Modal Verbs

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Modal Verbs

A challenging maze game that will glue you to your seat until you finish all the levels. This game is adeptly designed for Fifth Grade kids to help them understand how to use correct modal verbs in English. In this game, kids have to make their scorpion eat bugs in the maze that represent correct answers. Each bug is color coded with answer options. For this kids would have to use the arrow keys to move their scorpion in the maze and answer as many questions they can. This game is a perfect way to practice using correct modal verbs and improver hand eye coordination as well.

How to play Modal Verbs

An intriguing maze game for Grade 5 based on modal verbs to help kids get acquainted with the concept and practice using correct modal verbs.

What are Modal Verbs?

Modal verbs are weird verbs because they don’t follow the regular rules - they’re rebels and outlaws! As such, we refer to them as “auxiliary verbs” because they need another verb to latch onto for meaning. They always express a hypothetical.

It’s the difference between

Examples include:
• I go to the library on Tuesdays.
• I can go to the library on Tuesdays.
• I could go to the library on Tuesdays.

The first indicates you actively go to the library on Tuesdays, while the second indicates your ability to go without a definite. The third shows the possibility of you being able to go. Can and Could are modals.

How do you form a modal?

You don’t - you use them as-is. They don’t have a specific ending and don’t function in an infinitive form, but can alter the meaning of a sentence significantly. However, they ALWAYS need another verb and, as such, are often considered to be helping verbs.

It sounds more confusing than it actually is once you see what the verbs are. The chart below shows them in terms of the certainty they express. Either it shows the verb will definitely happen, or they indicate some degree of uncertainty.

mustmay, might
shallshould, ought

How do you use modal verbs?

There are several ways to use modal verbs depending on the meaning you wish to convey. Each modal can have multiple meanings depending on how it’s used in a sentence. Here are some examples of the different meanings of each of the major modal verbs.

Modal VerbMeaningExample Sentence
CANabilityI can bench 150 pounds.
Informal permissionCan I help you with your luggage?
possibilityEating too many sweets can cause obesity.
MUSTstrong obligationYou must come see this immediately.
Inference/ logical conclusion/ certaintyShe must be exhausted after running the marathon.
MUST NOTProhibition / restrictionYou must not lie to your parents.
SHALLAsking what to doShall we have some tea?
offerShall I grab your coat?
suggestionI shall have to help you next time.
WILLInstant decisionI will go home now.
promiseI will be there soon.
invitationWill you come with me to the show?
predictionIt will be cloudy tomorrow.
Future tense auxiliaryNext week, I will be here early.
COULDsuggestionI could help you with decorating these cookies.
requestCould I please use your pen?
Ability in the pastI could have been a champion diver.
Ask for permissionCould I please go to the bathroom?
MAYpossibilityI may try to go to the library tomorrow.
Ask for permissionMay I have a piece of pie?
MIGHTSlight possibilityShe might lose her tooth tonight.
Past form of “may” when telling what someone else saidGrandma said she might stay home.
SHOULDadviceShould I stay here or go?
Recommending actionYou should try this candy.
Uncertain prediction/guessIt should begin in a few minutes.
Logical deduction/inferenceI studied hard, so I should be ready to take the exam.
OUGHT TOadviceYou ought to wear your coat in the rain.
Logical deduction/inference15 minutes ought to be enough time to bake these cupcakes.
WOULDAsking for permissionWould you like to dance?
requestWould you please come here?
invitationWould you like to come with me?
preferenceI would prefer the aisle seat.
habitWhen I went to camp, I would swim every night.

Using modals depends on the tense and the amount of certainty you wish to convey. With practice, you’ll get the hang of using these oddball verbs.

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