Modals

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Published on February 17, 2014

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Modals

2 Modals to Express Degrees of Certainty Nosy Neighbors Focus on Grammar 5 Part II, Unit 6 By Ruth Luman, Gabriele Steiner, and BJ Wells Copyright © 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nosy Neighbors 1 Nosy Neighbors 1 Honey, how can Mrs. Carson afford a Ferrari? Isn’t she a teacher? I suppose. Or she could have won the lottery. I doubt it. She had to have robbed a bank! Well, she might have inherited some money from her knows? Who family. She may have gotten a big raise at work. You could be right.

Nosy Neighbors 2 Nosy Neighbors 2 I haven’t seen the Chins for a They may month. have been abducted by Hmmm. They aliens. must have moved to an exotic island. Well, they couldn’t have gone on vacation. The Or they dog is still there. might be staying with their son for a Then they while. should be very happy.

Speculating about the Present Speculating about the Present Modals speculating about the present are followed by a base form verb. You could be right. base form verb Then they should be very happy.

Speculating about the Past Speculating about the Past Modals speculating about the past are followed by the past participle. She could have won the lottery. past participle She may have gotten a big raise.

Review Review Modals and modal-like expressions express degrees of certainty. Degree of Certainty certain near certainty near less impossibility certain no modal must have to have got to can’t couldn’t may might could

Certainty Certainty Modals and modal-like expressions express degrees of certainty. Don’t use a modal for 100% certainty. The Chins went on vacation. Mrs. Carson got a raise.

Near Certainty Near Certainty There are several modals that express near certainty, including must have and had to have. They must have moved to an exotic island. He had to have robbed a bank.

Near Impossibility Near Impossibility There are several modals that express near certainty that something is impossible, including couldn’t have and can’t. They couldn’t have moved away. They just moved here. They can’t be out of town. They left all the lights on!

Less Certainty Less Certainty There are several modals that express less certainty, including may, and might. They may have been abducted by aliens. They might be staying with their son.

Practice 1 Example: Use modals to suggest reasons for these classroom situations. Speculate on what might have happened. One of your classmates is late. She must have gotten stuck in traffic. There was a big accident. 1. You smell smoke. 2. The teacher is angry. 3. The desks are shaking. 4. You can’t find your textbook. 5. The lights go out.

Speculating about the Future 1 Speculating about the Future 1 Modals speculating about the future are also followed by a base form verb. The modals should and ought to express near certainty. That Ferrari should last a lifetime. She ought to take us for a drive soon.

Speculating about the Future 2 Speculating about the Future 2 Use may, might, and could when you are less certain. The Chins may not return. The house might get sold. They could move next month.

Practice 2 Use modals to express future possibilities about these present situations. Example: We shop for food at grocery stores. ‘Smart’ kitchens might calculate what we need and order it electronically. In the future, household computers may do all our shopping. 1. Ordinary people don’t travel in space. 2. Houses are made of wood. 3. People pay for products with cash or credit cards. 4. Our fingerprints provide identification.

References References Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education and its licensors. All rights reserved.

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