ii) OMISSIONS
EXERCISE 16
(Solved)

In the following passage, one word has been omitted in each line. Write the missing word (a modal) along with the word that comes before and the word that comes after it as given in the example:

Answers:

(iii) REORDERING OF SENTENCES
EXERCISE 17
(Solved)

Look at the sentences given below in a disorderly form. Re-order (Rearrange) them to form meaningful sentences:

  1. We/live/eat/we/may/that
  2. we/I/suceed/am/will/sure
  3. you/hard/fail/lest/work/should
  4. not/me/dare/disobey/he
  5. live/touch/you/not/this/must/wire
  6. sooner/must/or/die/later/all
  7. something/I/ask/to/like/you/would
  8. the poor/ought/to/help/we/the needy/and
  9. minutes/you/could/a few/for/wait/please?
  10. you/fall/careful/will/aren’t/you

Answers:

  1. We eat that we may live.
  2. I am sure we will succeed.
  3. Work hard let you should fail.
  4. He dare not disobey me.
  5. You must not touch this live wire.
  6. All must die sooner or later.
  7. I would like to ask you something.
  8. We ought to help the poor and the needy.
  9. Could you wait for a few minutes please?
  10. You will fall if you aren’t careful.

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