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Modal Verbs of Probability Explanations and Exercises

Listed below are examples and uses of modal verbs of probability. Modal verbs of probability are used to express an opinion of the speaker based on information that the speaker has. Example: He must be at work; it's 10 o'clock. In this case, the speaker is 100 % sure that the person is at work based on the speaker's knowledge that the person in question usually works at during the day. Examples They must be in Spain by now. She must have done well on the test. She might come this evening. David may invite Use 'might' or 'may' to express an Jesica to the opinion that you think has a good match. possibility of being true. Jack might have gone to France. Jane could be at Use 'could' to express a possibility which work. is one of many. This form is not as strong as 'might' or 'may'. It is just one of a Peter could have number of possibilities. arrived late. You can't be serious! Use 'can't' to express an opinion that you are 100% sure is NOT true. Usage Use 'must' plus the verb when you are 100% (or almost 100%) sure that something is the case.

They can't have Notice that the past form remains 'can't worked until have done' late. Structure In the present: Subject + Modal + Base Form + Objects must be I might be You He, She at work. We could be They can't be In the past: Subject + Modal + Perfect Form + Objects I must have left early. You He, She might have left We They

could have left can't have left Modal Verbs of Probability Exercises Use must, might, may, could or can't plus the correct form of the verb. EXERCISE 1 1. Where is David? He _________________ (be) at school. Classes begin at 8. 2. She_________________ (think) that it is a good idea. It's crazy! 3. I'm absolutely sure! They _________________ (arrive) yesterday, I saw their ticket. 4. Are you joking! David _________________ (go) to Paris last week. He doesn't have enough money. 5. They _________________ (live) in New York, but I'm not sure. 6. The concert _________________(be) wonderful last night. Fiore is a great conductor. 7. John _______________________ (be) at work, or perhaps hes at the gym or even the pub! 8. Jane _______________________ (leave) the party with John last night, but Im not sure. EXERCISE 2 Rewrite these sentences using must or cant. 1. Im sure shes at home. 2. Im certain youre crazy. 3. I know that isnt Janet shes in the USA. 4. Im sure she thinks Im stupid. 5. I bet I look silly in this coat. 6. Theyre always buying new cars Im certain they make a lot of money. KEY TO EXERCISE 1 1. must be 2. cant think 3. must have arrived 4. cant have gone 5. might live 6. must have been 7. could be 8. may/might have left KEY TO EXERCISE 2 1. She must be at home. 2. You must be crazy. 3. That cant be Janet. 4. She must think Im stupid. 5. I must look silly in this coat. 6. They must make a lot of money.