The past tenses of the modal verbs MUST, CAN and CAN’T often cause problems, even for advanced students of English. I have heard some of my best students, who had already passed the CAE exam, use words like MUSTED, and I was not happy about it. That is why I try to teach this grammar thoroughly. ADVERT: In this post I would like to share an infographic and...

The greatest thing that can happen to a teacher is the aha! moment when suddenly the students get it. And this happened to me on Thursday. I was teaching the modal verbs of deduction for a hundredth time and suddenly the students could understand it and use it correctly. Wonderful feeling!!! ADVERT: In this post I would like to share all the materials I used...

Recently I have been dealing with the modal verbs. First I created a mind map depicting all the modals in present and past tenses. That post was suitable for intemediate students. Then I wrote a post about the modal verbs Must and Should which was for elementary students. In this post I would like to add the verb HAVE TO and explain its usage in English. This explanation...

Students usually understand the usage of the modals in present tense very quickly. However, when they start speaking about the past, they use the present tense or some non-existent forms, like “musted”. Here I’ve tried to create a simple overview of all the modal verbs and their usage in present and past tenses. I hope you will find it at least a bit...

Speculating about the past is one of the few grammar points I have not covered yet. As I usually teach lower level students, and this grammar is for intermediate students, I haven´t felt it necessary to deal with it. However, now the time has come and I need this explanation for one of my students. I hope you will profit from it too. In this post, there are two infographics...

Posted on Oct 10 2015 - 5:20am by Zdenda
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In my opinion the modal verb CAN is one of the easiest grammar points in English to teach. That is why I have not produced a post on this topic yet. However, this is going to change, as I am in need of one and I am going to share it here with you. In this post you can find a simple mind map explaining the usage of the modal verb CAN. Then there are two speaking...

Posted on May 9 2016 - 8:08am by Zdenda
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Elementary students are taught that there is very little difference between the words MUST and HAVE TO. Little as it may be, it exists. And in this post I would like to give you several rules which will help you decide which one is better in the given sentence. ADVERT: In this short post you will find an infographic, two online quizzes and a worksheet. Must...

Recently I have spent quite a lot of time designing various speaking activities for my students. In this post I would like to share two speaking activities which help students practise the usage of the past continuous tense and of the modal verbs MUST, MUSTN´T and DON´T HAVE TO. I hope both of the activities will be useful. Past continuous tense – game In...

Recently I have published a post on giving advice. And our post on modal verbs won the British Council blog award. This post will deal with three ways to express the modal verb SHOULD. The different means are HAD BETTER and OUGHT TO. Both of these have the same meaning as SHOULD. This grammar point often appears in FCE tests. So if you are planning to take an international...

This post deals only with the basic usage of the modal verbs SHOULD and MUST. I have recently written a post on Modal verbs. This post was aimed at intermediate students and it demonstrated the usage and meaning of all the modal verbs in present and past tenses. You can find here a graphical presentation of the usage of the verbs SHOULD and MUST and several completely...