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Task 1. Comment on the meaning of modal verbs in the sentences below.

1. He’s not here - he must have left. (deduction).

2. Shall I carry that for you? (willingness)

3. They won’t be here for a while. (prediction).

4. Would you like me to carry that for you?(willingness)

5. You must phone me as soon as you have left. (giving orders)

6. They said they would be here soon.(prediction)

7. You should make less noise when other people are asleep. (complaining)

8. You have to wear a uniform.(=It’s a regulation) (obligation)

9. You could at least have asked me before taking the money.(complaining)

10. Could I ask you to do me a favour? (making requests)

11. The Prime Minister is to visit our city next week. (arrangement or plan for the future)

12. Visitors may not use the car park.(prohibition)

13. The interview can be arranged for the next week.(possibility)

14. Ann must be in France now (= I’m certain)(certainty)

15. Who could have done such a terrible thing? (incredulity)


Task 2. Decide whether the following statements about the use of modal verbs are true or false. Correct the false statements. Use some examples from Task 1 to illustrate your answer.

1. There are 10 modal verbs in English: can, may, must, could, might, ought to, shall, should, will, would. Modals are quite different from other verbs in forms and functions./T

2. The same modal can express different meanings and perform different functions./T

3. Different modals cannot express similar meanings./F

4. Modals can affect the level of formality and politeness./T

5. Modals do not exist in all tenses./T

6. Must is often personal and expresses someone’s opinion, while have to often refers to laws and regulations./T

7. Sometimes we can use one modal verb after another./F

8. Could always has past meaning./F

9. When you ask for permission, could is more polite than can and less hesitant./F

10. May not is used to express strong prohibition./T

11. To express probability or prediction we use modal verbs should, ought to, will, would/T

12. When we want to complain, we use could, should(not), ought (not),

13. The construction be with the infinitive is often used to talk about arrangements and plans for the future./T

14. We can’t use modals with the passive forms of the verb./F

15. Can and must are used to express positive and negative certainty. / T

Task 3. Complete the sentences with the verbs in parenthesis. Use must, should, may, might, could, have to, be to, needn’t. In some sentences more than one modal is possible. The first one is done for you.

1. Look! Those people who are coming in the door are carrying wet umbrellas. It (rain). It must be raining.

2. Why is Margaret in her room? = I don’t know. She (do) __________ her homework.

3. Do you smell smoke? – I sure do. Something (burn)_________.

4. What are you doing? – I’m watching TV, but I (study) ___. I have a test tomorrow.

5. Did Ed really mean what he said yesterday? – I don’t know. He (kid) ____ when he said that but who knows?

6. Let’s go to the lecture tonight. It (be____ interesting.

7. Here are tour tickets. Your flight (depart) ____from Gate 15 at 6.27.

8. Hmm. I wonder what’s causing the delay. Ellen’s plane (be) ___ here an hour ago.

9. I don’t have enough money to take the bus, so I (walk) ____ home.

10. Hurry up, we’re late! We (be ready) ___ hours ago.

11. ( borrow) _____your calculator for a moment? – I’m sorry but I’m using it.

12. Terry has done so little work, he (come) ______ to class today.

13. I locked the door, so that we (continue) ___ our discussion undisturbed.

14. You (go) ___ shopping today. We have everything for dinner,

15. The traffic warden said we (park) ____ the car outside the bank.


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