ESL grammar · Grammar · Modal verb · tenses · Verb

Can Humans Fly? – Mixed Tenses with Modals

fly

The following practice is for advanced students. Do this only when you know how to use different tenses.

You can use tenses with modals too. Modals are verbs like must, need, have to and ought to.

Underneath are some examples for you to study:

Each example is in the affirmative (= a statement), a question and a negative.

Present simple:

Birds can fly.

Can birds fly?

Birds can’t fly.

Past simple:

Larry had to feed his neighbours’ cats while they were away.

Did Larry have to feed his neighbours’ cats while they were away?

Larry didn’t have to feed his neighbours’ cats while they were away.

Present perfect:

You should have thought of your doctor’s appointment before the meeting.

Shouldn’t you have thought of your doctor’s appointment before the meeting?

No, I didn’t have to have thought of my doctor’s appointment before the meeting.

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Future:

I will need to buy groceries this afternoon.

Will you need to buy groceries this afternoon?

I won’t need to buy groceries this afternoon.

Unrealistic future:

Sheila thought she would be able to buy a new bike soon.

Did Sheila think she would be able to buy a new bike soon?

Sheila thought she wouldn’t be able to buy a new bike soon.

Combination of would + perfect tense:

Haider would have needed to study a bit sooner in order to pass his exam.

Would Haider have needed to study sooner in order to pass his exam?

Haider wouldn’t have needed to study sooner in order to pass his exam.

Exercise

In the following exercise, use the modal and the verb in brackets. You decide which tense is the most logical. Add negatives where necessary.

Click here to do this quiz online and check your answers.

1 You ____________ (ought to, put) away all the sweets before you invite Heidi, because she ______________ (can, stop) eating.

2 You _____________ (must, write) these ten emails before lunch.

3 We _______________ (have to, cancel) our holiday if Mother gets any worse.

4 I thought Paul said he _______________ (need, be) home this afternoon because he was waiting for the plumber to stop a leak.

5 If the letter isn’t on the desk, Frank ______________ (must, put) it in the drawer.

6 Sue _____________ (able to, buy) a Ferrari and a yacht. She wants to buy one tomorrow. Is she really that rich?

7 Why _____________ anyone from our family ________________ (able to, come) with Granddad to his appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon?

8 The orthopaedic surgeon told Granddad he __________________ (need, to stay) in the hospital longer than a day or two.

9 A frightfully loud dog started to bark when I rang their bell. They ____________________ (must, get) a burglar alarm.

10 I _______________ (can, stay) in bed longer but it was good to get a head start.

If something isn’t clear, please ask in the comments.

More quizzes with mixed tenses:

Mixed Tenses

Future Tenses

Conditionals Mixed

Conditionals Mixed 2

 

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