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63

Modal verbs

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62
Test it
1Find the incorrect sentences.
a I think you should work harder.
b Do you can speak Japanese?
c Mary thinks it may rain later.
d The twins must tidy their bedroom.
e Sally musts go to the dentist soon.
f Im sorry but we must to go now.
g That cant be the postman. Its much too early.
h The dog didnt should steal food from the fridge.
i We maying go to France in September.
j Could you lend me your dictionary?
2Use a suitable modal to complete the sentences. Use some modals more than
once. Sometimes there is more than one correct answer.
can cant could must mustnt shouldnt may might
a I want the salt, please. you pass me the salt,
please?
b Its a bad idea for you to go. You go.
c Its possible itll rain tomorrow. It rain tomorrow.
d Do you have the ability to swim? you swim?
e Do not park here. You park here.
f Is it OK if I use your phone? I use your phone?
g That isnt a bird. Its impossible! That be a bird!
h Its important that you stop smoking. You stop smoking.
i Its possible Ill ask you to help me. I ask you to help me.
j Fred is unable to sing. Fred sing.
Modal verbs
GO to page 64 and check your answers.
20
Test it again
1Choose the best option.
a Jeff may not/cant/might not ride a bicycle. He never learnt to do it.
b Im sure you cant/couldnt/must be tired. You were awake all night.
c It might/can/must be a nice weekend. If it is, well go to the beach.
d May/Should/Could you close the window? Im cold.
e Mobile phones can/must/might be switched off during the flight.
f You really should/could/might stop smoking.
g That can/should/cant be a spider. Its only got six legs.
h Tom isnt here. He can/may/shouldnt be at home.
i You shouldnt/couldnt/mustnt forget your passport this time!
j Drivers can/may/should go more slowly. There are too many accidents.
2Write new sentences with similar meanings, using modals. More than one
answer may be possible.
a I want a glass of water.
b Lock the door, please.
c Do you want me to help you?
d No smoking in the library.
e Its possible that youre right.
3Find and correct five mistakes in the dialogue.
Jo: Bill musts be here soon. He left hours ago!
Nick: I think you should call him on the mobile. He must to have it with him.
Jo: I cant. My battery is flat. Must I borrow yours?
Nick: Yes, sure. Here you are.
Jo: No answer. Now what do I should do?
Nick: You should stop worrying. Im sure he wont be long. He mays arrive
any moment.
TEST IT FIX IT ENGLISH VERBS AND TENSES INTERMEDIATE
Oxford University Press www.oup.com/elt
TEST IT FIX IT ENGLISH VERBS AND TENSES INTERMEDIATE
Oxford University Press www.oup.com/elt
Fix it notes
A
Never put s on the third person
singular form of modal verbs.
B
Use the base form of the verb (not the
to infinitive) after modal verbs.
C
Modal verbs havent got infinitives or
participles.
D
Make modal questions and negative
sentences without do.
E
Use can/cant to talk about ability. Use
can, could or may to ask for or give
permission. Use can/could you to make
a request.
F
Use should/shouldnt to ask for or give
someone advice.
G
Use may, might and could to talk about
possibilities.
H
Use must and cant to make logical
deductions.
I
Use must and mustnt to talk about
obligations.
Fix it
For more information, see the
Review page opposite.
64
Answers to Test it
Check your answers. Wrong answer?
Read the right Fix it note to find out why.
1a correct F
b Do you can Can you D
c correct G
d correct I
e musts must A
f must to go must go B
g correct H
h didnt should shouldnt D
i maying may C
j correct E
2a Can/Could E
b shouldnt F
c may/might G
d Can E
e mustnt I
f Can/Could/May E
g cant H
h must I
i may/might/could G
j cant E
Now go to page 63. Test yourself again.
Answers to Test it again
1a cant f should
b must g cant
c might h may
d Could i mustnt
e must j should
2a Can/Could/May I have a glass of
water?
b Can/Could you lock the door?
c Can I help you?
d You mustnt smoke in the library.
e You may/might/could be right.
3musts must
must to have must have
Must I? Can/Could/May I?
do I should do should I do
mays may
Review
Modal verbs
You never put s on the third person singular form of modal verbs.
He can do it! NOT He cans do it!
It might rain. NOT It mights rain.
You use the base form of the verb, not the to infinitive, after modal verbs.
I must go to the bank. NOT I must to go to the bank.
Jo cant come tonight. NOT Jo cant to come tonight.
Note that modal verbs havent got infinitives or participles. You cant say to
should or maying or musted.
You make modal questions and negative sentences without do.
Can I help you? NOT Do can I help you?
He shouldnt say that. NOT He dont should say that.
You use can/cant to talk about ability.
I can swim. He cant read.
You use can, could or may to ask for or give permission. Note that may is more
formal and less common than can or could. You also use can to ask for things.
Can I stay up late tonight? Could we go out? May I borrow your car?
Can I have a drink?
You use can/could you to make a request.
Can you shut the door? Could you pass me the salt?
You use should/shouldnt to ask for or give someone advice.
What should I say to Mum? You should apologize. You shouldnt do that.
You use may, might and could to talk about possibilities.
It may rain during the night. Jack might be at home by now.
The keys could be in the car.
You use must and cant to make logical deductions. Usually the deduction is
based on something you know now.
You must be hungry. I know you havent eaten anything.
That cant be an insect. Its got too many legs.
You use must and mustnt to talk about obligations.
Passengers must switch off their mobile phones. You mustnt park here.
i
Modal verbs
65
TEST IT FIX IT ENGLISH VERBS AND TENSES INTERMEDIATE
Oxford University Press www.oup.com/elt
TEST IT FIX IT ENGLISH VERBS AND TENSES INTERMEDIATE
Oxford University Press www.oup.com/elt