Past and present obligation and permission sentence completion games

Present and past ability sentence completion games

Past and present obligation and permission sentence completion things in common

Tell and ask your partner about things you present and past obligations etc, and try to make sentences such as those below which are true for both of you.  

Past and present obligation and permission sentence completion guessing game

Perhaps after a few minutes filling in some of the sentences, choose one of the phrases below and say just the part that you completed it with (not the part that is printed below). See if your partner can guess which sentence you put those words in.

Useful phrases for doing the activity

“No, that can’t be true, because…”

“Well, that could be true, but in fact…”
“That is true, but it’s not the sentence I was thinking of. Please try again”

“Yes, that’s right. It’s your turn”

 Past and present obligation and permission sentence completion bluffing game

Choose one of the sentences below and make a true or made up sentence using those words. Perhaps after asking you for more details, the other students will guess if your sentence is true or false.


Suggested sentences to complete

I am allowed to/ I can _____________________ at work (if I want to)

I can’t/ I’m not allowed to ________________________________ at home.

My doctor has told me that I mustn’t _________________________________________

I don’t have to/ I don’t need to ________________ (if I don’t want to/ but I can if I want to)

I have to _____________________________________ every day

I really must _____________________________________ soon

I had to ___________________________________ in my school

I had to _________________________ when I was younger (but I don’t now).

My parents made me/ forced me to __________________________________________

My parents let me/ allowed me to ____________________________________________

I didn’t have to/ I didn’t need to/ I wasn’t made to ________________ at primary school.

I could/ I was allowed to ________________________________ at home.


Past and present obligation and permission grammar presentation

Without looking below, try to think of at least one form that has the same meaning as each form below.

I am allowed to

I can’t

I don’t have to

My parents made me…

My parents let me

I didn’t need to

I was allowed to


Mixed answers

Use the mixed answers below to help with the grammar task above. You will sometimes need to add more words to make expressions which mean exactly the same thing.

I could



didn’t have to

don’t need to


not allowed to


What is the difference between the expressions on each line below?

I have to/ I must

I don’t have to/ I mustn’t

My parents let me/ My parents made me


Verb patterns with obligation and permission presentation

Without looking above for now, put these forms into the table below

be allowed




be made







+ verb + to + verb + someone + verb +someone+to+verb






PDF version for easy saving and printing: Past and present obligation and permission sentence completion games

Related pages

Modals of obligation and permission page

Past modals page

Sentence completion games blog post