Студопедия — Exercise 3. Translate the following sentences with the modal verb can denotingstrong doubt referring to the present or past.
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Exercise 3. Translate the following sentences with the modal verb can denotingstrong doubt referring to the present or past.

1. He didn't mean, he surely couldn't mean, that the house had been left to Althea and not to her! She couldn't believe it — she really couldn't. How could Robert do such a thing? 2. Mrs. Traill couldn't have heard her in the summer-house at twenty past ten, she couldn't possibly have heard her say, "How dare you, Nicholas Carey!" 3. You couldn't take the most important step of your life unless you did know how you felt about it. 4. Minnie, how can you be so silly? 5. "How can you have told such lies, Martin?" said Antonia. 6. "He asked me to meet you and give you his apologies for not being here as he promised." "Couldn't he have sent you to fetch the doctor?" 7. She was dead. I thought it was her heart, but Dr Harrington said she had been murdered. But it couldn't be Nicky, it couldn't, couldn't — couldn't be Nicky. He couldn't have done a thing like that 8. Wainwright was incredu­lous. Facing Alex Vandervoort, across the latter's desk, he protested, "You can't be serious." 9. You know she couldn't have seen who it was this second time. 10. You certainly couldn't do anything of the sort. 11. It couldn't be—no, no, it couldn't be that they were interested in him. 12. "Good God! You can't have forgotten," cried Stanley Burnell. 13. Bertha looked up with a start. Could a man at the end of the nineteenth century seriously begin an oration with those words?

Exercise 4. State the meaning of the verb can. Translate into Russian.

1. "Isn't anybody going to ask me to sit down?" said Sturtevant. "You can sit down if you can find a chair," said Andrey. 2. I felt so shy that I could think of nothing to say. 3. Marie Louise: "I am not a fool, Constance. I can learn." 4. Until he came near I could not see his face. 5. So you can see that we have a serious problem but that it is not an immediate one. 6. You can't prove anything. 7. I could see he wasn't quite sure of me. 8. I could not sleep and lay tossing from side to side. 9. One can't write letters to anyone one never sees for fifteen years. 10. Let us sit down and see what can be done to help you. Do you feel able to tell me what has happened? 11. How can you sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can't make out You seem to me to be perfectly heartless. 12. "We can keep the fact of having done so quite secret." — "Can we? I'm not so sure." 13. This is Major Petkoff's house; you can't come in here. 14. Mrs. Hitchcock: "Can you pay for it?" Bargee: "Of course, I can pay." 15. Oh, how can you say such a thing? 16. Couldn't we sit down and eat? 17. "I can hardly believe it." said Rosemary. "You and Antonia are parting after such a long time." 18. "I am call­ing to ask, could I come over a cup of coffee?" 19. Can we talk about something else? 20. I cannot trust you. You whose whole life was a lie, how could you speak the truth about anything?


Exercise 5. Translate the following sentences paying atten­tion to the form of the infinitive after the modal verb can.

1. My two excellent secretaries, Miss Hernshaw and Miss Seelhalf, could get on perfectly well on their own. I prized these girls exceedingly as they could write accurate and even witty business letters in French and German. 2. She couldn't go home: Ethel was there. It would frighten Ethel out of her life. She couldn't sit on a bench anywhere; people would come asking her questions. 3. She went back to them when she could have got away. 4. Mr. Fortescue cannot have been a very nice man. 5. My assets were few, but definite. I could type. I had a car. I could act after a fashion, though I hadn't for years — not much use, that one. I could cook, sort of. 6. What was Constantia thinking? She had such a strange smile, she looked different. She couldn't be going to cry. 7. "I thought I could watch them travelling, crawling like gold flies on the ceiling," he continued in a slow sing­song. 8. Two more desperate personalities could scarcely be imagined; yet they took to one an­other almost at sight. 9. After all, it could have been just a casual supper together. 10. No one could have known beforehand that she was going to be in that house. 11. Strange how I could talk to him now, argue with him, listen to his point of view on things, and not ever get angry or offended. 12. Of course, I realise that Mr Fortescue can't have been himself shouting like this. 13. The wink was so quick that nobody but I could have caught it, and so unexpected in that distinguished old face that I could hardly believe my eyes. 14. I couldn't have been sorrier myself. It was all so ab­surd. You know how those things can happen. 15. When they were together, a more practical, busi­ness relationship could not have been imagined. 16. "No one could have got in." "No," admit­ted the lawyer. "I don't see how they could."


Exercise 6. Use the correct form of the infinitive in brackets.

1. It's so absurd. I can't even (to be angry) with you. 2. I could never really (to understand) what she saw in John. 3. It always amazed me that he of all people could (to bring) himself to marry a foreign­er, but maybe he was more liberal when he was young­er. 4. He could (to see) that she was pulling her­self together. Her colour was returning to normal. 5. A girl with a simple, unspoiled nature, like Gwendolen, could hardly (to expect) to reside in the country. 6. Could anyone (to get) in without your knowledge? Were you asleep? 7. They were strangers, they couldn't (to expect) to understand that father was the very last person for such a thing to hap­pen to. 8. Call upon me if there is any thing I can (to do). 9. It can't (to do), not at present. The money just isn't here in the business. You know that as well as I do. 10. I could not (to let) this go uncorrected. It's pretty generally known that when at school I won a prize for scripture knowledge. 11. I don't think anyone can (to accuse) me of not be­ing frank. 12. Is there nothing I can (to say) to make you reconsider your decision? 13. I couldn't (to believe) my eyes. 14. Has Harry broken the news to you that he can't (to come down) to us on Saturday? 15. You know, Raine, in the few minutes we've been talking here you could (to tell) me what drove you to take this decision. 16. He decided that with great care it could (to do). 17. We can only (to be) friends in future. 18. The boots of Albert could (to hear) racing upstairs. 19. Ada was worried, but I couldn't (to bring) myself to treat the matter seriously. 20. It's a pity to waste a fine evening like this when I could (to walk) by the sea. 21. Some method of communica­tion can (to work) out.


Exercise 7. Circle the correct answer:

1. I…. remember his name. A) am not able to; B) can’t; C) cannot to.

2. Dan …. the guitar. A) can play; B) can to play; C) is able to play.

3. She …. come on holiday next month if her parents give her permission. A) can; B) could; C) will be able to.

4. They ….go. the weather was too bad. A) couldn’t; B) can’t; C) wasn’t able to.

5. Can you lend me some money? No, I …. I haven’t got any either. A) can’t; B) am able to; C) couldn’t.

6. Sorry, Teacher. I …. do it yet. A) wasn’t able to; B) couldn’t; C) haven’t be able to.

7. He …. pass the exam if he studied harder. A) will be able to; B) can; C) would be able to.

8. The fishing boat sank but luckily all the crew …. save themselves. A) were able to; B) could; C) wasn’t able to.

9. We …. go to the party. We are going to a wedding that day. A) couldn’t; B) won’t be able to; C) will can’t.


Exercise 8. Complete each sentence with one pair of words and appropriate forms of can, could or be able to.


difficult/managed fly/swimming stay/unflappable
feel/numb illiterate/read successful/tried


1. Penguins are birds that ……………, but ……………… use their wings for ……………

2. An …………….person is someone who ……………….… calm in difficult situations.

3. It was so cold that my fingers were ………………. and I ………………. anything.

4. When people are ………………., they ……………………….. or write.

5. A …………. person is someone who has ………….do what he or she……………to do.

6. If you ………….. to finish a task, it means you ……………..do it, even though it was……….

Exercise 9. Use can or could.

1. How…........I explain that I wanted to get away — far away from London, even from England.

2. How……he live in a place like that! — an egg-box. You……..hear the people in the next flat breathing! 3. George was not alone. I ……..hear voices as I approached and waited a while before knocking. 4. Before I………even think what action to take, David signified that he was chilled, tired and hungry. 5. Mrs. Driffield said I………always bring anyone inter­esting. 6. If you……… (not) get him, ring up Sir James Peel, you'll find his number in the book. 7. She was sitting with her back to me, so I …….. (not) see her face. 8. I…….. (not) stand your coming here and talking about little Tup­pence. 9. I……… (not) remember now the exact details of Henry's illness. 10. It puzzled her, I……..see. 11. I'll be there, sir. You………count on me. 12. I felt so shy, that I………..think of nothing to say. 13. "Then, I fear!" I said gravely, "that there is nothing to be done. One………..only wait and hope."


Exercise 10. Refer the following to the past or future. Make all the necessary changes.

1. That is about all I can do for the moment 2. We can't allow you to leave without having a meal. 3. The headmaster's wife keeps on asking me to dinner. It's a perfect nuisance. I never get an evening to myself in that place. — But can't you refuse? 4. One can't call her a beauty, but she has flair — her talent for deco­rating begins with herself. 5. You can go to the Gar­den Club while I'm away. 6. We can gain time by hold­ing out here as long as possible. 7. Mother is asleep, and I can't wake her. 8. The guests always expect me to say clever things, and I never can think of any till after the party is over. 9. It's raining again and I can't walk the grounds. 10. I can't get in touch with him in such a short time. 11. How can you hope to make a suc­cess of any job if you don't use your brains? 12. This naughty child can twist her mother round her little finger. 13. How can I assure you that I mean no disre­spect? 14. He can't understand what she finds wrong with him. 15. I can't make out what you mean. Your speech is so incoherent.


Exercise 11. Change the sentences using can in the correct form.

1. The event has proved that it was impossible to do so without his great gifts. 2. You are a new man, I am unable to recognise you, David. 3. She was able to recognise the voices with a reasonable amount of accuracy. 4. Only in the matter of a car were the Quills unable to keep up an appearance of their former glo­ry. 5. She had not slept since midnight. She had not been able to swallow any breakfast. 6. I was never able to feel that I belonged to the modern theatre. 7. I don't know that I have been able to do much for you, Robert, as yet. In fact, I have not been able to do any­thing for you, as far as I can see. I am thoroughly dis­appointed with myself. 8. Behind Conway the Cap­tain said, "You understand, Doctor, that Lonvellin is unable to leave the ship." 9. Naturally he has been unable to do it. 10. I have been able to entertain my friends and to help people whom I wanted to help. 11. She will not be able to answer your question. 12. I am terribly sorry not to be able to ask you to lunch, but we're having it early in rather a rush and leav­ing immediately after. 13. My hands trembled so much that it was only at the third attempt that I was able to dial the Pelham Crescent number correctly. 14. I don't believe it is really true. 15. After consulta­tion they were fairly well agreed as to direction, so we were able to hire a taxi without more ado. 16. "You spoke of wanting a statement from her," he said. "Supposing she is not able to give one?" 17. "I won­der if we'll ever be able to be more open about this?" said Georgie. "I do rather hate the lies."


Exercise 12. Translate the following paying attention to the constructions in bold type. Use the constructions in sentences of your own.

1. Well, it was about ten. I can't say exactly. 2. " I can see," I said gently, "that you have been very unhappy." 3. My dear, I can't help being pleased and flattered. 4. You can't deny that he's clever, a good deal cleverer than I am. 5. I can't bring myself to take it seriously. 6. I cannot but think that he was a better mas­ter to follow than the English novelists who at that time influenced the young. 7. I cannot but state my belief that the prose drama to which I have giv­en so much of my life will soon be dead. 8. Al­together it was an inspiring and calming sight, but Conway couldn't stop worrying. 9. Such was my paralysis of surprise that I could do nothing ex­cept stare at him. 10. The client went off in the direction from which Althea was coming, so that Mr. Martin really couldn't help seeing her. 11. Now he felt that he could stop being an organizer and go back to being a doctor, 12. You can't possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. 13. Nothing can possibly go wrong if we work together. 14. He couldn't help but admire her. 15. I can't afford to take the care of myself that he does. 16. I can't tell you how dis­tressed I was at that terrible scene.

Exercise 13. Use the verb can in the correct form followed by the proper form of the infinitive.

1. Your English is quite good for a beginner. You _______(to read) English books in the orig­inal. 2. Do you think that our team _______ (to win)? 3. The man was very impolite. How_______you (to bear) him? 4. Peter was ill and_______ (not to study) for a month. 5. If your friends are planning to go to the country you_______ (to join) them. 6. I_______ (not to bear) the heat here. 7. Now that the exams are over we_______ (to have) a good rest. 8. I just caught sight of Peter as I was leaving the Institute but he jumped into a bus before I_______ (to speak) to him. 9. She is tall for her age already. And she_______ (to grow) even taller. 10. He_______ (to make) good progress in his study of English because he worked hard. 11. Is there any­thing the matter with him? He looks so upset! He_______ (to fail) at the exam. 12. My friend

invited me to the theatre with him, but I_______ not (to afford) going. I had too much work to do.


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