Modal auxiliaries in the past (Koen Van Cauwenberge)

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Put the next modal auxiliaries in the past tense. You may not use any forms with 'able'.

1. I have to be at home by midnight.
Past: I be home at midnight.

2. My father can't be Zorro. He can't ride on horseback.
Past: My father Zorro. He on horseback.

3. You may not feed the animals at the farm.
Past: You feed the animals at the farm.

4. She may still phone this evening.
Past: She still that evening.

5. George Junior, you must eat your spinach!
Past: George Jr. eat his spinach.

6. You don't need to clean the whole house.
Past: You the whole house so you shouldn't be ashamed that you didn't do so.
Past: You the whole house, but I'm grateful tha tyou did so.

7. Ross might send Rachel some flowers.
Past: Ross Rachel some flowers.

8. She must be cheating on her husband. She is never at home anymore and she's behaving very strangely.
Past: She on her husband. She was never at home anymore and she was behaving very strangely.

9. You should never drink Baileys and gin together.
Past: You Baileys and gin together.

10. She can play the guitar.
Past: She the guitar.

My uncle once (in Dutch kon, past ability) swim across the Channel.

11. He will be in Venice now.
Past: He in Venice last year.

12. She couldn't be my mother's niece. She's far too old.
Past: She my mother's niece. She was far too old.

13. She may use our car.
Past: She our car.

14. You can stay home tomorrow.
Past: You home tomorrow.

15. It's incredible, but Hercule Poirot may be wrong.
Past: It seemed incredible, but Hercule Poirot wrong.


Copyright 2003 Koen Van Cauwenberge All rights reserved