Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Episode 44 – Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are the BEST! They’re my favorite to teach because they’re the easiest to teach.  Here are some rules, breakdowns and exercises pertaining to modal verbs.

You have to kick the ball.

You don’t have to be strong.

You must go home after school.

You mustn’t leave the job before being told to.


  1. We use _________________ and _________________ for things that are necessary or obligatory.
  2. We use ___________________ for things that are not necessary (but we can do them if we want).
  3. We use ________________ for things that we can’t do because we don’t have permission.


2. Complete the sentences with have to, has to, don’t have to, or doesn’t have to.

  1. For you to become successful, you _______________ surround yourself with positive people.
  2. Basketball players ______________ especially tall.
  3. You _______________ show people respect if you want respect.
  4. You ________________ have a phone to travel.
  5. You ________________ have credit cards when you travel abroad in case of emergencies.

3. Read the statements about basketball and choose the correct alternative.

  1. You must/mustn’t show courtesy.
  2. You must/mustn’t yell on the plane.
  3. You must/mustn’t respect your parents.
  4. You must/mustn’t try traveling without a passport.



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