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Valmes English Corner

MODAL
ABILITY: can, could, be able to . Pres. Past Fut. & Pres. / Logro 1. Can you swim? 2. I cant open this bottle. 3. She could swim when she was five. 4. Id like to be able to play the piano. 5. I wont be able to remember your phone number.

VERBS

PERMISSION: can, could, may, be allowed to. + ++ +++ (hablar de permiso) Asking for permission: 1. Can I borrow your pen, please? 2. Could I use your phone, please? 3. May I make a suggestion? Talking about permission: 1. You can / are allowed to drive a car in Britain when you are 17. 2. When we were children, we could/were allowed to stay up late on Saturday nights.

OBLIGATION: and NECESSITY: must, have to, have got to. ++ + There is sometimes a difference between must and have to: Must: when you say what you think is necessary, when you are giving your opinion. Have to: when you are not giving your personal opinion, but just facts. 1. The government really must do something about unemployment. 2. I must write to ann. I havent written to her for a ges. 3. Anns eyes are not very good. She has to wear glasses for reading. At our school, we have to wear a uniform. In everyday speech, we use have got to instead of have to. Ive got to work late this evening. We only use must to talk about the present and the future. When we talk about past obligation or necessity, we use had to. I had to work late yesterday.

Mustnt = Prohibition
Mustnt: prohibition. You mustnt drive without a licence.

Dont have to: when it is not necessary to do something. You dont have to wash that
shirt. It isnt dirty. Dont have to = dont need to, neednt. I neednt / dont need to get up early. Its Sunday .

POSSIBILITY: may, might, could. + ++ + To talk about present or future possibility. 1. Theres someone at the door It may be Sarah. (= Perhaps it is Sarah) 2. President Jones might win the election. (= Perhaps he will win the election) 3. Wheres Simon? He could be in the living-room. (= Perhaps he is there) Negatives: may not, might not /mightnt, but not could not with this meaning. 4. Simon may not be in the living-room. Note the form: may / might / could + be + .-ing. 5. They may be having dinner at the moment. (= Perhaps they are having dinner) 1

Valmes English Corner


DEDUCTION : must, cant. (+) (--) 1. He must know London very well. He has lived there for a long time. (= I am sure that he knows London very well) 2. There is a light on in the house, so someone must be at home. (= I am sure that someone is at home) 3. She cant be in Italy! I saw her today! (= It is impossible that she is in Italy) 4. Youve just had lunch. You cant be hungry. (= It is impossible that you are hungry)

ADVICE: should, ought to . (+common than ought to) 1. I think you should talk to your teacher about it. 2. You ought to stop smoking. 3. You shouldnt tell lies. We also use these verbs to say what we think is right or good. 1. I think the police should arrest hooligans. 2. What do you think I ought to do?

MODAL PERFECTS
(Modal verb + have* + past participle) *Have does not change POSSIBILITY

We use may have / might have / could have + past participle to talk about possibility in the past.
1. Where was Sally last night? 2. I think she may have been at the cinema. (= I think perhaps she was at the cinema) 3. Peter is late. He might have missed the train. (= Perhaps he missed/has missed the train) 4. I cant find my wallet anywhere. You could have left it at home. (= Perhaps you left/have left it at home) 5. She walked straight past me without saying hello. 6. She might not have seen you. (= Perhaps she didnt see you)

ADVICE

We use should have / ought to have + past participle to say someone did the wrong thing in the past.
1. I should have done my homework at the weekend. 2. Im really tired this morning. I shouldnt have stayed up so late last night. 3. We had a really good time in London yesterday. 4. You ought to have come with us.

DEDUCTIONS We use must have/ cant have + past participle for deductions about the past. Those shoes you bought are very nice. They must have been expensive. (= Im sure that they were expensive). 1. You cant have been at the swimming pool yesterday! It was closed all day! (= It was impossible that you were at the swimming pool yesterday! We can use couldnt have instead of cant have .here. 2. You couldnt have been at the swimming pool yesterday!

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