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Unit 14

1. Modals and adverbs
2. Permission, obligation, prohibition

In this unit you will be able to understand body language, explain

gestures and meanings, describe emotions, and ask about signs and

1. Modals and adverbs


Modals are auxiliary verbs that are used with main verbs to give
advice and express ideas like ability, necessity, or possibility.

These are some of the most common modals:

can could may might should must

The verb following the modal is always the base or simple form.


Jessica can speak three languages.

I must finish my homework.

You should take a break. You look tired.

*Never use “to” between the modal and the verb:

I must to finish my homework.



 The modal “can” is used to express ability:

They can play the guitar.

Ben can fly an airplane.

 It is possible to use “can” in interrogative sentences to express

permission or possibility:

Can I use your cell phone?

Can they come to the party?


 The modal could expresses possibility:

My son likes singing. He could be an artist.

Could you help me?


 May is used to express possibility in the future:

It may rain in the afternoon.

They may come tomorrow.

 May is also be used for permissions:

You may leave now.

You may use your cell phone.


 Might is used to indicate possibilities in the future. It can be as a

synonym for may:

It might rain in the afternoon.

They might come tomorrow.


 Should is used to express advice. It expresses opinions about

what it is correct or not.

You should learn a foreign language.

They should eat more vegetables.


 The modal must indicates obligation, prohibition or necessity.

You must brush your teeth everyday

You must not speak during the exam.

We must meet tomorrow.

Adverbs of probability

Adverbs of probability tell us the likelihood of something

Some of them are:

maybe perhaps possibly probably Definitely


Maybe it will rain tomorrow.

Perhaps they come tomorrow.

Probably she doesn’t like the food.

Definitely he is in love with you.

Now, you will practice modals and adverbs to talk about meaning.

Look at this picture. What does her gesture mean?

Slight possibility

It might/may mean she is unhappy. Maybe it means she is unhappy.

It could mean she is mad. It possibly means she is mad.

It must mean she is bored It definitely means she is bored.

Strong possibility
What do these gestures mean? Match the pictures with the phrases.

1. It might mean be quiet

2. Maybe it means come here

3. That must mean good luck

4. It probably means excellent

5. It definitely means sit down

6. That must mean he is hungry

1. Permission, obligation, prohibition
You can use modals to express permission, obligation and prohibition.


Can Have to Can’t
Be allowed to Have got to Not to be allowed to

As you can see, the man in the picture is in

prison. His name is George and here you’ll
read some of the things he is allowed to do, he
can´t do, and he has to do there.


He can exercise everyday

He is allowed to write or call his family


He has to get up early

He has got to wear a prison uniform


He can´t go to the movies.

He isn’t allowed to go out.

What do the next international signs mean? Match the pictures to the

1. You can park your car here.

2. You’re not allowed to bring your dog.

3. You are allowed to smoke here.

4. You can’t park here.

5. You have to throw the trash in the


6. You can smoke here

Now write about the signs below:

You can’t drink from ________________ ________________

the tap water. ________________ ________________

________________ _________________ _______________

________________ _________________ ________________

Further practice: