Modal verbs in present and past tenses

Posted on Apr 12 2014 - 6:46am by Zdenda

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 useful.

Modal verbs – mind map

Have a look at this mind map. Notice that the modal verbs are in two colours. The white modal verbs are followed by an infinitive without to and the red modal verbs are followed by past participles. If you still have problems with the past participles please follow the link above or this one, which will take you to quizzes on past participles at our other site English Learning Magazine.
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Modal verbs past and present tense mind map

Modal verbs – games

Once you have understood the explanation, it is time to practise your knowledge in two games on Modal verbs. The first one is called En Garde and your task is to choose the correct modal verb and then hit your opponent.
Modal verbs – En Garde
The second game is called Penalty. Once again you should choose the correct modal verb and then try to score a goal. Will you succeed?
Modal verbs – Penalty

English Learning Magazine

We have started a new site for learners of English. While this site contains short grammar explanations and games to practise the grammar, the new site www.englishlearningmagazine.com contains tests and quizzes to practise English in general. For example, there is a text on Easter and you have to answer comprehension questions and then reconstruct the text.
Or you could practise the names of the plants in a post which contains the video with the names of the plants and three tests. Moreover, you can listen to a song and complete its lyrics.
The whole site is mobile phones friendly (unlike this one, where the games play only on desktops).
Enjoy.

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8 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nikhil 12/04/2014 at 1:47 pm -

    Ultimate. Its good for our english health!!!!!

  2. Hassan Usamatu Bayero 12/04/2014 at 2:17 pm -

    its really helping me to solve some problems in English language

  3. Peter 12/04/2014 at 4:01 pm -

    wer able to? check spelling

  4. Raouf Boukoucha 12/04/2014 at 9:34 pm -

    very interesting, many thanks ^^

  5. Zdenda 15/04/2014 at 2:26 am -

    It has been corrected. Thanks for spotting the mistake.

  6. annf 08/05/2014 at 8:59 am -

    Hi Zdenda,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.

    Best,
    Ann

  7. annf 08/05/2014 at 9:00 am -

    Sorry! I meant to say on tomorrow’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page.

  8. Zdenda 09/05/2014 at 4:16 am -

    Thank you Ann. It is a real honour. Thank you.

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