Upper Intermediate Level >> Grammar Worksheets >> Students look at sentences that use modal verbs and think about the changes in meaning brought about by the different modal verbs.

Modal Verbs: Changes in Meaning

Upper Intermediate

Are none, one or both of these modal verbs possible for each sentence. How is the sentence's meaning altered if both are possible?

1. I really must/have to leave now, it's getting very late.

2. We had to/must search for an hour before we found our hotel.

3. If your boyfriend is treating you so bad, Ellie, you should/needn't leave him!

4. We have already seen this episode, Ken. You shouldn't/had to record it.

5. If you want to be good at conversation, you have/need to know how to listen!

6. "Should/Must we invite Alice and her boyfriend to dinner tomorrow evening?"

7. We were able to/could find a parking space, but it wasn't very near the shopping mall.

8. "I can't/don't have to see you tonight," he said to Leanne, "I think we should break up!"

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