§1. Ability: can, could, be able to
We use can to say that someone has the ability or opportunity to do something. The negative of can is cannot (contraction: can't).
Can you swim?
He can play the guitar.
It's nice today. We can sit in the garden.
I can't open this bottle.
Can usually expresses the idea that something is possible because certain characteristics or conditions exist. Can combines the ideas of possibility and ability.
Tom is strong. He can lift that heavy box. (It
is possible for Tom to lift that box because
he is strong.)
I can play the piano. I've taken lessons for
many years. (It is possible for me to play the
piano because I have acquired that ability.)
That race car can go very fast. (It is possible
for that car to go fast because of its special
Can you meet me tomorrow evening? (Is it
possible for you to meet me? Will you be free?)
We can use be able to instead of can eg Are you able to swim? but can is more common.
Could and was/were able to
We can use could to say that someone had the general ability to do something in the past.
I could swim when I was 4 years old.
My sister could talk when she was 15 months
We also use was/were able to with this meaning. I was able to swim when I was 4 years old.
But when we want to say that someone had the ability to do something, and that they did it in a particular situation, we must use was/were able to (could is not possible).
Even though I'd hurt my leg, I was able to swim back to the boat. (Not: ... I could swim
The manager wasn't in the office
for very long, but we were able to speak to him for a few minutes. (Not:
could ayeak to him ...)
We can use managed to (+ infinitive) or succeeded in (+ -ing form) instead of was/were able to in this meaning.
Even though I'd hurt my leg, I managed to swim back to the boat/I succeeded in swimming back to the boat.
We normally use managed to or succeeded in when the action was difficult to do.
There is an exception with the verbs of perception see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and some verbs of thinking eg understand, remember. We use could
with these verbs when we actually did these things in particular situations.
We could see a man in the garden.
I could hear a noise outside my bedroom door.
We use could not (contraction: couldn't) for both general ability and particular situations.
My grandmother couldn't dance.
He tried very hard, but he couldn't swim back
to the boat.
Could have ...
We use could have + past participle to say that someone had the ability or the opportunity to do something in the past but did not do it.
You could have helped me. Why didn't you? I could have gone to China on holiday last year, but I decided not to.
Expressing ability in other forms: be able to
Can has no infinitive, -ing form or participles. So, when necessary, we make these forms with be able to.
I'd like to be able to play the
piano. (We cannot say I'd like to can play ... ) In the future, people will be able to live on other planets. (We
cannot say ...
people will can live ... )
She enjoys being able to speak
foreign languages. (We cannot say
Ghe enjoys canning ...) I've been
able to drive since I was 18. (We cannot say I've could ...)
We use can to talk about 'theoretical possibility'.
You can ski on the hills. (= It is possible to ski, i.e. circumstances permit: there is enough snow. )
Anyone can learn to swim. (= It is possible for anyone to learn to swim.)
We can't bathe here on account of the sharks. (It isn't safe.)
Can you get to the top of the mountain in one day? (Is it possible?)
In this use, can often has a similar meaning to 'sometimes'.
My brother can be very nice. (= My brother is sometimes very nice.) The Straits of Dover can be very rough. (= It is possible for the Straits to be rough; this sometimes happens.)
We use could to talk about theoretical possibility in the past.
My brother could be really horrible when he was a child.
/. Supply can, can't, could, couldn't, was/were able to, managed to. Alternatives are possible.
I. A good 1500-metre runner ... run the race in under four minutes. 2. Bill is so unfit he ... run at all."3. Our baby is
- only nine months and he ... already stand up. 4. When I was younger, I... speak Italian much better than I... now. 5. He ... draw or paint at all when he was a boy, but now he's a famous artist. 6. ... she speak German very well? - No, she ... speak German at all. 7. After weeks of training, I ... swim a length of the baths underwater. 8. It took a long time, but in the end Tony ... save enough to buy his own hi-fi. 9. Did you buy any fresh fish in the market? - No, I ... get any. 10. For days the rescuers looked for the lost climbers in the snow. On the fourth day they saw them and ... reach them without too much trouble..
II. Rewrite these sentences using can, can't, could or couldn't.
1. Do you see that man over there? 2. I smell something burning. 3.1 understood what he said. 4. Did you understand what he said? 5. I don't see anyone. 6. I didn't understand
what he said. 7. I don't remember his name. 8. Did you hear any noise at night? 9. Do you see a bird in that tree?
III. Supply suitable forms of be able to in these sentences.
Our teacher says we ... speak English fluently in a few months. 2. I've been trying for hours, but so far I (not) ... get through on the phone. 3. If he had asked me earlier, I ... help him. 4. I'm sure she would have helped you if she ... 5. I think I ... play tennis better after a bit of practice. 6. You ... ski when you go to Geneva. 7. It's nice ... go to the opera. 8. He has managed to live in England for years without ... speak English. 9. I'm practising hard because I want to ... pass my driving test first time. 10. If I ... sing, I would have loved to be an opera singer. 11. It's been a quiet day, I ... get some work done.
IV. Fill the following spaces, using can for present, could for past and shall/will be able for future. There is no need to use other able forms in this section. Put to where necessary before the infinitives.
1. ... you stand on your head? - I ... when I was at school but I (not) ... now. 2. When I've passed my driving test I ... hire a car from our local garage. 3. At the end of the month the Post Office will send him an enormous telephone bill which he (not) ... pay. 4. I (not) ... remember the address. - ... (not) you even remember the street? 5. When the fog lifts we ... see where we are. 6. You've put too much in your rucksack; you never ... carry all that. 7. When I was a child I (not) ... understand adults, and now that I am an adult I (not)... understand children. 8. When you have taken your degree you ... work as an interpreter? 9. Don't try to look at all the pictures in the gallery. Otherwise when you get home you (not) ... remember any of them. 10. When I first went to Spain I... read Spanish but I (not) ... speak it. 11. ... you type? - Yes, I... type but I (not)... do shorthand. 12. I'm locked in. I (not) ... get out! - ... you (not) squeeze between the bars? - No! I ... ; I'm too fat.
V. Complete the sentences using could or was/were able to.
Sometimes either form is possible,
1. He was very strong; he ... ski all day and dance all night.
The car plunged into the river. The driver ... get out but the passengers were drowned. 3. I was a long way from the stage. I ... see all right but I (not) ... hear very well. 4. We ... borrow umbrellas, so we didn't get wet. 5. ... you walk or did they have to carry you? 6. I had no key so I (not) ... lock the door. 7. I knew the town so I ... advise him where to go. 8. When the garage had repaired our car we ... continue our journey. 9. At five years old he ... read quite well. 10. When I arrived everyone was asleep. Fortunately I ... wake my sister and she let me in. 11. The swimmer was very tired but he ... reach the shore before he collapsed. 12. The police were suspicious at first but I... convince them that we were innocent. 13. We ... put out the fire before much damage was done. 14. My daughter ... walk when she was only 11 months old. 15.1 ... finish all the work you wanted me to do yesterday. 16. ... you speak French before you went to live in Paris? - I (not) ... speak it very well. 17. They were talking quite loudly. I ... hear everything they said. 18. I looked everywhere for the book but I (not) ... find it. 19. He had hurt his leg, so he (not) ... walk very well. 20. She wasn't at home when I phoned but I ... contact her at the office. 21.1 looked very carefully and I... see a figure in the distance. 22. They didn't have any tomatoes in the first shop I went to, but I... get some in the next shop. 23. The boy fell into the river but fortunately we ... rescue him. 24. Did you persuade them? - Yes. It was difficult but we ... persuade them. 25. Did they find your house? - Yes. It took them a long time but they ... find it. 26. He (not) ... come to the meeting last week. He was sick.
VI. Complete the sentences using can or could where possible. If can or could is not possible, use a form of be able to.
1. When Robert was younger he ... run quite fast. 2. Look! You ... see the mountains from this window. 3. How long ...
you ... play the guitar? 4. Look! I ... lift this chair with one hand. 5. I'm sorry but I (not) ... come to the party on Saturday. 6. I (not) ... sleep very well recently. 7. Tom ... drive but he hasn't got a car. 8. I can't understand Martin. I ... never... understand him. 9. I used ... stand on my head but I can't do it now. 10. Ask Ann about your problem. I think she ... help you. 11. Did you win the match? - Yes. It wasn't easy but I ... win it. 12. I (not) ... swim very far these days but ten years ago I ... swim from one side of the lake to the other. 13. I ... read a book by moonlight but I (not) ... read in sunlight. 14. Where are the keys? I (not) ... find them last night. 15. The theatre seats were awful. We (not) ... see the stage. 16. The show is very popular but luckily I ... get two seats for Saturday. 17. My car broke down and I (not) ... drive it for a week. 18. The exam was easy. I ... do all the questions. 19. It's nice ... sleep on Sundays. 20. After the accident he (not) ... smell or taste anything. 21.1 lost all my money but fortunately I... borrow some from my friends. 22. When Lynn was younger she (not) ... afford to buy a camera, but she has a good job now, and she ... afford several cameras. 23. By the way, ... you ... find that tie you borrowed last night? - Uh ... no. If I (not) ... find it, I'll buy you a new one. OK? - It was my favourite tie. - I know, Dad. I've looked everywhere, and I (not) ... find it. But I'll keep looking. 24. If they (not) ... fix the car today, they can fix it tomorrow. 25. Mr Wilson is taking a course in Computer Programming. At the moment he (not) ... write complicated programs, but soon he ... write them quite well. 26. Julie is taking a typing course. She knows she ... pass her secretarial exams next year unless she improves her typing speed. She's doing well, and soon she ... type 60 words a minute.
VII. Substitute could for the italicized verbs if possible.
1. We had a good time yesterday. We went to the zoo. The children enjoyed themselves very much. They saw polar bears and elephants. (No substitution of 'could' is possible.) 2. When I lived in St. Louis, I went to the zoo whenever I wanted to,
but now I live in a small town and the nearest zoo is a long way away. ('/ could go' can be used instead of 'I went' to give the idea of 'used to be able to.') 3. Usually I don't have much time to watch TV, but last night I watched the news while I was eating dinner. I heard the news about the political situation in my country. 4. When I lived at home with my parents, I watched TV every day if I wanted to, but now while I'm going to school, I live in a small apartment and don't have a television set. 5. When I worked as a secretary, I was able to type 60 words a minute without making a mistake. My typing skills aren't nearly as good now. 6. Yesterday I typed these reports for my boss. I don't type very well, but I was able to finish the reports without making too many mistakes. 7. When I went to my favourite fishing hole last Saturday, I caught two fish. I brought them home and cooked them for dinner. 8. When I was a child, the river that flows through our town had plenty of fish. My mother used to go fishing two or three times a week. Usually she caught enough for our dinner within an hour or so. 9. Last night Mark and I had an argument about politics. Finally, I managed to convince him that I was right. 10. My grandfather was a merchant all his life. He knew how to make a sale by using psychology. He was able to convince anyone to buy anything whether they needed it or not. 11. The game we went to yesterday was exciting. The other team played good defence, but my favourite player managed to score two goals. 12. When I ran into Mrs Forks yesterday, I recognized her even though I hadn't seen her for years.
VIII. Complete the sentences with could and the verb in parentheses if possible. If the use of could is not possible, provide any other appropriate completion.
1. When I was younger, I ... up late without getting sleepy, but now I always go to bed early, (stay) 2. Last night we ... to a restaurant. The food was delicious, (go) 3. The teacher gave the students plenty of time for the test yesterday. All of them ... it before the time was up. (complete) 4. I was
tired, but I ... my work before I went to bed last night, (finish) 5. Last night I ... TV for a couple of hours. Then I studied, (watch) 6. I like to ride my bicycle. I ... it to work when we lived on First Street but now I can't. Now I have to drive because we live too far away, (ride) 7. Susan ... her bicycle to work yesterday instead of walking, (ride) 8. The picnic yesterday was a lot of fun. All of us ... it a lot. (enjoy) 9. After years of devoted work, Mr Bailey finally ... a raise in salary last April, (get) 10. I ... long distances when I was a teenager, (swim) 11. I had to put together my daughter's tricycle. It came from the factory unassembled. It was a struggle and took me a long time, but in the end I ... it together, (get).
IX. Respond using can or can't.
Example Is it possible to buy sweets at Buckingham
No, you can't buy sweets at Buckingham Palace. Example. Is it possible to go to the top of the Post Office
Yes, you can go to the top of the Post Office
Is it possible to buy sweets at Buckingham Palace?
Is it possible to go to the top of the Post Office Tower?
Is it possible to have clothes washed at the hairdresser's?
Is it possible to put all your clothes in a handbag?
Is it possible to go by train from London to Bristol?
Is it possible to swim in a boat?
Is it possible to swim when the tide is in?
Is it possible to book seats at the theatre?
Is it possible to have clothes made at the launderette?
10. Is it possible to get medicine at the newsagent's?
X. Complete the sentences using can or could and the verbs in the box. Use each verb only once.
grow be make reach live survive cross
Example Tigers can be dangerous.
Elephants ... for up to 70 years.
Temperatures near the South Pole ... minus 43 degrees centigrade.
A hundred years ago ships ... the Atlantic in 10 days.
4. Camels ... for up to 17 weeks in the desert without water.
Dinosaurs ... up to 5 meters long.
Anyone ... mistakes.
XI. Rewrite these sentences with can or could be.
The sea is often rough in the harbour.
2. She is bad tempered at times.
She was often rude when she was a girl.
It is often cold here in winter.
He was often helpful when he wanted to be.
He was often naughty when he was a boy.
Winter here is often really cold.
XII. After their climb, Stephen and his friends were all very hungry, hot, tired, thirsty, and happy. Use could with items in the box to complete their exclamations:
drink 8 bottles of lemonade sleep for 24 hours look at them all day
eat a kilo of rice melt
Stephen: I'm so hungry I could eat a kilo of rice! Julie: I'm not hungry, but I'm so thirsty ...
John: I didn't sleep well last night. I'm so tired ...
Anne: Me too. And the weather needs to be cooler to
climb mountains - I'm so hot ... Julie: The mountains are so beautiful, though. I ...
Later, Julie wrote a postcard to her parents, and described how everyone had felt:
Stephen was so hungry he could have eaten a kilo of rice.
Continue her letter, writing the other sentences in the same way:
I wasn't hungry, but I was so thirsty I .... John and Anne were so tired they ... , and Anne was so hot she ... . The mountains were so beautiful, though. I ....
XIII. Write the most appropriate 'wish' for the people in the sentences below, using the words in the table:
a new car
I wish I/ we could...
Someone on a diet: 'I wish I could eat cakes.'
2. Someone locked out of their house:'_________________'
3. Students taking an English exam:'__________________'
4. Someone whose car won't start:'____________________'
5. An unemployed person:'_____ _______ ______ ____________'
6. Some people who have just bought a new computer:'____'
XIV. Paraphrase using 'be able to' instead of 'can'.
Example-. If I hadn't done well at school, I couldn't have gone to university.
If I hadn't done well at school, I wouldn't have been able to go to university.
If I hadn't done well at school, I couldn't have gone to university.
Even if I hadn't gone to university, I could have worked for this firm.
If I hadn't won a scholarship, my parents couldn't have afforded to send me.
If my parents had had more money, I could have stayed for three more years.
If my brother had worked harder, he could have gone to university too.
If John hadn't given Mary so many presents, he could have bought a car.
7. If he had bought a car, he could have taken his friends to Italy in it.
8. If I hadn't studied hard, I couldn't have passed my exams.
XV. Robert Wells is 52 years old. Sometimes he feels that he has wasted his life.
Read about Robert. Replace the words in italics with could have ... , as in the example.
Example: When Robert was 26 he had the chance to get married, but he decided not to. When Robert was 26 he could have got married, but he decided not to.
Robert had the ability to go to university, but he didn't want to go.
2. He had the intelligence to pass his final exams at school, but he didn't take them.
A lot of people thought he had the ability to be a professional footballer when he was younger, but he didn't try.
He had the opportunity to start his own business once, but he didn't want to.
He had the chance to emigrate to Australia a few years ago, but he decided not to.
XVI. Write could (have), managed to or an appropriate form of able to in each gap.
1. What's forty-eight divided by eight? I ... never ... to do sums in my head. 2. ... drive has changed my whole life. Now I can go wherever I want without having to worry about public transport. 3. I had a row with Sheila last night about nuclear arms. I... understand the point she was trying to make, but I still didn't agree. 4. A girl was drowning, but I jumped in and ... save her. I ... swim since I was six. 5. The view was breathtaking. You ... see right across the valley to the hills in the distance. 6. Why don't you stop
smoking? You ... do it if you tried. 7. Anna's operation was very successful. The doctors say she ... walk again in a few weeks. 8. I'm learning Russian because I want ... talk to people when I go there next year. 9. We didn't go out last night. We ... (go) to the cinema but we decided to stay at home. 10. If I ... sing as well as you, I would join the opera. 11. I had my last vacation in July. If I'd had enough money, I ... (go) to Florida.
XVII. Complete these sentences using an appropriate form of could or be able to (sometimes both are possible).
When I was at school I ... (speak) German quite well, but last week I met a German at a party and I ... (not understand) a word he said. He spoke a little English and he ... (tell) me that he was staying in England only for a few days. He was a nice man and I would have invited him home if I ... (understand) him better. He didn't look German, in fact he ... (be) English from his appearance. He invited me to Germany next summer and I would go if I ... (afford) it. Mary speaks German and she ... (come) with me if I went. My boss said that I ... (take) my holiday in June if I wanted to. After the party my car wouldn't start, but the German gentleman was staying near where I live so he ... (take) me home in his car. Then, when I got home, I found I didn't have a key, but the kitchen window was open so I ... (climb) in.
XVIII. Translate from Russian into English.
XIX. Study and practise the following texts. Report the conversations. Speak about your skills and achievements.
1. Sarah: Well, there are a lot of things I can't do! I can't draw and I can't drive a car, but I want to have lessons. I can ... I can type and I can use a word processor, because I have one at work and I use it all the time. What about sports? Mm. Well, I certainly can't ski, but I'm quite good at tennis,
yes, I can play tennis. Well, I usually win when I play with my friends. And I can swim, of course. And I can cook. I think I'm a very good, well, no, just good ... a good cook! Now, then ... languages. I can speak French and German, I don't know any Italian at all, and I know about five words in Spanish - adios, manana, paella - no, I can't speak Spanish! And I can't play any musical instruments, not the piano, the guitar, or anything.
Miss Conrad, the new music teacher, wants to start a school orchestra.
Miss Conrad: Well now ... what instruments can you play?
Kevin, can you play the piano? Kevin: No, I can't.
Miss Conrad: Well, what about the recorder? Kevin: Yes, I can play the recorder.
Mark: I can play the recorder too, Miss Conrad.
Miss Conrad: Good! Kevin: My friend Barbara's away today, but she's
very good at music.
Miss Conrad: Oh! Can she play the piano? Kevin: Yes she can.
Miss Conrad: That's great! Now we need a guitar and a
Mr Horn: Miss Abe? Keiko: Yes.
Mr Horn: Please come in. I'm Bruce Horn, Director of
Keiko: I'm pleased to meet you.
Mr Horn: Please sit down. Keiko: Thank you.
Mr Horn: So, you want to be a secretary at United Bank.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? Keiko: Well, I'm 19 years old. I was born in Japan,
and I came here about a year ago. And I'm
studying English and Business at school.
Mr Horn: You can speak English very well.
Keiko: Thank you.
Mr Horn: Do you have any hobbies or special skills?
Keiko: I like to read, and I like to swim.
Mr Horn: Can you use a computer?
Keiko: No, I can't, but I'd like to learn about computers.
Mr Horn: But you can type, can't you?
Keiko: Oh, yes. I can type about sixty words a minute.
Susan: It's really great here in this lake. The water's
so warm. And it's so clean. I can see the bottom. It's quite deep. David: Susan! Be careful. I know you can swim but
you shouldn't swim out too far in such cold
water. Susan: Don't worry about me. I can swim for miles
without getting tired. David: All right then, but I'm getting out. I can't
swim as fast as you and I can't stand being
beaten by a girl!
Olga: Were you able to fix the lawn mower? Eddie: No, so I couldn't mow the lawn. Olga: Ouch!
Eddie: What's the matter? Did you hurt yourself?
Olga: I cut myself.
Eddie: Do you want some help?
Olga: No, I'm all right. I can finish it myself. Why
don't you help your sister clean the living room? There are records and books everywhere.
Eddie: Those are all Isabel's things. Anyway, she
doesn't want help.
Olga: Well, check with your father. I think he's rea-
dy to paint the kitchen, and it's too big for him to paint alone.
Eddie: Do I have to?
Olga: Yes, you have to. He won't be able to do it
by himself. It'll take too long.
6. Mrs Jones: I hear your grandchildren and Mrs Tailor's boys had a narrow escape* at the beach last Sunday, Mrs Smith.
Mrs Smith: Yes, those little bays are so dangerous. They could easily have been drowned.
Mrs Jones: You only have to take your eyes off children for a moment, don't you?
Mrs Smith: That's right... We never dreamed anything like that could happen.
Mrs Jones: It was lucky you were able to find that man with the motor-boat, wasn't it?
Mrs Smith: Yes, and it was lucky that young Tommy is such a good swimmer for his age too.
Mrs Jones: Just think! If anything ever happened, one would never be able to forgive oneself. One would have it on one's conscience for the rest of one's life, wouldn't one?
Mrs Smith: Yes, but you can't watch them every single minute of the day, can you?
Mrs Jones: But one has to try, if one takes one's responsibilities as a parent seriously, don't you think?
Note to have a narrow escape
XX. Complete the sentences with couldn't or was able to.
Retell the text.
Petra was flying a helicopter over the Peruvian jungle when suddenly there was a huge storm. She ... bring the helicopter under control and seconds later the helicopter crashed to the ground. Petra fell 5,000 metres. Luckily she was strapped to her seat. That is how she ... survive the fall. Rescue parties searched the jungle for several days, but they ... find either Petra or the helicopter. Even radar equipment... find her. The jungle was so dense that the rescuers ... see through the trees. Petra knew that she ... survive for long without water. She
... find a river because she had been on a survival training course. She realized that she ... defend herself against wild animals, so she built a shelter. At first Petra ... find any food that was safe to eat. She had studied botany at University, so she ... to recognize the poisonous plants. She ... to find enough to eat for several days at a time.
A. Work with a partner. In a short paragraph, write what you think happened to Petra next. Use couldn't, was able to and managed to, like this:
Petra was bitten by a dangerous insect. She was very ill and she couldn't move for two days. She was hungry and exhausted. Luckily she managed to find some plants and some fruit to eat. When she felt better she decided to light a large fire. Petra was able to send smoke signals and finally ...
B. Take turns to read your paragraph to the class.
XXI. Complete the account of the climb with could/couldn't wherever possible - otherwise use was/were able to. Retell the text.
Stephen and Julie were spending a few days camping with some friends in Snowdonia. On a climb, there was a difficult section. Stephen has long arms and ... climb this easily, but Julie is not so tall and ... reach the hold. In the end, she ... reach it by standing on her friend's shoulders. 'Never mind,' he said. 'I ... get up this bit the first time I tried.' The rest of the climb was easier, and they ... reach the top by 12 o'clock. It was warm and sunny, and they ... see the whole of Snowdonia.
A. Have you ever had any experience of this sort? Could you tell about it?
XXII. Put in suitable forms which express ability. Retell the text.
The journey to Western Papua had been very hard. We ... make much progress in the heavy rain. After two months' journey, we ... see smoke in the distance and knew we must be near a village. There was a boiling river in front of us, but we ... cross it by using a rope bridge we had brought with us. At last we approached the village and wondered how we ... communicate with the chief. None of us ... speak the local language. Soon, a young, dignified and smiling man approached us.'... you speak English?' I asked hopefully. 'Of course,' the young man replied. 'I was educated at Oxford University. I'm Chief Naga. Welcome to my village!'
§2. Permission: can, could, may, might, be allowed to
Asking for permission
We use can, could, may and might to ask for
permission, depending on the situation.
Can is the commonest and most informal: Can I borrow your umbrella (please)?
Could is more polite than can: Could I borrow your umbrella (please)?
May is more formal, more respectful than can and could: May I borrow your umbrella (please)?
Might is the most polite but the least common: Might I borrow your umbrella (please)?
We can add possibly and use the expressions like Do you think and I wonder if to make requests even more polite:
Can/Could/May/Might I possibly borrow your
Do you think I could/Do you think I might
(possibly) borrow your umbrella?
I wonder if I could/I wonder if I might
(possibly) borrow your umbrella?
Giving and refusing permission
We use can or may to give permission (but not could or might). May is formal and not often used in speech.
You can wait in my office if you like. Could I borrow your calculator? - Of course you can. You may watch TV for as long as you like.
To refuse permission we use the negative forms.
I'm sorry, but you can't picnic here. Members may not bring more than two visitors into the club.
We can also use must not.
Bicycles may not (OR must not) be left here.
Talking about permission
We sometimes talk about rules made by someone else. To do this we use can, could and be allowed to. We use can to talk about the present or the future, and we use could for the past:
Present: Each passenger can take one bag onto the plane.
Future: I can't have another day off tomorrow.
Past: Years ago you could park your car any-
We can also use be allowed to:
Present: Passengers are allowed to take one bag
onto the plane. Future: Will I be allowed to record the interview
Past: We weren't allowed to feed the animals at the zoo yesterday.
For a general permission in the past we use either could or was/were allowed to:
I could always stay (OR I was allowed to stay) up late as a child.
But we cannot use could when we mean that an action really happened at a time in the past.
I was allowed to leave work early yesterday. (Not: I could leave ...)
This is like the difference between could and was/ were able to.
Compare questions with may and be allowed to:
May I take a photo of you?
(Asking for permission: 'Will you allow it?')
Are we allowed to take photos?
(Asking about permission: 'What is the rule?')
I. Study and practise the following dialogues.
- Could I go home early, Steve? I don't feel very well.
- Yes, of course. What's the matter?
- I feel dizzy.
- Can I see my sister, doctor?
- I'm afraid you can't. She's being examined by the professor now.
- Could I borrow your car tonight?
- Actually, I need it myself. Sorry.
- May I take this book?
No, please don't. I haven't finished it yet.
- Might I use your bicycle?
- No, I'm afraid not. Sorry.
- Could I possibly use your phone?
- Can (May) I come in for a moment?
- I wonder if I might take the day off?
No, sorry. You ought to finish the report.
- Could I have a look at your magazine?
- Yes, of course.
10. - Do you think I could close the window?
- Please do,
- Could I possibly borrow your bike for half an hour?
Of course you can.
- Can I go swimming now?
- Please don't.
- May I bring a friend with me this afternoon?
- Can I stay here for a while?
- Can I speak to Emily?
I'm afraid you can't. She's out.
II. Ask for permission using the words in the box.
May I sit Do you think I could close Could I have Can I try May I come Can I borrow
in? a look at your magazine? this on? here? your bike for half an hour? the window?
III. Rephrase these notices to give or refuse permission. Begin each sentence with 'You ...'
1. Thank you for not smoking. You may not smoke.
2. No camping or picnicking_____ _______ ______ __________
3. Fishing strictly forbidden_____ _______ ______ ___________
4. Campers welcome__________ ______ ____ _
5. Private-Keep Out__________ ______ ____ _
6. No parking__________ ______ ____ ______
7. Do not lean out of the window_____ _______ ______ ______
8. Leave your litter here_____ _______ ______ _____________
9. No stopping__________ ______ ____ _____
Do not walk on the grass_____ _______ ______ ____________
Do not feed the animals_____ _______ ______ ___________
IV. Write formal versions, with may (not), of:
You can't take dogs into this restaurant. Dogs may not be taken into this restaurant.
Children under 12 can't enter unless they're with a grownup.
Children under 12________________enter unless accompanied by an adult.
Sorry, we can't sell alcoholic drinks to anyone under 18.
We regret that alcoholic drinks______________sold to
anyone under 18.
4. You can only book a court if you're a member of the tennis club.
Courts__________only____________by members of
the tennis club.
Don't smoke in the classrooms! Students________________.
VI. Ask a classmate a polite question. Use may I, could I, or can I.
Example. (...) has a book. You want to see it for a minute.
STUDENT A: May/Could/Can I (please) see your book for
STUDENT B: Of course./Sure./ etc. STUDENT A: Thank you./Thanks.
(...) has a dictionary. You want to see it for a minute.
(...) has a pen. You want to use it for a minute.
(...) has a calculator. You want to borrow it.
(...) has a camera. You want to see it for a minute.
You want to see something that a classmate has.
You want to use something that a classmate has.
You want to borrow something that a classmate has.
You are at a restaurant. (...) is your waiter/waitress. You have finished your meal. You want the check.
You are at (...)'s house. You want to use the phone.
You are speaking to one of your teachers. You want to leave class early today.
You are visiting a friend and you want to make yourself some coffee.
You are visiting an acquaintance and want to use the lavatory.
You are visiting a friend and want to borrow his new car.
VII. Put an appropriate verb in its correct form into each gap. The verbs are can, could, to be able.
The forms are positive and negative.
1. In my country you ... get married when you are 16. Women vote in England until Last night I get into my house because I had forgotten my key. I phoned the Gas Board because I thought I smell gas, which is very dangerous. 'Hello. Is that the dentist? I make an appointment to see you, please?' I'm learning car mechanics because I want to service my own car. It costs a fortune if you send it to the garage. Many night animals see very
well, but they have a highly developed sense of smell. If you do this exercise, you're very clever!
VIII. Read the instructions below. Say what they mean, using not allowed to or allowed to.
You're not allowed to take more than one piece of hand luggage.
IN THE AIRPORT HALL
No more than one piece of hand luggage.
Passengers may check in at any British Airways desk. No passengers beyond this point without a boarding card.
ON THE PLANE
No smoking in the toilets.
Passengers may smoke in rows
No pipes or cigars.
IX. Read about legal ages in Britain.
ABOUT LEGAL AGES IN BRITAIN
These are the legal ages when you are allowed to do
drive a car
ride a moped
vote in elections
join the army
get married with your parents' permission
get married without your parents' permission
In pairs, ask and answer about Britain.
A: When are you allowed to drive a car?
B: (You're allowed to drive a car) when you're seventeen.
A: What about a moped?
B: You're not allowed to ride a moped until you are sixteen.
Now ask and answer about your country.
X. Make rules for the places or situations. Example I. In a library (X) eat or drink
You're not allowed to eat or drink in a library.
In a restaurant (X) wear beach clothes
In a petrol station (X) light a cigarette
In a theatre (X) smoke
On a motorway (X) cycle
On a motorway (X) drive over kmph
XL Read about Ranjit, a sixteen-year-old Indian girl, who talks about growing up in England.
'My parents are devoted Sikhs. They are very strict. I am not allowed to go out at night with either a boy or a girlfriend. That's not because I'm not old enough, it's because of our religion. Eventually my parents will choose a husband for me. My parents don't mind if I wear English clothes but I am not allowed to cut my hair short, or wear it loose. And of course I'm not allowed either to smoke cigarettes or to drink alcohol. So I can't go into pubs or anything like that.'
A About you
Were your parents very strict when you were younger or were you allowed to do what you wanted? What things were you not allowed to do?
XII. Complete the sentences using could or was/were allowed to. Sometimes either form is possible.
Andrew leave school early yesterday because he wasn't feeling well. Until the 19th century, people travel freely between most countries without a passport. Sue's children watch the film on TV last night. Her son has to wear a uniform in his new school, but in his old school he wear whatever he liked. see him for a few moments yesterday. I borrow my parents' car last night. When I was I borrow my parents' car whenever I wanted to.
XIII. Translate from Russian into English.
Вчера детям разрешили не идти в школу из-за погоды.
Вы можете пользоваться моей библиотекой. 3. Доктор, мне можно купаться в море? - Да, но только не купайтесь слишком долго. 4. Вы можете взять любую из этих книг. 5. Здесь нельзя переходить улицу. Это очень опасно. 6. Можно мне задать вопрос? - Конечно, только не знаю, смогу ли я на него ответить. 7. Врач сказал, что я могу позвонить ему после 5.00. 8. Скажите ей, что она может прислать мне телеграмму, если понадобится моя помощь. 9. Можно мне взять ваш словарь? - Боюсь, что нет. Он мне нужен самой. 10. Я думаю, что вам разрешат пользоваться лабораторией. 11. Вам разрешается пользоваться словарем? 12. Ему только что разрешили пойти домой после того как он провел три часа в полицейском участке. 13. Можно ли детям пойти на каток? - Нет, уже слишком поздно. 14. Спроси тренера, можно ли нам осмотреть спортивный зал. 15. Можно мне уйти с урока пораньше? - А в чем дело? - У меня болеет мать. - Конечно, можешь уйти прямо сейчас. 16. Могу я взглянуть на твое сочинение? - Боюсь, что нет. Я еще не закончил его. 17. Он спросил, можно ли ему оставить у вас книгу. 18. После аварии ему не разрешается водить машину. 19. Босс сказал, что я могу пользоваться его телефоном. 20. У меня была виза, и мне разрешили пересечь границу. 21. Когда он был ребенком, ему разрешалось делать все, что ему захочется. 22. Можно им прийти навестить вас? 23. Здесь курить не разрешается. 24. Нельзя переговариваться во время контрольной работы.
XIV. Study and practise.
Driver: Excuse me. Can I park here for five minutes
while I wait for a friend?
Traffic warden: No, I'm afraid you can't. These double yellow lines mean that no parking is allowed. But if you drive round the corner you can park there for thirty minutes without any problems.
Customer: I'd like to join the library. Librarian: Could you fill this form in, please? Customer: All right. How many books may I take out? Librarian: You can have up to five books for two
weeks. You may keep them longer but you
must renew them first. Customer: May I take five books with me today,
straight away? Librarian: Yes, of course.
Enrico: May I leave early this afternoon, please? Jill: Yes, you may leave now, in fact. We've
almost finished our work for today. Maria: Can I leave now, too, please? I want to go
with Enrico. We're are going to a lecture
at the University.
Jill: Yes, of course you can.
Juan: Can we all leave early?
Jill: No, I'm afraid you can't.
Mr Wilkins: Yes, Kevin?
Kevin: Dad Can I go to Henley Youth Hostel
this weekend? Mr Wilkins: Who with? Kevin: Mark and Barbara.
Mr Wilkins: Mmm... Kevin: Well? Can I?
Mr Wilkins: No you can't. Kevin: Oh, Dad! Why not?
Mr Wilkins: Because you can't! Kevin: Mum, can I go to Henley Youth Hostel
with Barbara and Mark? Mrs Wilkins: When? Kevin: This weekend.
Mrs Wilkins: What do you think, Stan? Mr Wilkins: Well, Liz, there's a lot of work to do in
the garden. Mrs Wilkins: But we can do it, Stan.
Mr Wilkins: Oh, all right then. Kevin: Thanks, Dad.
Johnny: Excuse me, sir. It's cold in this classroom.
Could I close the window? Teacher: OK, Johnny. Close it quickly and then sit
down and get on with the test. Johnny: Sir, could I have another sheet of paper?
I've spoiled this one. Teacher: Here's another sheet. Now, please get on
with your work. Johnny: Sir! Sir! Could I just leave the room for a
few minutes? Teacher: Why didn't you go before you began the
exam? Johnny: I didn't want to go then, sir.
Mr Thomas: Mr Roberts? Could I have a word with you? Mr Roberts: Yes, what is it?
Mr Thomas: Well, as you know, my father can't walk very well, and he needs to go into hospital. I was wondering if I could have a day off work?
Mr Roberts: It's not a very convenient time at the moment.
Mr Thomas: I'd be terribly grateful. He wouldn't be able to go if I wasn't there to help him.
Mr Roberts: Well, if that's the case I suppose you should.
Mr Thomas: That's very kind. I'll make up the time, I promise.
Son: Dad, can I have the car tonight? Father: No, you can't. I need it.
Son: But I'm taking Dave to see his girlfriend in
Father: I told you. I need it.
Son: Oh, please. He won't be able to go if I don't
give him a lift. Father: All right. I suppose I can walk. The exercise
will do me good. Son: Thanks a lot, Dad. I won't be home late.
Mrs Wilkins is on a strict diet. 'Am I allowed to eat toast and butter for breakfast?' she asked the doctor. 'I'm afraid not, Mrs Wilkins. You can only have half a grapefruit and a glass of water. You can't eat any kind of fat and you are not allowed to eat biscuits or sweets. But don't worry, you will be able to eat what you like after two months of this diet.' Mrs Wilkins was very determined and took a lot of exercise as well. After two months' diet and exercise she said to her husband, 'I still can't touch my toes as I could before we were married.' 'Don't worry, my love,' he said kindly. 'Perhaps your fingernails were longer in those days!'
One day, while they were playing in the sand near their home in New Zealand, nine-year-old Patrick and two friends found a giant egg. It was over a hundred times bigger than a chicken's egg. 'Can we keep it?' Patrick asked. 'Of course you can,' said his father. Patrick's friend added, 'I once found some old coins and I was allowed to keep them.' The children wanted to know all about their egg, so they wrote a letter to a scientific laboratory. This is what they said: 'Could you please help us to find out about our egg? May we bring it to show you? Would you please do some tests and tell us what's inside it? Are children allowed to visit your laboratory? If they are, could we please come soon?'
Patrick and his friends were allowed to take their egg for laboratory tests. The tests showed that it was an egg of the extinct elephant bird and that it was at least two thousand years old. What a surprise! 'We will be allowed to keep it, won't we, Dad?' Patrick asked. The children and their egg soon became famous. They appeared on television and someone offered them dollars for it. They began to plan how they would spend the money. But it was all too good to be true. One day, a government letter arrived which said: 'The egg is public property. You are not allowed to keep things which belong to the State. We are sorry but you will have to give the egg to us. We will pay you some
money, but only a small amount.' 'They can't have it!' said Patrick, 'If we can't have it, nobody can.' Patrick was very angry. He buried the egg in the sand again and he still refuses to tell anyone where it is.
A. When Patrick and his friends took their egg to the laboratory, they asked a scientist to find out lots of things. Make their requests with 'Could you Say your answers.
They asked the scientist to tell them how old the egg was. Could you please tell us how old the egg is?
They asked the scientist to find out what was inside.
They wanted the scientist to explain the tests to them.
They wanted the scientist to tell them what kind of egg it was.
They asked the scientist to find out what the eggshell was made of.
They wanted the scientist to tell them all about the elephant bird.
B. Patrick and his friends asked for permission to do the following things in the laboratory. Ask their questions using can or may.
They wanted to look through the microscopes. Can/May we look through the microscopes?
They wanted to look at the equipment.
Patrick wanted to help with the tests.
They wanted to stay until the tests were over.
Patrick wanted to see the results on the computer screen.
They wanted to take the results home.
C. Work with a partner. One partner is Patrick, the other partner is the scientist. Ask for permission to do the things in (B). Give or refuse permission with can, can't or be allowed to.
Patrick: Can/May I look through the microscopes? Scientist: Yes, you can. or No, I'm sorry you can't. Children aren't allowed to use the equipment.
What are you allowed to do where? Say what you think.
in a cinema
stand up during the film/eat and drink/smoke?
You aren't allowed to stand up during the film.
You are allowed to eat and drink if you don't make a
noise. You aren't allowed to smoke.
in a library
talk loudly/run about/ sit and read?
on a plane
play a radio/open the door/talk to the pilot?
in a museum
take photographs/touch things/talk to the museum attendants?
in a public park
pick the flowers/play football/ drop litter?
eat during lessons/listen to music/shout?
Requests: can, could, will, would, may, might
Polite requests with 'I' as the subject
MAY I COULD I
(a) May I (please) borrow your pen?
(b) Could I borrow
your pen (please)?
May I and could I are
used to request permission. They are equally polite.*
Note in : In a polite request, could has a present or future meaning, not a past meaning.
(c) Can I borrow your pen?
Can I is used informally to request permission, especially if the speaker is talking to someone s/he knows fairy well. Can I is usually not considered as polite as may I or could I.
TYPICAL RESPONSES: Certainly. Yes, certainly. Of course. Yes, of course. Sure, (informal)
Often the response to a polite request consists of an action, a nod or shake of the head, or a simple 'uh-huh.'
Polite requests with 'You' as the subject
WOULD YOU WILL YOU
(a) Would you pass
the salt (please)? (b) Will you (please) pass the salt?
The meaning of would you and will you in a polite request is the same. Would you is more common and is often considered more polite. The degree of politeness, however, is often determined by the speaker's tone of voice.
(c) Could you pass
Basically, could you and would you have the same meaning. The difference is slight: would you Do you want to do this please? could you Do you want to do this please, and is it possible for you to do this? Could you and would you are equally polite.
(d) Can you pass
Can you is often used informally. It usually sounds less polite than could you or would you.
TYPICAL RESPONSES: Yes, I'd (I would) be happy to. Yes, I'd be glad to. Certainly. Sure, (informal)
A person usually responds in the affirmative to a polite request. If a negative response is necessary, a person might begin by saying, I'd like to, but...', (eg, 'I'd like to pass the salt, but I can't reach it. I'll ask Tom to pass it to you.').
Polite requests with would you, mind
(a) Would you mind if I closed the window? (b) Would you mind if I used the phone?
Notice in (a): would you mind if I is followed by the simple past.* The meaning in (a): May I close the window? Is it all right if I close the window? Will it cause you any trouble or discomfort if I close the window?
TYPICAL RESPONSES No. Not at all. No, of course not. No, that would be fine.
Another typical response might be 'unh-unh,' meaning no.
ASKING SOMEONE ELSE TO DO SOMETHING
(c) Would you mind closing the window? (d) Excuse me? Would you mind repeating that?
Notice in (c): would you mind is followed -ing (a gerund). The meaning in (c): I don't want to cause you any trouble, but would you please close the window? Would that cause you any inconvenience?
TYPICAL RESPONSES No, I'd be happy to. Not at all. I'd be glad to.
Study and practise.
1. - Will/Would you be able to fix my brakes today?
I'm sorry. I won't be able to do it until tomorrow.
2. - Can/Could you possibly check my oil today?
Sure. I can do it right away.
3. - I'm dying of thirst. Would you make a cup of tea?
OK. I'll put the kettle on.
And could you bring me some biscuits?
Yes, I'll open the new packet.
4. - Excuse me. Could you open the door for me, please?
Yes, of course.
Thank you very much.
5. - Could I have the bill, please?
Certainly, sir. I'll bring it straight away.
6. - It's a present. Do you think you could gift-wrap it for
Yes, indeed. I'll just take the price off.
7. - Would you mind opening the window?
Not at all. It's very stuffy in here.
8. -I'll give you a lift if you like.
That's great. Would you drop me at the station?
9. - Yes, madam. Can I help you?
Yes, I bought these here two days ago and the heel's broken. Can you change them?
Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. I'll just see if we've got another pair for you.
- Turn that wretched music down, will you?
Or better still, turn it off!
Oh, all right.
- Anita, will you come here a minute? Could you get
me the file on sales in France? I just need to check something. Oh, and Anita, I'd love a cup of coffee, if that's at all possible.
Yes, Mr Parkinson.
- Would you mind mailing these letters for me?
All right. I'll do it when I go downtown this afternoon.
- Would you mind not smoking here?
OK. I'll go outside.
- Excuse me. Could you move your bag, please?
I'm sorry, but it's not mine.
- I wonder if you could tell me where the library is.
Certainly. It's just round the corner.
- Would you mind if I borrowed your paper?
Actually, I'm just going to read it myself. Sorry.
Never mind. It doesn't matter.
- Do you mind if I open the window? It's a bit stuffy
No, not at all. Please do.
- Excuse me. Is that your motorcycle outside?
Yes, it is.
I wonder if you'd mind moving it. It's blocking my car.
OK. I'll park it across the street.
- You know, this book is difficult to read!
Yes. Can I borrow your dictionary? I'll only need it for about an hour.
Sorry, I'm using it.
Can you help me with my homework? I really can't understand these history questions.
Yes, in a minute.
- Is that the six o'clock news?
Yes, it is.
Would you mind turning up the TV? I can't hear it. I want to hear the weather report.
- Uh, are you going to the cafeteria?
Yes, I am.
Could you get me a soda from the machine? I'm really thirsty.
- Excuse me?
Would you mind if I went before you? I have to make a very quick call, but it's really urgent.
Er er No, go on, that's fine.
- Oh, that's very kind. Thank you.
Could you do something for me? Can you see the paper over there? Could you get it for me?
Sorry, where is it?
On the television.
- Is it all right if I leave my bags here for a moment?
Of course, go ahead, (informal)
- May I come in?
By all means.
Hello. I wonder if you could help me? Would you mind if I left my bags here just for one minute. I have to make a phone call.
No, I'm sorry, sir. It's not allowed.
It's only for a short time.
It's against the rules. No luggage can be left in reception for security reasons.
Change the following sentences into polite requests using the words in parentheses.
I want you to hand me that book, (would)
Would you please hand me that book? 1 want you to give me some advice about buying a computer.
I want to borrow your wheelbarrow, (could) 1 want to have a cup of coffee, (may) I want to use your bicycle tomorrow, (can) 1 want you to read over my composition for spelling errors.
I want you to open the door for me. (would you mind)
I want to leave early, (would you mind)
Student A Make a polite request for the given situation. Student В Give a typical response.
You and are sitting at the dinner table. You want the butter.
Student A: (Anna), would/could/will/can you please
pass me the butter? Student B: Certainly. /Sure./ I'd be glad to. Here you
You want to ask your teacher a question.
You're at your friend's apartment. You want to use the phone.
You're speaking on the phone to your brother. You want him to pick you up at the airport when you arrive home.
You want to leave class early. You're speaking to your instructor.
You want to meet you in front of the library at three this afternoon.
You knock on your professor's half-open door. He's sitting at his desk. You want to go in.
You want to make an appointment to see Dr North.; You're speaking to her secretary.
You are at a gas station. You want the attendant to check the oil.
You are in your chemistry class. You're looking at your textbook. On page there is a formula which you do not understand. You want your professor to explain this formula to you.
You call your friend. Her name is Someone else answers the phone.
You want to see (...)'s dictionary for a minute.
You want a stranger in an airport to keep her eye on your luggage while you get a drink of water.
You want to tape something on the VCR tonight while you're away at a meeting.
You want a stranger to tell you the time.
You want your friend to hand you (something).
You wrote a letter to a university. You want your teacher to read it and correct the mistakes.
(...) is going to the library. You want him/her to return a book for you.
You and are on vacation together. You'd like to have a picture of the two of you together. You see a stranger who looks friendly. You want her to take a picture of you.
IV. Using the verb in parentheses, fill in the blank either with if the past tense or with the -ing form of the verb. In some of the sentences, either response is possible but the meaning is different.
A: It's hot in here. Would you mind (open) opening
the window? B: Not at all. I'd be glad to.
A: It's hot in here. Would you mind (open) if I opened
B: Not at all. Go right ahead. I think it's hot in here, too.
A: Would you mind (take) the took back
to the library for me? B: Not at all.
A: This story you wrote is really good. Would you
mind (show) it to my English teacher?
B: Go right ahead. That'd be fine.
A: I'll wash the dishes. Would you mind (dry)
them. That would help me a lot.
B: I'd be happy to.
A: I'm feeling kind of tired and worn out. This heavy
work in the hot sun is hard on me. Would you
mind (finish)_ the work by yourself?
B: No problem, Grandpa. Why don't you go and rest? I'll finish it up.
A: Would you mind (use) your name as
a reference on this job application? B: Not at all. In fact, ask them to call me.
A: Would you mind (wait) here for
just a minute? I need to run back to the classroom. I forgot my notebook.
Sure. Go ahead. I'll wait right here.
A: You have an atlas, don't you? Would you mind (bor-
row) it for a minute? I need to settle
an argument. My friend says Timbuktu is in Asia, and I say it's in Australia.
B: You're both wrong. It's in Africa. Here's the atlas. Look it up for yourself.
A: Since this is the first time you've owned a computer,
would you mind (give) you some advice?
B: Not at all. I'd appreciate it.
A: Are you going to the post office? B: Yes.
A: Would you mind (mail) this letter for me?
B: Not at all.
A: Are you coming with us?
B: I know I promised to go with you, but I'm not feeling
Would you mind (stay) home?
A: Of course not.
A: I still don't understand how to work this algebra
problem. Would you mind (explain) it
again? B: Not at all. I'd be happy to.
A: It's getting hot in here. Would you mind (open)
A: This is probably none of my business, but would you
mind (ask) you a personal question?
B: It depends.
A: Would you mind (smoke)
B: I'd really rather you didn't.
A: Excuse me. Would you mind (speak) a lit-
tie more slowly? I didn't catch what you said. B: I'd be happy to.
A: I don't like this TV program. Would you mind (change)
A: I'm getting tired, I'd like to go home and go to
bed. Would you mind (leave) early?
B: Not at all.
V. Change these sentences into polite requests beginning with Would you mind or 'Do you mind?
You would like your English teacher to speak more slowly.
Would you mind speaking a little more slowly?
The music is a bit soft and you would like to turn the volume up.
You would like your landlady to take any messages for you while you are out.
The room is cold and you would like to turn the heating on.
You are in a friend's house and you would like to make yourself a cup of tea.
You would like the telephone company to send you another bill. (You have lost the original one.)
You would like your friend to type a letter for you.
VI. Study very polite ways of asking permission and requesting:
Could you possibly do me a favour?
Do you think you could help me with a problem I've got?
I was wondering if you could lend me some money for a. few
You couldn't possibly lend me could you?
Use each form once in the following situations. Use a more direct form in two of them.
Mr Wilson asks his boss if he can leave the office an hour earlier than usual.
Stephen asks his guitar teacher to lend him his guitar for the evening.
Mr Wilson wants his neighbour to help him carry a cupboard upstairs.
You ask someone to move his car, as it's blocking the entrance to your garage.
Julie and two of her friends ask their typing teacher for permission to leave early.
Mrs Wilson would like Julie to do some shopping for her, if she has time.
You ask a stranger next to you in a train if you can look at his newspaper.
You ask your host for permission to use his phone.
You ask someone you hardly know for a lift into town.
You are checking out of a hotel, and want to pay your bill.
Can you please lend me Could you let me use your car? Would you be able to mail this letter? Would you mind letting me use your Walkman? Would it be OK if I borrowed your car? Would you mind if I used it? I wonder if you'd mind lending me your cassette player.
VII. Pair work. Make requests with modals or if-clauses using the cues below. Then practise them.
a) You want to borrow someone's typewriter.
b) You want someone to drive you to the airport.
c) You want someone to help you move on Saturday.
d) You want someone to lend you a camera.
A: Would you mind B: Sorry. It's not working right. A: B: OK. What time?
A: B: Sure, that'll be fine, but I'm only free in the afternoon.
A: B: Gee, I'm sorry, I'm going to use it later.
e) You want to use someone's telephone.
A: B: All right. Go ahead!
Class activity. Go round the class and make your requests. How many people accepted and how many refused?
Accepting a request
Oh, sure. I'd be glad to! OK. I'll do that. All right. Sure! No problem! By all means. Of course, go ahead.
Refusing a request
Oh, sorry, I can't right now. I'm sorry, but I'm busy. I'd rather not. What? You must be kidding! Please don't.
VIII. Ask polite questions in the following situations. Use any appropriate modal (may, could, would, etc.).
Your train leaves at p.m. tomorrow. You want your friend to take you to the station.
You're sitting at your friend's house. A bowl of fruit is sitting on the table. You want an apple.
You're in class. You're hot. The window is closed.
You're in a car. Your friend is driving. You want her to stop at the next mailbox so you can mail a letter.
You're trying to study. Your roommate is playing his music tapes very loudly, and this is bothering you.
You call your friend. Someone else answers and tells you that he's out. You want to leave a message.
You want your pen. You can't reach it, but your friend can. You want her to hand it to you.
You're at a restaurant. You want some more coffee.
You're at your friend's house. You want to help her set the dinner table.
You're the teacher. You want a student to shut the door.
You want to make a telephone call. You're in a store and have to use a pay phone, but you don't have any change. All you have is (a one-dollar bill). You ask a clerk for change.
You're at a restaurant. You've finished your meal and are ready to leave. You ask the waiter for the check.
You call your boss's house. His name is Mr Smith. You want to talk to him. His wife answers the phone.
You're walking down the hall of the classroom building. You need to know what time it is. You ask a student you've never met.
You're in the middle of the city. You're lost. You're trying to find the bus station. You stop someone on the street to ask for directions.
You call the airport. You want to know what time Flight arrives.
You're in a department store. You find a sweater that you like, but you can't find the price tag. You ask the clerk to tell you how much it costs.
IX. Translate from Russian into English.
показать нам свой город? - С удовольствием. 21. Вы не передадите мне соль? - Вот, пожалуйста. 22. Можно мне оставить свой портфель в гардеробе? - Да. 23. Вы не будете возражать, если я оставлю свои вещи до возращения? - Нисколько. 24. Вы ничего не имеете против того, чтобы мы пообедали в кухне? В столовой слишком холодно. 25. Пожалуйста, позвони в кассу и закажи билеты на самолет. 26. Покажите мне расписание поездов, пожалуйста. 27. Вы не возражаете > если я верну вам остальные деньги через неделю? - Хорошо. 28. Вы ничего не имеете против того, чтобы я пользовался вашим компьютером? 29. Не могли бы вы одолжить мне немного денег? 30. Вы не могли бы отнести мою книгу в библиотеку?
X. Study and practise the following conversations.
Isabel is at Sandy's house.
Sandy: Are you hungry?
Isabel: Yeah. I haven't had lunch yet. Could you make
me a sandwich?
Sandy: Sure. I'll make it for you in a minute. Isabel: And could you get me something to drink, too? Sandy: Yeah. Could you show me your English
homework while you're eating? Isabel: Sure. Let me get it.
Sandy: Oh, could you lend me a pen? I can't find mine. Isabel: Here. The sandwich is delicious. Sandy: Thanks. Isabel: Could you pass the salt and pepper?
Mr Adams: Bob, would you please get me the report that's
in my outbox?
Bob: Of course, Mr Adams.
Mr Adams: Bob, could you bring me the stapler that's on
Bob: Of course, Mr Adams.
Bob: Maria, could you help me fix the typewriter
that's on Mr Adams' desk?
Woman: No, not at all. It is rather hot.
Man: Tickets, please.
Liz: Excuse me, but do you know what time this
train gets to Paddington? Man: madam.
Liz: Thank you. Er, could I possibly borrow your
newspaper for a moment? Woman: Yes, certainly. By all means. I've finished with
it. Liz: Thanks. I just wanted to check the times of a
film I'm going to see this afternoon. Woman: Are you going to see anything interesting? Liz: Well, actually, I'm taking my four-year-old
niece to see Bambi!
(Some time later)
Man: Any more tickets?
Liz: Oh, excuse me, but do you think you could
help me with my case?
Man: Certainly, madam. There you are!
Liz: Thanks very much.
A. Ask polite requests beginning with 'Do you think you could
You want your teacher to check a letter you have written in English.
You want your friend to lend you his camera for the weekend.
You want a shop-assistant to change a note for you.
You want your landlady to forward your post when you leave.
You want a friend to answer the phone while you are out.
B. Ask for permission in different situations beginning with 'Excuse me. Do you mind if I
You are in a cafe. You want to borrow the salt and pepper from another table.
You are in a hospital waiting room where there is a TV. You would like to change the channel.
You are in the reception area of a hotel. You would like to use the phone.
You are on an aeroplane. You would prefer to sit in the aisle seat.
You are in a dentist's waiting room. You would like to turn the radio on.
C. Make polite requests.
You are making a train journey. You want to buy a newspaper and you ask another passenger to look after your bag.
A: Would you mind looking after my bag? B: I'm sorry?
A: Could you possibly look after my bag? B: Oh yes, of course. No problem.
You want to buy a newspaper and you ask another passenger to look after your bag.
You ask the assistant at the newspaper kiosk to give you a fifty pence in the change.
On the train you want to do the crossword in your newspaper. You wonder if your neighbour could lend you a pencil.
You feel a little chilly. You would like the person next to the window to close it a little.
Your suitcase is on the rack and you would like the person opposite to lift it down.
A woman in the corner has got her walkman on very loud. You would like her to turn it down a little.
D. Write a dialogue for the following situation.
You are in the departure area at a ferry terminal after your ferry has been delayed. You notice a place next to a woman and ask if you can sit there.
You then notice that a woman has a magazine on the seat beside her and you ask politely if she could lend it to you.
The woman doesn't realize that you are talking to her and you repeat your request.
You have a portable radio with you which you and your friends would like to play. You feel it polite to ask
permission to do this. Tell her you won't play it very loud.
XI. A. Write a note to a friend or classmate asking for several favours and explain why you need help.
I'm taking my boss and her husband out to dinner on Saturday, and I want to make a good impression. Would you mind if I borrowed your car? I promise to drive very carefully. And I wonder if you'd mind lending me that red bow tie of yours. Could you let me know as soon as possible? Thanks!
B. Pair work. Exchange notes and write a reply accepting or declining the requests.
Of course you can borrow my car on Saturday. You can
pick it up at
About my red bow tie, I'd like to lend it to you but
§4. Obligation and necessity must, have to, have got to
Must and have to
We use both must and have to to express obligation or necessity, but there is sometimes a difference between them:
We normally use must when
We normally use have to when the
the authority comes from the
authority comes from outside
Mother: You must be home
Daughter: I have to be home
by o'clock. (I insist.)
by o'clock. (My parents insist.)
I've got a terrible pain in my
I have to go and see the doctor
back. I must go and see the
at tomorrow morning. (I have
doctor. (I think it is neces-
got an appointment.)
You must drive care-
You have to drive on the left
fully. (I insist.)
in Britain. (That is the law.)
We tend to prefer must:
when we refer to ourselves (with I/we): I really must weed this garden.
With you to express urgency: You must phone home at once.
in public notices, etc.: Cyclists must dismount.
Can't you stop yourself?): Must you interrupt?
pressing invitations or advice: You must come and see us. You must repair that fence.
We only use must (+infinitive) to talk about the present and the future. When we talk about past obligation or necessity, we use had to.
I had to work late yesterday.
Must has no infinitive, -ing form or participles. So, when necessary, we make these forms with have to.
I'll have to work late tomorrow.
He hates having to get up early.
She's had to work hard all her life.
Note that in questions and negatives with have to we use do/does in the present simple and did in the past simple.
What time do you have to start work?
We don't have to hurry. We've got plenty of
Did you have to walk home last night?
Have got to
We often use have got to instead of have to to talk about obligation and necessity. Have got to is more informal and is used primarily in spoken English. Have to is used in both formal and informal English.
I have to hurry. Do you have to go?
I've got to hurry. Have you got to go?
We normally use have to, not have got to, for things that happen repeatedly, especially when we use one-word adverbs of frequency eg always, often. Compare:
I always have to work late on Wednesday evenings. Do you have to get up early'
I've got to work late this evening. Have you got to get up early tomorrow?
We use got mostly in the present. To talk about the past, we normally use had to, not had got to.
I had to work late last night.
I. (i) Mrs Woods isn't very well. The doctor is speaking to her. Complete what the doctor says using must and the verbs drink, take, stay and continue. Use each verb only once.
Doctor: Well, Mrs Woods, your temperature is a little high, so you in bed for the next few days. You can eat whatever you like, but you plenty of liquids. And I'll give you some medicine. You it three times a day after meals. And you to take it for the next ten days.
(ii) Now Mrs Woods is explaining the doctor's instructions to Mr Woods. Complete what Mrs Woods says using have to and the verbs drink, take, stay and continue. Use each verb only once.
Mrs Woods: The doctor gave me some medicine. I it three times a day after meals. And I to take it for the next ten days. I'm not allowed to get up at the moment. I in bed for the next few days. Oh, and I'm allowed to eat whatever I like, but I plenty of liquids.
Complete the sentences using must or a form of have to. Sometimes two answers are possible.
I couldn't go to the party last night because I babysit for my sister. get up early tomorrow morning. You get a visa to visit the United States. It's getting late. We go now. I stay in bed yesterday because I wasn't very well. Mr Mason wear glasses since he was a child. 1 don't like work at weekends. He try harder if he wants to win the prize. Notice in a picture gallery: Cameras, sticks and umbrellas be left at the desk. do all the typing at my office. You read this book. It's really excellent. The children play in the streets till their mothers get home from work. She felt ill and leave
early. Mr Pitt cook his own meals. His wife is away. 1 hadn't enough money and I pay by cheque. 1 never remember his address; I always look it up. Employer: You come to work in time. If you go to a dentist with a private practice you pay him quite a lot of money. Father to small son: You do what Mummy says. My neighbour's child practise the piano for three hours a day. Doctor: I can't come now. Caller: You come; he's terribly ill. English children stay at school till the age of Notice above petrol pump: All engines be switched off. Mother to daughter: You come in earlier at night. The shops here don't deliver. We carry everything home ourselves. The buses were all full; I get a taxi. Notice beside escalators: Dogs and push chairs be carried. Tell her that she be here by six. I insist on it. Park notice: All dogs be kept on leads. She learn how to drive when her local station is closed. Railway notice: Passengers cross the line by the footbridge. I got lost and ask a policeman the way. If you buy that television set you buy a license for it. When I changed my job I move to another flat. Father to son: I can't support you any longer; you earn your own living from now on. Whenever the dog wants to go out I get up and open the door.
III. Make questions with have to.
Example 'Tom had to go to the police station.'
'Why did he have to go to the police station?'
'Ann has to leave tomorrow.'
'What time exactly
'We had to answer a lot of questions at the examination.' 'How many questions
'George had to pay a parking fine.'
'He will have to work hard next month.'
'We had to get up early to catch the bus.'
'My mother has to go abroad a lot.'
'How often ?'
7. 'I have to leave tomorrow morning.'
'We had to wait for ages.'
9. 'I have to take my car to the garage.'
'Peter had to stay in bed for a week.'
'She'll have to go by bus.',
'We have to dine out.'
IV. Make up short dialogues.
A: About this parcel do we have to tie it up? B: Oh, yes, it must be tied up.
About do we have to
these books take them back?
these old newspapers throw them away?
this broken glass sweep it up?
this wallet we've found hand it in?
these old curtains take them down?
the carpet roll it up?
7. this watch we are giving him wrap it up?
this information pass it on?
9. this notice put it up?
the instructions write them down?
these forms fill them up?
the money pay it back?
the dishes wash them up?
his orders carry them out?
the wall that you say is unsafe pull it down?
the documents lock them up?
the meeting put it off?
V. Say 'why'.
Examples: Jane is going food/money/wine
to the bank.
She has got to go to the bank because she needs some money.
I am going to the shop, dress/glass of
I have got to go to the shop because I need a dress.
Jane is going to the
I am going to the shop.
dress/glass of water/money
Peter is going to the
Peter is stopping at the
Simon is asking for
Mr and Mrs Hunt are
going to bed.
The man is stopping at
They are phoning Direc-
You are going to the
We are going to the
Obligation and necessity mustn't, don't have to, don't need to, haven't got to, needn't
Compare mustn't and don't have to:
Father: Annie, you have a
Susan: I'm on holiday. I
bad cold. You mustn't get up
don't have to get up early now.
today. Do not get up.)
It is not necessary to get
You mustn't wash that
You don't have to wash that
sweater. It has to be
shirt. It isn't dirty. It is
dry-cleaned. Do not
not necessary to wash it.
We use mustn't when
We use don't have to when
there is an obligation
it is not necessary to do
not to do something.
Mustn't means 'it's forbidden'.
mustn't prohibition don't have to absence (lack)
Life belts must not be re- Tomorrow is a holiday. We moved, (no choice) don't have to go to class.
We can also use don't need to, haven't got to or
needn't to say that it is not necessary to do something.
I don't need to get up today. I haven't got to get up today. I needn't get up today.
Note that we often use needn't when the speaker gives someone permission not to do something.
You needn't pay me back the money you owe me until next week. I give you permission not to pay me back the money until then.)
Choose the correct form.
You've been late for work twice this week. You mustn't/ needn't be late again tomorrow. We mustn't/don't have to hurry. We've got plenty of time. We mustn't/haven't got to make any noise going into the house. It's very late and everybody is asleep. You mustn't/needn't tell Nicki about the party. I've already told her. You mustn't/don't need to phone the station about the time of the trains. I've got a timetable. I mustn't/haven't got to go now. I can stay a bit longer if you want me.
II. Jim is going to backpack around the world for a year, but his mother is worried. Listen to them.
Mum: You must write to us every week!
Jim: Yes, Mum! I will.
Mum: You mustn't lose your passport!
Jim: No, Mum! I won't.
Work in pairs. Make similar dialogues between Jim and his
mother. Use the cues and must or mustn't.
look after your money go out when it's dark make sure you eat well phone us if you're in trouble
talk to strangers drink too much beer have a bath regularly
go anywhere that's dangerous
III. Complete the utterances using haven't got to and the prompts in the right column.
Examples: Jane is not tired.
Sheila has got a lot of clothes.
buy a new dress go to bed early.
Jane has not got to go to bed early. Sheila has not got to buy a new dress.
Jane is not tired. Sheila has got a lot of clothes.
buy any food this week look for a flat
Harry has got a lot of money.
phone the restaurant
Mrs Hunt has got a lot of
cash a cheque today
food in the house.
We have bought a house in the
go to bed early
You have already booked a table.
buy a new dress
I have got six airletters.
go to a snack-bar
We have hired a car.
phone them tonight
I have written to the Blakes.
go to the post office yet
They have already had dinner
buy a car
in the hotel.
IV. This time make negative sentences with have to.
Example: 'Did they have to change trains?'
'No, it was a through train so they didn't have to change (trains).'
'Did you pay to get into the concert?'
'No, we had free tickets so we
'Does Jack shave?' 'No, he's got a beard so
'Did you get up early this morning?' 'No, it's my day off so
'Do you work?' 'No, I'm extremely rich so
'Will you have to walk?' 'No, we have a car so
'Did you have to ask a doctor in?' 'No, my sister is a doctor so
'Did you have to hire a taxi?' 'No, the hotel is not far from the station so
'Shall I have to wait?' 'No, the boss is free so
V. Complete the sentences with any appropriate form of have to. Include any words in parentheses.
A: (You) leave so early?
B: I'm afraid I do. I have some work I finish before I go to bed tonight.
Last night Jack go to a meeting. (You) go to the
meeting last night too?
Joan travels to Russia frequently. Luckily, she speaks
Russian, so she (not) rely on an interpreter when she's there.
I (not) water the garden later today. Joe has agreed to do it for me.
I write three term papers since the beginning of the semester.
Why (Tom) leave work early yesterday?
I found some milk in the refrigerator so we (not) go to the store after all. There is plenty.
(John) buy a round-trip ticket when he went to Egypt?
Matt is nearsighted. He wear glasses ever since he was ten years old.
By the time this week is finished, I take eight examinations in five days. The life of a student isn't easy!
(You, not) return these books to the library today? Aren't they due?
If Jean stays in Brazil much longer, she teach English part-time so that she'll have enough to support herself. (She) apply for a special work visa? Or can she work part-time on a student visa?
Because it was Emily's birthday yesterday, she (not) do any of her regular chores, and her mother let her choose anything she wanted to eat for dinner.
VI. Use must not or do not have to in the following sentences.
I've already finished all my work, so I study tonight.
I forget to take my key with me. You introduce me to Dr Gray. We've already met. In order to be a good salesclerk, you be rude to a customer. I go to the doctor. I'm feeling much better. Johnny! You play with sharp knives. We go to the concert if you don't want to, but it might be good. This is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. We let it pass. We must act. If you encounter a growling dog, you show any signs of fear, it is more likely to bite a person. A person get married in order to lead a happy >.nd fulfilling life. The soup is too hot. You eat it yet. Wait for it to
cool. You have soup for lunch. You can have a sandwich if you like. Liz finally got a car, so now she usually drives to work. She take the bus. Tommy, you say that word. That's not a nice word. Mr Morgan is very rich. He work for a living. If you are in a canoe, you stand up and walk around. If you do, the canoe will probably turn over. When the phone rings, you answer it. It's up to you. When you have a new job, you be late the first day. In fact, it is a good idea to be a few minutes early. A: You tell Jim about the surprise birthday party. Do you promise? B: I promise. I forget to set my alarm for B: Why do you have to get up at A: I'm going to meet Ron at We're going fishing. A: Listen to me carefully, Annie. If a stranger offers you a ride, you get in the car. Never get in a car with a stranger. Do you understand? B: Yes, Mom. A: Do you have a stamp? B: Uh-huh. Here. A: Thanks. Now I go to the post office to buy stamps.
VII. Use must not or need not to fill the spaces in the following sentences.
You ring the bell; I have a key. Notice in cinema: Exit doors be locked during performances. You drink this: it is poison. We drive fast; we have plenty of time. You drive fast; there is a speed limit here. Candidates bring books into the examination room. You write to him for he will be here tomorrow. We make any noise or we'll wake the baby. You bring an umbrella. It isn't going to rain. You do all the exercise. Ten sentences will be enough. We reheat the pie. We can eat it cold. Mother to child: You tell lies. You turn on the light; I can see quite well. You strike a match; the room is full of gas. You talk to other candidates during the exam. We make any more sandwiches; we have plenty now. You put salt in any of his dishes. Salt is very bad for him. You take anything out of a shop without paying for it. You carry that parcel home yourself; the shop will send it. You clean
the windows. The window-cleaner is coming tomorrow. Mother to child: You play with matches. Church notice: Visitors walk about the church during a service. I go to the shops today. There is plenty of food in the house. You smoke in a non-smoking compartment. Police notice: Cars be parked here. We open the lion's cage. It is contrary to Zoo regulations. You make your bed. The maid will do it. I want this letter typed but you do it today. Tomorrow will do. I'll lend you the money and you pay me back till next month. We climb any higher; we can see very well from here. You ask a woman her age. It's not polite. You've given me too much. You eat it all. We forget to shut the lift gates. Mother to child: You interrupt when I am speaking. If you want the time, pick up the receiver and dial you say anything.
VIII. What do you say to the other person in these situations. Use need't or mustn't.
Situation. You are talking to a little girl. She is playing
with some matches. Response You mustn't play with those matches.
Situation Someone is speaking English to you very slowly. Response You needn't speak so slowly.
You are in a petrol station. Someone is smoking.
You are in someone's house. They are going to turn the heating up. You are warm enough.
Your secretary is willing to work late. You can do without
Your friend is going to park his car where there is a sign saying 'No Parking'.
Your friend is willing to drive you somewhere. You are willing to walk.
Your friend is going out and it is going to rain. You can see he is going to forget his umbrella.
Someone is shouting at you but you are not deaf.
Your taxi driver is willing to wait but it is not necessary.
IX. You must... It's necessary You mustn't It's forbidden
You needn't It's not necessary
When you arrive in Britain, there are plenty of regulations to worry about. There are things that are necessary, unnecessary, or forbidden. Use the modals above to complete the following statements.
You bring animals into Britain.
You have a passport.
3. ... have a visa, if you want to stay a long time.
4. ... have a visa if you are from an EEC (Common Market) country.
5. ... declare any restricted goods at the customs.
6. ... declare cigarettes up to a certain limit.
7. ... take guns into Britain.
8. ... drive on the left.
9. ... stop at pedestrian crossings unless someone is on them.
10. ... use the horn on your car except in an emergency.
X. Mrs Wilson is telling her husband what has been happening. Write his reactions, using must, mustn't or needn't one of these expressions, and a tag question.
buy anything too expensive do any housework be stopped
be paid immediately make him change his mind
Stephen has announced that he is going to drop out of school.
We must make him change his mind, mustn't we? They have been invited to a wedding, and will have to buy a present. They
The owners of the house across the road want to open a gambling club.
The doctor has told Gran to rest completely.
The telephone bill has arrived the final date for payment
is in two weeks.
XI. Complete the sentences using must, mustn't, have to or will have to.
Julie, trying to train her dog: You sit when I tell you to!
The teacher who is invigilating Stephen's exam: You try to talk to each other during the exam.
The doctor to a nurse about a patient with a bad heart: He stay in bed for several weeks, and talk too much.
Mr Wilson phones his wife at pm:
I'm afraid I'm going to be late I finish some letters.
The immigration officer notices that a traveller hasn't signed his new passport:
You sign it as soon as you get it.
Mr Wilson explains why he is taking a pill: I take these pills for my blood pressure.
Mrs Wilson is offering more cake to a guest at a tea party:
You have some more cake.
Stephen has hurt his knee playing football: The doctor says I play for three weeks.
XII. You work in a gym club. In pairs, use the cues below to make rules for the gym, sauna, and carpark, using must always and mustn't.
IN THE GYM:
You must always wear sports shoes and sports clothes. You mustn't smoke.
IN THE GYM:
wear sports shoes and sports clothes
use the equipment without a teacher
use training bicycles for more than twenty minutes
clean the equipment after using it
IN THE SAUNA:
wear a swimming costume
remove any jewellery
use the sauna after p.m.
IN THE CAR PARK:
lock your car
make any noise after p.m.
leave your car overnight
play your car radio loudly
XIII. Choose the correct verb in these exchanges.
I can't go to the disco tonight. I'm afraid I get up early tomorrow.
a) mustn't b) I've got c) will
You wear shoes in the gym.
a) don't b) haven't got to c) mustn't
... go through that door. It says 'No entry'.
a) Don't b) Not c) You mustn't to
It was a lovely party. We write and thank them, a) got to b) do c) must
You're driving at kph. You really drive so fast, a) don't b) didn't c) mustn't
XIV. Supply mustn't or needn't/don't have to/haven't got to.
Note: We can use needn't, don't have to and haven't got to
in place of each other to mean it isn't necessary: I needn't/ don't have to/haven't got to go to the office tomorrow.
They wear a uniform. It's not obligatory. She leave the office last. She can go when she is ready. You really waste money like that. It worries your parents. Visitors enter the laboratories without permission. You go to the party if you don't want to. Nobody's forcing you. He do the job today, as long as it gets done some time this week. Surely we leave home yet. It's far too early to go to the station. Passengers smoke in the toilets. 'Are you going to read the report?' 'No, I It's confidential.' 'Are you going to read the report?' 'No, I I already know what it says.' You attend the meeting tomorrow. It's for union officials only. You attend the meeting tomorrow. It's not important. You forget to pay the electricity bill, or we'll be cut off. We worry about Tom. He's just phoned to say he's all right. You work such long hours. You won't earn any more.
XV. Supply must, need, or a form of have to. Question forms and negatives are also included.
'What time we leave for the airport?'
'It's only a thirty-minute drive, so we go until about 'I do my packing. I haven't started yet!'
I have an interview for a job next week, but before the interview I have a medical examination.
How did you damage your bike? You learn to look after your toys. When I was your age, I clean my bike every night.
There's a new Indian restaurant just opened that you go to. It's wonderful! You book, though, because it's so popular already.
I'm sure she didn't mean to upset you. You take things so personally.
I hate get up on cold, winter mornings.
I hate tell you this, but you've just got a parking ticket.
I have perfect teeth. I never have a single filling.
I think I've put on weight. I watch what I eat in future.
I don't think a career in the army would suit me. I wear a uniform, for a start.
You worry about me. I can look after myself.
I got something for my cough from the chemist's, so I go to the doctor's.
You drive me to the station. I'd much rather go on foot.
XVI. Replace the words in bold type by need not/need I? etc., or a negative or interrogative have to form.
I've been invited to a wedding; but I can't go. Will it be necessary for me to send a present? Shall I have to send a present?
It isn't necessary for him to go on working. He has already reached retiring age. (He Was it necessary for you to wait a long time for your bus? It isn't necessary for me to water my tomato plants every day. It will be necessary for them to get up early when they go out to work every day. We had to stop at the frontier but we were not required to open our cases. It wasn't necessary to walk. He took us in his car. (We My employer said, 'I shan't require you tomorrow.' (You come.) It is never necessary for me to work on Saturdays. When I am eighteen I'll be of age. Then it won't be necessary to live at home if I don't want to. New teacher to his class: It isn't necessary for you to call me 'Sir'; call me 'Bill'. Will it be necessary for us to report this accident to the police? When you buy something on the installment system you are not required to pay the whole price at once. 'Did you know enough English to ask for your ticket?' 'It wasn't necessary to say anything. I bought my ticket at a machine.' It isn't necessary to buy a license for a bicycle in England. (We Is it essential for you to finish tonight? Is it necessary for people to go everywhere by boat in Venice? Will it be necessary for me to sleep under a mosquito net? Most people think that civil servants are not required to work very hard. It wasn't necessary to swim. We were able to wade across. It isn't necessary
for you to drive me to the station. I can get a taxi. Our plane was delayed so we had lunch at the airport. But it wasn't necessary to pay for the lunch. The airline gave it to us. Is it obligatory for us to vote? 23.When you were a child were you required to practise the piano? 1 saw the accident but fortunately it wasn't necessary for me to give evidence as there were plenty of other witnesses. Small boy to friend: It won't be necessary for you to work hard when you come to my school. The teachers aren't very strict. They had plenty of time. It wasn't necessary for them to hurry. Is it necessary for you to take your dog everywhere? What time was it necessary for you to leave home? I brought my passport but I wasn't required to show it to anyone. I missed one day of the exam. Will it be necessary for me to take the whole exam again? Is it really necessary for you to practise the violin at a.m.? Everything was done for me. It wasn't necessary for me to do anything. Are French children obliged to go to school on Saturdays? I was late for the opera. Was it necessary for you to wait till the end of the first act before finding your seat? He repaired my old watch so it wasn't necessary for me to buy a new one after all. Were you required to make a speech?
XVII. Rewrite each of the sentences below using mustn't, can't and don't/doesn't have to, as appropriate.
I. You're not allowed to smoke on the lower deck of a bus in Britain. It's impossible to learn a language properly in just a few weeks. In Britain it isn't necessary for men to do military service. It's impossible to be served in an English pub if you're under eighteen. In Britain it isn't necessary for people to carry identity cards. 'Don't put on any more weight,' his doctor said. 'Don't forget to post my letter,' she said to him. He's not going to work next Monday because it's a public holiday.
Needn't have and didn't need to
Needn't have past participle says that someone did something, but it was not necessary.
I needn't have made so much food for the party. Nobody was very hungry.(= It was not necessary to make so much food, but I did.) I needn't have told Kate what happened. She already knew. It was not necessary to tell Kate, but I did.)
Didn't need to infinitive says that something was not necessary (but it does not say if someone did it or not). Compare:
She needn't have waited. It was not necessary to wait, but she did.)
She didn't need to wait. It was not necessary to wait; we don't know if she did or not.)
They needn't have worried. It was not necessary to worry, but they did.)
They didn't need to worry. It was not necessary to worry; we don't know if they did or not.)
When we use didn't need to, it often means that someone did not do something (because it was not necessary).
I didn't need to unlock the door because it
was already unlocked.
I didn't need to write to you so I phoned you
But we can also use didn't need to (with stress on need) when something was not necessary but someone did it.
I didn't 'need to write to you, but I wrote to you anyway.
Respond using needn't have done/could have done.
A: You sent the sheets to the laundry, I suppose? (wash
B: No, I washed them myself. C: You needn't have washed them yourself. You. could have
sent them to the laundry.
You went by taxi, I suppose? (take a bus)
You went by bus, I suppose? (walk)
You took the lift, I suppose? (walk up the stairs)
You phoned him, I suppose? (write)
You got the tube tickets from a machine, I suppose? (stand in a queue)
You borrowed the books, I suppose? (buy)
You asked the shop to send the parcels home, I suppose? (carry them)
You painted the car yourself, I suppose?(have it sprayed)
You sewed it by hand, I suppose? (use the machine)
You walked up the ski-slope, I suppose? (take the ski-lift)
You paid by cheque, I suppose? (pay by cash)
You dialled the Paris number direct, I suppose? (ask the exchange to get)
You replaced the bulb yourself, I suppose? (send for the electrician)
When the curtain caught fire you put it out yourself, I suppose? (ring for the Fire Brigade)
You covered the grand piano with a sheet before you painted the ceiling, I suppose? (moved it out of the room)
You went second class, I suppose? (go first class)
You left your heavy case at the station, I suppose? (take it with me)
As you needed a copy you used a carbon, I suppose? (type it twice)
Complete the sentences using needn't have where possible. If needn't have is not possible, use didn't need to.
I. 'Did you water the garden?' 'Yes, but I (do) it. Just after I'd finished it started to rain!' 1 didn't wear my coat when I went out. I (wear) it. It wasn't cold. He was very anxious before the exam, but he (worry). It wasn't as difficult as he'd expected. She (pay) the man, but she gave him some money anyway. She (pay) the man, so she didn't give him any money. Thank you very much for the flowers, but you really (buy) them for me. I (phone) the plumber. I learnt later that John had already phoned him. You (bring) your umbrella after all. It hasn't rained. The forecast was for fine weather so I knew I (bring) my umbrella. I (wash) these clothes. I didn't know they had already been washed.
II. I (cook) a meal last night because we went out and the food I prepared was uneaten. She had rich parents, and she (work) for a living and spent her time travelling. She knew that the exam would be easy, and as she (worry) she was very relaxed. He bought a loaf of bread, but he (buy) one because his wife had already bought one. They (pay) for their son on the train because he was only two years old. Brian had no money, so he sold his car. A few days later he won a lot of money in a competition. He (sell) his car. Jack was very angry with Jill and threw a book at her. Later Jill said, 'I know you were very angry but you (throw) the book at me.'
HI. Complete this text using needn't have or didn't need to.
I (take) a taxi to the station because Mr Peters took me there in his car. We were held up in a traffic jam and I thought we would miss the train, but we (worry) because it was half an hour late anyway. There was a restaurant car on the train but I (have) a meal because I had had a good breakfast. I (take) any luggage with me because I was coming back the same day. I took a book to read but I (bother) because I didn't even open it. The firm had booked a seat for me but they (do) so because the train was half empty. When I got to the meeting they told me I (come) because the matter had already been dealt with. That night, when I got home I found no key, but I (wake) my wife because she was still up.
Obligation and arrangement, part of a plan: be to, be supposed to
The be infinitive construction, eg I am to go, is
extremely important and can be used in the following
To convey orders or instructions:
No one is to leave this building without the permission of the police, (no one must leave) He is to stay here till we return, (he must stay)
This is a rather impersonal way of giving instructions and is chiefly used with the third person. When used with you it often implies that the speaker is passing on instructions issued by someone else. The difference between (a) Stay here, Tom and (b) You are to stay here, Tom is that in (a) the speaker himself is ordering Tom to stay, while in (b) he may be merely conveying to Tom the wishes of another person. This distinction disappears of course in indirect speech, and the be infinitive construction is an extremely useful way of expressing indirect commands, particularly when the introductory verb is in the present tense:
He says, 'Wait till I come.'
He says that we are to wait till he comes.
or when there is a clause in front of the imperative:
He said, 'If I fall asleep at the wheel wake me up.' =
He said that if he fell asleep at the wheel she was to wake him up.
It is also used in reporting requests for instructions:
'Where shall I put it, sir?' he asked. He asked where he was to put it.
To convey a plan( an arrangement):
She is to be married next month.
The expedition is to start in a week's time.
This construction is very much used in newspapers:
The Prime Minister is to make a statement tomorrow.
In headlines the verb be is often omitted to save space: Prime Minister to make statement tomorrow.
He was to go. (present infinitive)
He was to have gone, (perfect infinitive)
The first of these doesn't tell us whether the plan was carried out or not. The second is used for unfulfilled plan, i.e. one which was not carried out:
The Lord Mayor was to have laid the foundation stone but was taken ill last night so the Lady Mayoress is doing it instead.
was/were infinitive can express an idea of destiny:
He received a blow on the head. It didn't worry him at the time but was to be troublesome later, (turned out to be/proved troublesome) They said goodbye, little knowing that they were never to meet again, (were destined never to meet)
Compare: must, have to and be to.
a) In order to graduate you must pass your exams.
must obligation, absolute necessity with no freedom of choice
b) You have (got) to go now or else you'll miss your train.
have (got) to necessity arising out of circums-
b) We are to start tomorrow morning.
be to obligation arising out of arrangement
Be supposed to
We can use supposed to to talk about what people are expected to do because of an arrangement, a rule, or a duty.
You're supposed to start work at every
I'm supposed to see Maria this afternoon.
Note: Both fee supposed to and be to express expectations about scheduled events or correct procedures. Be to is stronger, more definite than fee supposed to. Compare:
(a) The game is supposed to begin at
(b) The game is to begin at
(c) The committee is supposed to meet tomorrow.
(d) The committee is to meet tomorrow.
We use not supposed to to express prohibitions.
You know you're not supposed to eat in the classroom.
There is often a difference between what is supposed to happen and what really happens.
I'm supposed to see Maria this afternoon, but
I'm not going to have enough time.
Put those sweets away! You know you're not
supposed to eat in the classroom.
He was supposed to phone me yesterday, but he
Note that we also use supposed to to mean 'said to' eg I'd like to read that book. It's supposed to be very good.
Explain the meanings and forms of be to in the following sentences. Translate them into Russian.
I. We were to act as guides to the party. Now will you please show me the room where I am to work. The children are not to touch anything in the room. There was a special order that no one was to come to the station to see the battalion off. Norman said I was to leave you alone. The plane was not to take off at night as the weather was too bad. The plane was to have taken off at night, but the weather was too bad. It was the first and the last ceremony I was to see. What do you want with my things? Am I to be moved to another cell? I want to know on what terms the girl is to be here. Is she to have any wages? And what is to become of her when you've finished your teaching? You must look ahead a little. Eliza, you are to live here for the next six months, learning how to speak beautifully. He was to have had a music lesson in the morning but the teacher called up to cancel it. It is evident that we are to have a backward season for grains. 'My dear Trot!' cried my aunt in a terrified whisper, 'I don't know what I am to do.' Why are you late? You were to have come an hour ago. The order came that we were not to leave the village before dawn.
We were not to have left the village before dawn, but by the time the order came we were two miles away from it.
Renny grinned: 'If we are to be neighbours for life if you are to marry into a family I'm attached to we should be on friendly terms.' Sorry, but I must be off. I am to have tea with Betty this afternoon. All junior officers are to report to the colonel at once. He said you were to go to the police-station, did he? Tell them they are not to stop work just now to talk about football. He knew that
he was to be punished for his crime sooner or later. I didn't see Mike at the appointed place and I wasn't surprised. We were to have met at sharp. What's the matter? The luggage is not packed yet. Ann was to have packed it an hour ago. It's all her fault. Classes were to begin within two days and the past week had seen a steady stream of new arrivals. The meeting was to take place in a public room, at a hotel. 1 was to tell you she is sorry you are not free. But I tell you, you are to come down, miss, this minute: your mother says so. He was going to meet for the first time the people with whom he was to work for the next few years.
Translate the following sentences into Russian.
The building custodian is supposed to unlock the classrooms every morning. You're not supposed to open that door. Where are we supposed to meet? 1 have a meeting at seven tonight. I am supposed to be there early to discuss the agenda. When we go to the store, Annie, you are not supposed to handle the glassware. It might break, and then you'd have to pay for it out of your allowance.
III. It is evening and a group of people engaged in a team activity have been given their instructions .for the next day. Martin wants to know what the others have been told to do. They always use Jack's name in their reply.
A: You went with John today, didn't you? B: Yes, but I'm to go with Jack tomorrow.
A: Bill carried John's equipment today, didn't he? B: Yes, but he's to carry Jack's equipment tomorrow.
Ann looked after Peter's children today, didn't she?
Peter and Mary worked with Tom's group today, didn't they?
You followed Bill's car today, didn't you?
You drove Bill's car today, didn't you?
Mary led Tom's team today, didn't she?
George rode Peter's horse today, didn't he?
They took their orders from Bill today, didn't they?
You trained with Peter today, didn't you?
You stood in front of Bill today, didn't you?
They tested Peter today, didn't they?
Mary filmed Andrew's group today, didn't she?
You and Hugo gave Charles a lift today, didn't you?
IV. Pretend you are taking a bus load of students (ages to on a trip to a nearby town. You are the supervisor. Make a list of rules you want the students to follow. Use be to in your list.
You don't want the students to bring glass containers onto the bus.
For safety reasons, students are not to bring glass containers onto the bus.
You want the students to keep the bus clean.
You don't want the students to lean out of the windows.
You don't want the students to toss anything from the bus.
You want the students to store personal items under the seats.
You don't want the students to yell, scream, or shout on the bus.
You want the students to stay in their seats at all times while the bus is moving.
(Make additional rules you want the students to follow.)
V. Restate the following rules in sentences with be to.
NO SMOKING. You are not to smoke.
KEEP OFF THE GRASS.
NO EATING OR DRINKING IN THIS ROOM.
MOVE TO THE REAR OF THE BUS.
DO NOT JOKE WITH AIRPORT PERSONNEL WHILE YOUR HAND LUGGAGE IS BEING INSPECTED.
USE THE STAIRS IN CASE OF FIRE. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT.
VI. Practise using be to. Make up several sentences using be to for each of the following situations.
Example: The teacher gave the students a writing assignment. Tell us what the students are to do.
Possible response. They are to write a composition./ They are to write about a person they admire./ They are to hand it in next Tuesday./They are to write it in ink./ They are not to write it in pencil.
Jack's back hurt, so he went to a doctor. She gave him some instructions. Tell us what he is to do and what he is not to do.
This is your assignment for the next class. (Supply an assignment.)
Can you repeat to me what you are to do?
Your son has some jobs to do before he can go outside and play. What is he to do?
You have a new job as a cook. Your boss told you what she expects of you. Can you tell us what she expects of you?
You are on a committee to make rules for this school. The committee is writing a list of rules. What does this list include?
All of us use the library. What behaviour is expected of us? (We are to
You are in charge of some children at a playground. You want to make sure they understand the rules you set. Tell them the rules. (Children, you are to
Who lives in an apartment building or dormitory? What is expected of its residents?
VII. Complete the sentences using the correct form of be supposed to and the verbs in the box.
Example: I'm on a diet, so I'm not supposed to eat cream cakes.
arrive not eat go not open not park have
What are you doing with your birthday presents? You them until your birthday! I to work yesterday, but I couldn't because I was ill in bed. You your car here at any time. We in Manchester at o'clock this morning, but our plane was delayed. Peter a one-hour lunch break, but he sometimes takes a bit longer.
Not allowed to
This is used when the speaker is giving a definite rule: We're not allowed to go in the theatre.
Not supposed to
This is often used when talking about a rule which people sometimes break:
You're not supposed to block the street.
Note: In the positive allowed to have permission to, but supposed to have an obligation to, i.e. it is expected behaviour.
Write restrictions and rules for the following places or situations.
I. In an aeroplane you're not allowed to smoke in the toilets.
You're not supposed to stand up until the plane comes to a complete halt.
in an aeroplane
in a petrol station
on a motorway
in a library
visiting people in hospital
in your school
Look at the signs below and state the rules connected with them using not allowed to and not supposed to.
No right turn
Don't drop litter! fine
Thank you for not smoking in this office.
It is illegal to travel without a ticket.
Please keep our city clean. Don't drop litter.
No parking between and
Please do not talk to the driver.
IX. Make up short dialogues.
A: What were your instructions about phoning Bill? B: I was to phone him at
What were your Instructions about
reporting? posting the documents? meeting George? contacting Ann? seeing the agents? joining?
leaving? paying the workmen? inspecting the camp? taking off? starting? opening the doors?
A: Did you borrow a car?
B: No. We were to have borrowed a car but the plan fell through.
camp on the beach?
swim before breakfast?
hire a boat?
visit the island?
get up at dawn?
anchor in the bay?
climb the cliffs?
explore the caves?
search for the sunken
bathe by moonlight?
take photographs under
spend a week there?
have sing-songs round the
cook over open fires?
invite everyone to a bar-
make a film of the seabirds?
X. Combine the modal verb be to with the correct form of the infinitive in brackets.
I stood at the window, looking at them, disappear, and my heart kept repeating 'Good-bye, good-bye!' I was not (see) them for nearly five years. Nobody met me when I came. I was (arrive) by the ten o'clock train, but I couldn't get a ticket for it. Remember that we are (be) at his place not later than eight. Hot compresses were (apply) all night to the knee. You knew exactly what you were (get) when you took on the job. Why are you so late? Didn't you get my letter saying that we were (meet) at What am I (do) if she starts crying? It's clear that we are (have) a very cold and rainy spring. She is very excited today. She is (take) to her very first party. There was a violent storm that night and the Albatros which was (arrive) at the port in the morning had to drop anchor near an island a hundred miles off the port. When are they (dock)? Have they written? Ba-teman remembered the winter at the end of which Isabel and Edward were (marry), a winter of dances and theatre-parties. That is that. But who is (tell) her about it? 1 don't like the idea. Am I (stay) here all this time? 1 told you expressly that Miss Adeline was not (ride) at any more horse shows this autumn. I just mention it because you said I was (give) you all the details I could. I promised to go to a club in Whitechapel with her last Tuesday, and I really forgot all about it. We were (play) a duet together. Everything has been arranged. You are (not have) any wages the first six months. Just your keep.
XI. Fill in the blanks with have to or be to in the correct tense forms.
At nightfall the ship put in at a small port where they to load three hundred bags of coffee. They to light a fire to cook their supper. It was too late to change the plan and it to remain as it was. The arrangement was that you to give your views and I to say what I thought of them. He set off to the school where he to write
examinations for entry to the University. When I got home I found I had left my olive oil in front of the notice-board and I to return in the afternoon to collect it. I wondered what to happen to us. We agreed that the one who came first to reserve seats for the rest of us. Nobody met me at the airfield as I to have arrived a day later and could not warn any of my friends of the change. He always puts off doing what he to do until it to be done.
We to leave on Monday, but because of a two days' delay with the visas we to book tickets for Wednesday.
There is nothing strange in what he did. It to be expected. What to be done? We can't sit around like this the whole day. He made all arrangements for the marriage which to take place on the day of his mother's arrival. The Finnish woman who to work for Finch has not arrived yet. Uncle Nick's things to be moved out of his room so that it could be re-let. Eden went to the wood where he to meet his brother for a ride. For the next few weeks I to stay in bed. Everyone came to visit me, and brought me presents, and I not to do the cooking. That day, however, I had a pupil waiting for an English lesson and I to cut my visit short. When no food to be had he seemed capable to do without. I to do it all by myself? You not to tell him anything about it before you get further instructions. You not to tell him about it if you don't want to. It was too late to change the plan and it to remain as it was. They hoped to spend the summer together, but that not to be.
XII. Fill in the blanks with be to, have to, or must, using the correct form of the infinitive.
I did not know who (be) my travelling companion.
According to the state plan, many new dwelling houses (build) this year. We (work) hard to achieve good results. 'It is eight o'clock. The children go to bed,' Mr Hudson said to the nurse. She (go) to bed at eight o'clock to be up in time for the first train. This is serious; you (not joke) about it. What (become) of the girl?
she (pay) anything? 'I've told my husband he (not smoke) in the living room.' 'And I (not tell) my husband such things; he's a born gentleman.' The doctor told her that she (eat) chocolate. He (stay) the night with us. I won't let him drive to the country in this rain. He (stay) the night with us because he has missed the last bus. He (stay) the night with us and tomorrow he sets off on his tour to Europe. We begin as early as possible or we shan't finish it today. My bike is under repair and I (walk) here this morning. My bike was under repair and I (collect) it that afternoon. My bike is under repair and I (collect) it yesterday. He told me that I (not repeat) what I had heard. No need to worry about the children. They (pass) the night in the country. Mike (break) the news to his mother. She must know all about it already. 'She's sinned and she (suffer),' said the missionary. 'She has a lot to put up with, poor girl.' 'You (not tell) me. I know.' He told me I (not use) words which I didn't know. 1 did not expect that the worst (happen). Sir Peter (looks at his watch): This is the time I (go). Presently we (cross) the river, which we did on the craziest ferry-boat you can imagine. Cokane (to Trench): How anybody (know) that you are well brought up if you don't show it by your manners? (start) on my new job on Monday. You (take) the dog away. I won't have it here any longer. They (take) the dog along with them because there is no one who could look after it. She (learn) to do things for herself. I refuse to help her in future. What a pity you (go). I know it's time for you to catch your train. I (be) off. I want to go to bed. My mother says that I (not be) out after eleven o'clock, but I (not hurry) home because she herself is out playing bridge. He told me that I (learn) by heart some twenty lines every day to know English well. Meat (keep) in a refrigerator or it will spoil.
XIII. Translate from Russian into English.
XIV. Study and practise.
Customer: I wonder if you can tell me what the special
requirements are for a visit to Poland?
Official: First you have to arrange a visa. This can take up to three weeks so you must apply early-
Customer: Thank you. I'll have to contact my friend before I can make any definite arrangements. But I can see we'll have to move more quickly if we want to travel in July.
Official: Yes, sir. You must fill in the form as soon as you can.
Susan: Can't you come and have tea now, Peter? Peter: Not yet, dear. I must water the garden first. Susan: Do you have to water it now?
Peter: I'm afraid I must.
Look at it! It's terribly dry.
Susan: What a nuisance!
Peter: Last summer it was very dry, too. I had to water it every day.
Susan: Well, I'll have tea by myself.
Susan: That was quick!
Have you finished already?
Peter: Yes, dear.
Look out of the window.
Susan: Good heavens! It's raining.
That means you needn't water the garden. Peter: That was a pleasant surprise.
It means I can have tea, instead.
Maria: Hey, Judy, want to come to lunch with me? Judy: Oh, lunch would be great right now, Maria,
but I just don't have the time. I have this three o'clock sales meeting with the vice president and I have to finish typing my report before I do another thing.
Maria: Oh, but this is the third time this week you've skipped lunch.
Judy: Well, I know, but this is just too important to miss. Listen, could you bring me back a sandwich?
Judy: I'll have to eat it at my desk while I make a few more phone calls to check on some sales figures before the meeting.
Maria: Sure, but but why can't your secretary help finish the report?
Judy: Well, I'd have my secretary do it only, with this deadline, I just can't trust him to type it fast enough. I want to do it myself so I know it's done right. Look, I can't talk any more, Maria, I have to get started on this report. There are just too many important things to do before this meeting this afternoon.
Josh has now got a job as a tour guide through Work International. His first job is to take a coach party around Europe.
Clare: OK. So is everything all right for Monday? Josh: Yes, fine. Oh, just one thing. How much do I
have to know about each city? Clare: You don't have to be an expert but it helps if
you know a little. Josh: I see.
Clare: They use local guides.
Josh: Ah, that's good. Do things ever go wrong on
these trips? Clare: Oh, yes, often. You have to be quite resourceful!
A. What is Josh's first job? How much does he have to know about each city in Europe? What sort of person does a tour guide have to be?
B. Do you know anyone who has been a tour guide? Do you think it is an exciting job?
C. An English-speaking friend is interested in the way you live in your country. In pairs, use the list below to ask and answer about laws in your country.
A: Do you have to carry an ID card all the time? B: Yes, you do./No, you don't.
Do you have to:
carry an ID (identity) card all the time?
show an ID card to buy alcohol?
do military service if you are a man?
pay for water?
pay when you visit the doctor?
buy your own books at school?
pay traffic fines on the spot (immediately)?
John Byron is a tour guide who takes coach parties through Europe.
'All sorts of things can go wrong on these tours. One of the worst problems is when the bookings are wrong. For example, you arrive late at the hotel and there are only thirty beds when you've got forty people on the bus! You have to be very resourceful. You have to sort out problems quickly. There is always one big drama during a tour. Last year in Austria a man in my party had an asthma attack in the middle of the night and I had to call a doctor. The man couldn't breathe. In fact he nearly died and the hotel owner was very worried because he didn't want a death in his hotel! The doctor
forgot to bring any alcohol to sterilise his needles and he had to use some local brandy from the hotel bar! You have to be on your toes all the time in this job!'
A. Have you ever had any problems on a school trip, guided tour or package holiday?
B. In pairs, choose three adjectives from the box to describe the qualities most needed for each of the jobs below.
I. A teacher has to be
a personal assistan
I=Interviewer M=Megan L=Laura
I: What are some of the good things about being a
teenager, not an adult? M:Um well, you don't have to go out to work, for a
start. L: And you don't have to pay bills. You can go out with
your friends, go shopping, go to the cinema. M: But I always have to tell my Mum and Dad where I'm
L: So do I. Another thing is we don't have to do the housework and the washing and cleaning, and all that stuff,
which is really boring. M:One problem is that you never have enough money.
We get some money from our parents, but it's never
enough. You aren't allowed to buy what you want. I: What do you think it's like being an adult? L: Well, adults have to worry about bills and looking
after their family. They can't do what they want when
I: They have responsibilities, you mean?
L: Yeah. I feel more sorry for my Mum. She's always rushing around and she has to go to work as well. She doesn't have to work on Thursdays and Fridays, but she has loads of different things to do in a day, like shopping, er cooking, taking me to dancing and swimming.
I: So do you think Dad has the easier life?
L: Well, I don't know. He has to work full-time, and he drives over a thousand miles a week, but he doesn't have to do anything in the house. When he gets in at everything's been done!
I: Urn, tell me about school. What are some of the school rules?
M:Huh! We have to wear a stupid school uniform, and we're not allowed to wear white socks, they have to be black. We can't wear make-up, and we aren't allowed to chew gum!
I: And if you break one of the rules, you get a Friday afternoon detention!
A. What are some of the things Megan and Laura like a don't like about being a teenager? Complete the gaps.
a. You go out to work.
b. You pay bills.
c. You go out with your friends.
d. I always tell my Mum and Dad where I'm going.
e. We do the housework.
f. You buy what you want.
g. Adults worry about bills.
h. We wear a stupid school uniform, i. We wear make up. j. We chew gum!
B. Laura's parents are called Malcolm and Barbara, wnat are some of the things they have to do, and some of the things they don't have to do? Who do you think has an easier life, Barbara or Malcolm? What about your family?
Is there a division between what the men do and what the women do in your family?
Molly Morgan is going to her sister's house for a week.
Molly: Now, Mick! What have you got to do while I'm away?
Mick: I've got to hoover the carpet and do the washing. Oh and I've got to feed the cat. Have I got to do the shopping?
Molly: No you haven't. There's lots of food in the fridge.
Mick: And have I got to cut the grass?
Molly: Yes, you have. It's very long. I'm coming back on Sunday.
Mick: OK. Goodbye, Molly.
A. Write a list of things you've got (haven't got) to do today.
B. Rewrite these sentences with have (n't) got to or must not
Example: If you want to take the exam it is necessary to sign your name.
If you want to take the exam you've got to sign your name.
It isn't necessary to answer all the questions, but you can if you want to.
It is necessary to answer at least three questions or you'll fail.
You can't use a pencil in the examination.
It is forbidden to leave the room during the first hour of the exam.
It isn't necessary to answer the questions in numerical order.
Everybody must answer question I, but you needn't answer
question if you don't want to.
You needn't spend half an hour on every question.
If you finish half an hour early it isn't necessary to wait until the end.
g. Tessa hasn't seen Maggie for a long time and would like her to come round to her flat.
Tessa: It would be nice to see you again, Maggie. Are
you free on Sunday evening? Maggie: I'm sorry, I'm not. I've got to visit my aunt in
hospital. Tessa: Oh, that's a pity. Monday's difficult for me.
What about Tuesday evening? Maggie: Tuesday's bad for me as well. I've got to go to a
Tessa: Wednesday then? Maggie: No, Wednesday's out for me I'm afraid. I've got
to stay in and do some work. I really must. Tessa: Oh, that's a shame. Well, I can't make Thursday.
Friday? Maggie: I'm awfully sorry, I've got to go out for dinner
Tessa: Have you got to? Can't you get out of it? Maggie: I'm afraid not, I've simply got to go. Tessa: Well it looks as if we'll have to wait till next
week then. Maggie: Yes, I am sorry Tessa. Look, I must go now. I
have to meet Stephen in ten minutes. Ring me
next week sometime. Tessa: Fine. Try and keep an evening free for me.
John: I'd love to continue this conversation, but I really need to go now. I have to get back to the office.
Steve: Well', let's get together soon.
John: Okay. Would you like to have lunch some day next week?
Steve: Sure. How about Monday?
John: Hmm. I'm afraid I can't make it on Monday,
I've got to fly to Chicago on business. 'Steve: Well, unfortunately, I'm tied up on Tuesday. I'm supposed to have lunch with an important visitor from out of town, and I don't think there's
any way I can get out of it. Are you free on Wednesday?
John: Wednesday? Let's see. Hmm. Somehow I think I've already got something scheduled for Wednesday. Oh, yes! I've got an appointment with my dentist to have my teeth cleaned, and it's essential that I keep it.
Steve: Well, I'm afraid Thursday is out for me. I'm expected to attend a meeting of our personnel committee, and it's very important for me to be there.
John: So that leaves Friday. I don't have any obligations or commitments on Friday. How about you?
Steve: Friday sounds good. Where should we meet?
John: You know I really must be going now or I'll be very late.
Steve: Can you give me a call tomorrow and we'll decide?
John: Fine. Speak to you then.
Sorry I have to rush off like this.
Steve: That's okay. I understand.
Steve: So long.
A. Make up similar dialogues.
lO.When Margaret went into Wilson's office, she noticed that he looked very tired. In fact, he looked awful. She knew it was not a good time to ask for a rise, but she felt she had to. She tried to think of something casual to say first. It was always best to begin such conversations casually.
'Uh you're looking a bit tired,' she said. Wilson sighed. He told her he had just seen the Financial Controller, the man who told everybody at the EBC how much they could spend.
'As usual, he said I was spending too much. It wasn't a very pleasant conversation,' he said. Then he mentioned that he had a headache. Margaret began to feel sorry for him. She offered to get some aspirins for him from the canteen.
'You needn't bother. I can go there myself,' he said.
'Oh, but I'm going to the canteen anyway. It's no trouble,' she protested. Wilson thanked her and gave her some money for the aspirins. She left. It was only after she had closed the door behind her that she realised something. She had forgotten to ask for the rise!
A- Margaret says:
'I'll go to the canteen now.'
and Wilson answers:
'That's very kind of you, but you needn't bother. I
can go there myself.'
What are his answers if she says:
Til type that letter.'
'I'll post those letters.'
'I'll carry that bag for you.'
'I'll take care of this matter.'
Til solve the problem for you.'
'I'll dial the number for you.'
'Do you call that a hat?' I said to my wife.
'You needn't be so rude about it,' my wife answered as she looked at herself in the mirror.
I sat down on one of those modern chairs with holes in it and waited. We had been in the hat shop for half an hour and my wife was still in front of the mirror. 'We mustn't buy things we don't need,' I remarked suddenly. I regretted saying it almost at once.
'You needn't have said that,' my wife answered. 'I need not remind you of that terrible tie you bought yesterday.' 'I find it beautiful,' I said. 'A man can never have too many ties.' 'And a woman can't have too many hats,' she answered.
Ten minutes later we walked out of the shop together. My wife was wearing a hat that looked like a lighthouse!
A. Put mustn't, needn't or needn't have in the gaps in the following sentences.
You give Freddy any more sweets or he won't eat any tea.
The Doctor said I go back to the hospital; my leg is all right.
You make any sandwiches for me. I'm not hungry.
My tea was already sweetened. I put any sugar in it, but I did and made it too sweet.
She fill in a new application form, we have the other one.
You mention this to Kate, or she'll get upset.
I answered the questions, which would have saved me a lot of time.
She bring a doctor's certificate, she was only away for one day.
You take any more aspirins, you've had four already.
Tell her she open any letters marked 'personal'.
You stayed if you hadn't wanted to-
Mike: Do you think I can borrow the car tonight, Mum? Mum: No, you can't. Your father and I will be using it.
We're going to the annual general meeting at the
Mike: But they aren't holding the meeting tonight. Mum: Aren't they? How do you know? Mike: I heard Dad telling Mr Jones it had been postponed
for a month. Mum: Well, he didn't mention it to me. If that's the
case you can use the car, but you're not to cram it
with too many of your friends again. There must
have been eight or nine of you in it last week.
You'll spoil the upholstery, and besides it's against
the law. Mike: Well Pete's car had broken down, so ours was the
only available. Anyway there are only seven of us
this week, Mum: That car's only meant to take five people. You are
not to go far in it, or you'll break the springs. Mike: We're only going to a party at Topsham. I'll drive
slowly and gently. Mum: Another of those parties! You're to be home at
midnight, or your father and I will be worried to
death that you've had a crash. Mike: Mum, the party will hardly have started by
midnight. Just go to sleep and forget about me. Mum: If you're late in, you are not to make a noise
And you're not to drink any alcohol or the police
will stop you and you'll lose your license. Mike: For god's sake, Mum, you must think I'm years
A. Look at the examples below. Make up similar dialogues.
A: I can't take the car tonight, can I? B: No, you're not to take the car tonight.
A: Mike's got to come back before twelve o'clock, hasn't
he? B: Yes, he's to come back before twelve o'clock.
Mum:Hello, Mike. Did you enjoy the weekend in Paris?
Mike: Yes, it was great, Mum. Look, I've brought you back some wine, and here are some cigarettes for Dad.
Mum: Thank you, dear. That's lovely. But you needn't have gone to that expense.
Mike: Well, I don't often buy you presents, but I don't often go to Paris either.
Mum: Tell me about it. What did you do with yourself?
Mike: Well, we had quite a good flight, and we got to the hotel at about seven o'clock. We had a super dinner, and then Olive, Tim and I went to a nightclub.
Mum: Didn't anyone else go with you?
Mike: No, no one else wanted to come. All the others were too tired. Then on Saturday morning we did some shopping, and of course we watched the international rugby match in the afternoon. The match was drawn, but England were lucky not to lose.
Mum: Where else did you go? Didn't you look round the Louvre?
Mike: Yes, but it was a lightning visit. And.we went up the Eiffel Tower too, of course. But we didn't have time for much else. We were told we were not to be late for check-in at the airport and we had to rush like mad. When we got there, though we found we needn't have hurried because take off had been delayed for an hour.
Mum: What else did you buy then?
Mike: Let me see A few souvenirs, some postcards, a bottle of perfume for Janet Nothing much else because I ran out of money. By the way, can you lend me a couple of pounds until next week, Mum?
Mum: So that's the price of my French wine, is it?
A. Complete the sentences using had to, didn't have to, was not to, or was not allowed to.
go to London last week for a meeting. The firm paid so I buy the train ticket. I go first class because the firm was trying to economise on fares. I be in London by o'clock, so I get up early to catch the train in the morning. The boss said I be late because I meet a very important client from New York. The discussions only lasted a few hours and I stay the night because there was a fast train home in the evening. I wanted to stay and see a show but my wife wasn't well and she said that I be away all night. After the meeting I rush to the station to catch the train.
Nick: Hello, Alex. Alex: Oh, hi Nick! Nick: What's happening? Alex: We're waiting to see Timothy Dalton. I want to
get his autograph. Nick: Why don't you go in? Alex: We're not allowed to. We have to wait until he
comes out. Man: Come on, you lot, move on. You know you're not
supposed to block the street.
Alex: Here he is! Later Alex: Well at least I got his autograph! Do you want to
come and have a coffee? Nick: O.K. But I'll have to be quick. I'm supposed to be
A. Complete the text by Inserting one of the verb phrases below.
not allowed to not supposed to was allowed to
has to didn't have to
I've got a new job as a security guard and it's a big change. We clock in at but in my last job we start until eight o'clock. Also in my last job take an afternoon off every two weeks but here we don't get any half days. They're strict about smoking too but I think that's good. We're smoke anywhere in the building. Anyone who wants to smoke go outside. But they're not so strict about the lunch hour. We're take more than an hour off but everyone does. Nobody seems to mind very much if you're a bit late back.
The education of children starts as soon as they are born; girls wear pink and boys wear blue; boys play with guns and girls play with dolls. Boys are allowed to make more noise and cause more trouble, while girls are supposed to be more interested in talking to and understanding people. This kind of education prepares boys for power in the world but for little else.
A. Are your parents strict?
Say what you are (not) allowed (supposed) to do.
Obligation and advice: should, ought to, had better
Should and ought to
We can use both should and ought to to talk about obligation and duty, to ask for and give advice, and, in general, to say what is right or good.
You should learn to swim./You ought to learn
You shouldn't tell lies./ You oughtn't to tell
What do you think I should do?/ What do
you think I ought to do?
Should and ought to are very similar in meaning, but we often prefer ought to to talk about authority which comes from outside the speaker eg from laws or rules. Should is a little more common, and ought to is a little more emphatic.
Note that after should, we use the infinitive without to eg learn, tell.but after ought, we use to+ infinitive eg to learn, to tell.
We use should have/ought to have past participle to say that someone did the wrong thing in the past.
I should have posted this letter yesterday, but I forgot. (I did not post it.) I'm really tired this morning. I shouldn't have stayed up so late last night. (I stayed up late.) Haven't you finished your homework yet? You ought to have done it last night. (You did not do it.)
Had better infinitive without to) expresses a strong recommendation in a particular situation.
I'm going to an interview tomorrow. I'd better iron my shirt.
It's going to be cold tonight. We'd better turn on the heating.
('d better =had better)
We always use had (not have) with better in this structure, but the meaning is present or future, not past.
We form the negative with had better not. We'd better riot be late.
Had better often suggests a kind of threat or warning of possible bad consequences and is stronger than should or ought to.
You'd better take care of that cut on your hand soon, or it will get infected.
Should/Ought to and Must compared
All of them are used to express obligation, but must is often obligation with the sense of command, while the meaning of obligation in should and ought to is weakened to advice, admonition, recommendation. (must strong obligation, should/ought to mild obligation)
Must also expresses duty but is a much stronger word than should or ought to. People are often punished if they do what they must not do, or if they don't do what they must do.
A man must not steal. (If he steals he will be put into prison.)
You must study your lessons. (If you do not study you will not pass your exams. Failure is a kind of punishment.)
But people who do what they should not do, or what they ought not to do, are not always punished.
We should (ought to) clean our teeth after every meal. (But many of us forget to clean our teeth, or we have no time to clean them, and we are not punished.)
Should and ought to suggest that the person or
thing concerned is advised, required or expected to
take a certain action but is free to avoid it. Must
differs from should and ought to in that the person
or thing concerned is not considered free to avoid
the required or expected action. With must this
action is imagined as inevitable.
Should and ought to are used when must would
sound too peremptory.
Must indicates an obligation, usually one that comes
from outside. Rules and regulations usually make
use of must.
Ought to and should are often used to indicate
moral obligation, the feeling of obligation that comes
from inside us.
Tony is typical of many young men today. He is overweight and he never gets any exercise. He drives everywhere. Even if he wants a packet of cigarettes from the corner shop, he drives there. The doctor has told him to get more exercise and to walk as much as possible.
He should get more exercise.
He should walk when he goes to the corner shop.
Perhaps he should take up tennis or golf.
Young Dr Pildare is drunk. Everyone is shocked. The worst thing is that he has just come into the operating
theatre without a mask on. There is also a dirty black cigar in his mouth. He knows all this is strictly forbidden.
He should be wearing a mask. He shouldn't be smoking.
You went out without your mac yesterday. When it started raining you didn't even shelter under a tree.
You should have been wearing your mac. You should have sheltered under a tree.
The supervisor was furious. It wasn't tea-time, yet when she went into the packing-department she found all the girls there were not working. They were having a cup of tea. They didn't go back to work when she came in. In fact, they laughed at her.
They shouldn't have been drinking tea. They shouldn't have laughed at her.
The goal-keeper suddenly decided to have a rest. He sat down in front of the goal and didn't even bother to get up when the other team attacked. One of the forwards shot the ball into the net. He simply watched.
He should have been standing up. He should have stopped the ball.
Jack smokes and coughs a lot. His wife says, 'You ought to stop smoking. You ought to have done that long ago.'
Robert has an important examination in a few days, but he spends a lot of time on the beach swimming and sunbathing. His mother says, 'You ought to be studying for your exam. You shouldn't be spending all your time on the beach.'
Susan and Ron have just had an accident. Luckily neither of them was hurt. Susan says, 'You ought to have stopped at the traffic lights. You shouldn't (oughtn't to) have been driving so fast.'
Frank Martin has not been feeling very well lately. He has been working a lot overtime because he wants to buy a new car. The doctor has been examining him. 'You've been working too hard, that's all,' he is saying. 'You'd better take things easy for a while. You'd better not work so hard.'
Peter is making a long-distance call to Canada. He has been talking for six minutes and the operator has just asked him to put some more money in. He has not got any. 'Look,' he is saying to the person in Canada. 'I think I'd better hang up now.'
Mrs Wilson: Did you remember to pay the phone bill? Mr Wilson: No, I completely forgot. We'd better pay
it soon, or they'll cut us off! Well, it's I'd better leave for work.
Mrs Wilson: It's raining, you know, you'd better not go without a coat.
Mr Wilson: You're right.
Analyse the meanings expressed by should and ought to.
Observe the forms of the infinitive. Translate the sentences into Russian.
'I'm sorry.' 'You should be.' 'You should come here often,' he said to Shelton. 'You ought to come here often,' he repeated to Shelton. 'I've come to tell you that I'm sorry.' 'You ought to be,' I said. He looked more than ever out of place, he should have stayed at home. 'You ought to be careful not to make a fool of yourself,' I said to Percy. It's late. You should go to bed. Look, if you're worried you ought to see Dr Devit. He is a sensible doctor. He thought, 'She is not thinking of me why should she? She's young.' She smiled. 'You ought to get married yourself, my boy.' Betty says it's a kid's game anyway and I ought to be ashamed of myself flying a kite at my age.
'I'm not sure, young man,' said Eden, 'that I oughtn't to refuse straight out in your own best interests.' But she was too young to know that wisdom shouldn't be spoken about when you are happy. Perhaps it is one's duty. Perhaps I ought to do it. Perhaps you'd better tell them I will do it just as a matter of duty. He ought never to have married a woman eighteen years younger than himself. You should have gone to the concert. Why should you miss the music? There were fifteen equally good reasons why she should not have played bridge. 'Mr Davidson thinks that such a costume should be prohibited by law,' said his wife. Why should I know anything about them?
Oh, Renny, you should not have done what you did.
They both thought it an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. I think you ought to show some respect for the dead. The doctor told her she ought to go to a sanatorium. 'He was pleased with his present,' said Mr Sunbury to change the conversation. 'And so he ought to be,' said Mrs Sunbury still upset. He knew he ought to tell Gorin and allow him to take other plans, but he continued to postpone the decision. Aunt Milly took it into her head that I ought to become an engineer. Small children ought not to play in the streets. Some people are colour blind. They ought not to drive cars and buses. 'Well,' Michael mumbled, 'I'm very glad to know at last what it was all about.' 'You ought to have been told before.' Oughtn't you to be more careful? When Charles saw Ann playing tennis, he came up and said, 'Are you sure you ought to be doing that?' The responsibility is entirely mine. I acted very wrongly indeed. I ought not to have let this relationship start. 'When is he going back?' 'How should I know?' I'm the head of the noblest branch of the family and I ought to live up to it. She will expect you to marry, Harry; a doctor ought to marry. 'I ought to have told Soames,' he thought, 'that I think him comic.' You should have left me alone. It's all I'm fit for. They should be taught a lesson. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them. You'd better stop taking these pills. Your
daughter has a good voice. Her interest in singing should be encouraged.
II. Complete the conversations using ought to. Roleplay the conversations.
A university tutor is talking to one of her students. The student knows that he isn't working hard enough.
Tutor: This essay is useless. You simply haven't written enough.
Student: Yes, I know I ought to write more.
Tutor: It's typical, there's absolutely no evidence of any background reading.
Tutor: Furthermore, I understand you go out every night.
Mr Fox, the editor of Euromode, works very hard and feels that he might be in danger of having a nervous breakdown because of the pressure of his work. He is talking to his wife.
Mr Fox: I don't know what's the matter with me. Mrs Fox: Too much work. You need a break, a rest, something to stop you worrying. Now if you took a
Mr Fox: Ought I to take a holiday, do you think? Mrs Fox: It would be a good idea. Work can affect your
health, you know. Why not see a doctor? Mr Fox: do you
think? Mrs Fox: Yes, I think you should. But have you told the
director you're worried about work?
Mrs Fox: That's up to you, but it won't do any harm.
Another thing is that you do too much yourself.
You ought to get an assistant you know.
Mrs Fox: Yes, then you could relax a bit more. On the
other hand, perhaps getting a new job would
Mr Fox: ____________
Mrs Fox: Well I don't know about that. Now if you
stopped working for a bit
Mrs Fox: A change is as good as a rest you know.
Mr Fox: Oh, you are marvellous! I don't know what I'd
do without you
III. Complete the advice using should or ought to; find the advice for the problems.
Example: 'I've lost my credit card.'
'You should report it to the credit card company immediately.'
'You ought to report it to the credit card company immediately.'
'I've lost my credit card.'
'I think you/sell it.'
'I can't wake up in the
'Perhaps you /look for another
'I'm bored with my job.'
'Don't you think you/apologize
'I've got a terrible head-
'Perhaps you/buy a new alarm
'I was very rude to my
'You/report it to the credit card
'My car keeps on breaking
'Perhaps you/take some aspirin.'
'My sister's birthday is only
'You/go/to a dentist.'
a month away.'
'I have a toothache.'
'I think you/buy a present/befo-
IV. Criticize somebody you know using shouldn't or oughtn't.
Examples: You shouldn't eat so much.
Our teacher ought not to give us so much work.
V. Make up short dialogues using had better.
A: I haven't told Tom yet.
B: Then you'd better tell him today. (HAD here is normally contracted.)
I haven't yet.
done the ironing
returned the books
booked the seats
ordered the coal
finished my essay
advertised the house
washed the car
answered his letter
mended the fuse
reported the accident
fixed the aerial
renewed my license
paid the rent
seen Tom about it
VI. Transform in the same way.
'I want to have your name and address. Perhaps I'll need them.'
I think I'd better have your name and address just in case I need them.
I want to borrow some money. Perhaps I'll need some.
I want to leave now. Perhaps the bus will come early.
I want to take this umbrella. Perhaps it will rain.
I want to study. Perhaps there'll be a test tomorrow.
I want to borrow your revolver. Perhaps someone will attack me.
I want to take the bag. Perhaps I'll do some shopping.
I want to put on my overcoat. Perhaps it'll get colder.
VII. Complete the following sentences.
I should study tonight because
I ought to study tonight because
I had better study tonight. If I don't
I should wash my clothes today, but
I'd better wash my clothes today, or
It's a beautiful day. We ought to
It looks like rain. If you're going out, you'd better
You'd better obey the speed limit. If
You shouldn't stay up late tonight because
You'd better not stay up late tonight. If you do
VIII. Give advice in the following situations by using should, ought to, or had better.
Example I have a test tomorrow.
Response You. should (ought to, had better) study tonight.
I'm writing a composition, and there is a word I don't know how to spell. 1 don't feel good. I think I'm catching a cold. 1 can't see the blackboard when I sit in the back row. I'm cold. I'm homesick. My roommate snores and I can't get to sleep. 1 need to improve my English. I can't stop yawning. My library book is due today. There's no food in my house, and some guests are coming to dinner tonight. I have only twenty-five cents in my pocket, but I need some money to go out tonight. My apartment is in a mess, and my mother is coming to visit me tomorrow. I have a toothache. I have the flue. My friend is arriving at the airport this evening. I'm supposed to pick him up, but I've forgotten what time his plane gets in. I'm really fed up with my job. I never have any money.
IX. Give advice to the people in the following situations. Use should, ought to, or had better.
Ann would like to make some new friends. I think she should join some clubs so she can meet people who have similar interests.
Ellen is having a lot of trouble in her chemistry class. She's failed the last two tests.
Sam and Tim, both teenagers, have messed up the house, and their parents are coming home soon.
Pierre is feeling really homesick these days.
Ron is wearing jeans. He's expected at a formal reception this evening.
Alice is planning to drive across the country by herself
this summer, but she's never changed a flat tire or even pumped her own gas.
Mike can't understand what's going on in his English class.
William's parents expect him to work in the family business, a shoe store, but he wants to be an architect.
Richard's roommate stays up very late studying. While his roommate is studying, he listens to loud music, and Richard can't get to sleep.
The Taylors' daughter is very excited about going to Denmark to live and study for four months. You've been an international student, haven't you? Could you give her some advice?
Virginia doesn't really have enough money saved for a vacation, but she wants to go someplace. Do you know of any inexpensive but wonderful place she could go?
Mr Rice is behind schedule in the history class he's teaching. Should he skip some less important historical events, or should he give the students longer assignments?
Maria is expecting George to meet her when she arrives at the airport in an hour, but George's car won't start. What should George do?
X. Use should have or ought to have past participle in your response.
Example You failed the test because you didn't study. Response I should have studied./I ought to have studied.
Example: You didn't study because you went to a movie. Response I shouldn't have gone to a movie./ I oughtn't to have gone to a movie.
You are cold because you didn't wear a coat.
You misspelled a word because you didn't look up in the dictionary.
Your friend is upset because you didn't write him a letter.
You are broke now because you spent all your money foolishly.
The room is full of flies because you opened the window.
You don't have any food for dinner because you didn't go to the grocery store.
You overslept this morning because you didn't set your alarm clock.
Your friends went to (New Orleans) over vacation. They had a good time. You didn't go with them, and now you are sorry.
John loved Mary, but he didn't marry her. Now he is unhappy.
John loved Mary, and he married her. But now he is unhappy.
You didn't have a cup of coffee. Now you are sleepy.
You didn't stop for gas, and then you ran out of gas on the highway.
13. You were sick yesterday, but you went to class anyway. Today you feel worse.
The weather was beautiful yesterday, but you stayed inside all day.
You bought your girlfriend a box of candy for her birthday, but she doesn't like candy.
The little girl told a lie. She got into a lot of trouble.
You have a stomach ache because you ate (five hamburgers).
You had to pay a fine because your library book was overdue.
You lent your car to but s/he had an accident because
s/he was driving on the wrong side of the road.
When fell asleep on the overnight train from (place name) to (place name), her purse was stolen.
There was an important meeting yesterday afternoon, but you decided not to go. That was a mistake.
Ann didn't feel well a couple of days ago. I told her to see a doctor, but she didn't. That was a mistake. Now she is very sick.
1 didn't invite Sam to my party. That made him feel bad.
I'm sorry I didn't invite him. Mary sold her car. That was a mistake because now she
can't take trips to see her friends and relatives.
Alex signed a contract to buy some furniture without reading it thoroughly. Now he has discovered that he is paying a lot more money than he expected. He made a mistake.
XI. Make up short dialogues.
A: Look at that man shaving while he drives!
B: He shouldn't be shaving now. He should have shaved before he left the house.
Note-. This exercise could also be done with ought to (have) and oughtn't to (have).
Look at that woman doing her nails in the bus queue!
Look at that man correcting exercises in the bus!
Look at that man polishing his shoes in the bus!
Look at that boy tying his shoelaces as he goes into school!
Look at that woman putting on her earrings on the stairs!
Look at that girl sewing on a button in the library!
Look at that man eating his breakfast as he walks down the path!
Look at that girl putting on her make-up in the bus queue!
Look at that man brushing his coat in the lift!
Look at that man putting in his contact lenses on the escalator!
Look at that boy combing his hair in the classroom!
Look at that woman cleaning her glasses while she drives!
Look at those children doing their homework in the bus!
Look at that man putting in his false teeth in the street!
Ann, a student at a summer school, has the following programme:
7.00-7.30 get dressed (have) breakfast wash up (do) P.T.(phy-sical training)
9.30-10.00 watch television programme discuss programme (attend) lectures
help with lunch (have), lunch rest work in garden (play) tennis tea
practise the piano rehearse play supper type lecture notes read in library lights out.
(a) A: It's and Ann is sleeping.
B: She shouldn't be sleeping. She should be getting dressed.
(b) A: At yesterday Ann was sleeping.
B: She shouldn't have been sleeping. She should have been getting dressed.
(a) It's and Ann is
1. 7.45 ... getting up
3. 8.45 ... washing up
4. 9.45 ... doing P.T.
5. 10.15 ... watching television
6. 12.30... listening to a lecture
7. 2.15 ... playing tennis
8. 2.45 ... resting
9. 3.45 ... working in the garden
5.15 ... having tea
6.15 ... practising the piano 12.7.15 ... rehearsing the play 13. 7.45 ... having supper 14.8.15 ... typing her lecture notes 15. 12.00 ... listening to records
(b) At Ann was
At Ann was getting up.
2. 8.15 ... having breakfast i.e. as in (a) but replacing IS
It is Thursday evening. The secretary is inclined to leave everything till Friday, which doesn't please the boss. But perhaps the secretary has too many duties.
A: I'll remove the old newspapers tomorrow.
(a) B: But they should be removed every day.
(b) B: But they should have been removed today.
open your windows dust your desk tidy your books water your pot plants wind your clock empty your waste-paper basket wash your coffee cup clean your office
clear your out-tray refill your cigar-box check the cash test the alarm system change the combination of the safe write up the diary file the copies exercise the guard dogs
XII. Write two sentences, one in the positive and one in the negative, for each of the following situations.
Example: Margaret was mugged last night. She was walking home alone.
She shouldn't have been walking home alone. She should have gone with someone or taken a taxi.
Andrew was arrested last night. He was driving home after a party, and he'd had too much to drink.
Graham was wounded when he tried to stop a man robbing a post office. The robber shot him in the leg.
Annie lost her purse yesterday. It was in her bag, but her bag wasn't fastened, and she left it unattended for a few minutes while she bought a newspaper.
My briefcase was stolen from my car yesterday. I'd left it lying on the passenger seat while I got out to do some shopping, and I'm afraid the window had been left open.
Jenny was caught travelling on a train without a ticket.
There was a fire at Henry's house yesterday. Their son Max was playing with matches, and he set fire to the furniture. Unfortunately the flat wasn't insured, so they've lost everything.
XIII. Now answer as Robert Wilson does here.
Linda: I haven't finished the report yet. Robert: Really? You should've finished it! Linda: I've been working on something else.
Robert: Really? You shouldn't have been working on something else!
I haven't even started it.
I was taking a nap when you came in.
I've been using your phone.
I used it yesterday.
And I've been looking through your letters.
I've read them.
I was reading them when you came in.
I threw some of them away.
You work in an office. Yesterday the office manager was away, so you, two secretaries and the office boy used his office to have a party. The office manager came back in the middle of it. You weren't working. You were dancing. You didn't stop when he came in. You asked him if he wanted to dance, as well. Naturally, he was furious. Describe all the things you should have done, shouldn't have been doing, etc. Think of more examples!
XIV. Put an appropriate verb of obligation in its correct form into each gap. The verbs are must, have to, had to, have had to, should.
The forms are positive, negative, and gerund.
I really do think you get your hair cut. Careful, darling. You play with matches. They're too dangerous. My wife suddenly became ill in the middle of the night and I call the doctor. I'm overweight. The doctor said I eat too many sweets or potatoes. I like Saturdays because I get up early. A: Why have you got so much money on you? You keep it in the bank. B: I know. But today's the day I pay my employees. It's my mother's birthday next week. I remember to buy her a present and a card. No one likes work at weekends. You come with me if you don't want to. I don't mind going on my own. You stay here if you like. I have a really bad memory
for phone numbers. I look them up in the book every time. When I was at school we wear a uniform. Everybody hated it. You touch electrical appliances if you've got wet hands. You could kill yourself. She has a private income. She never do one day's work in the whole of her life.
XV. Use should(n't), ought (not) to, must (n't) haven't got to, or have to, giving more than one answer where possible.
Charles: I really do some work tonight, but I feel too
Barbara: You work so hard. You'll make yourself ill. Charles: I'd like to take a holiday, but I simply finish
these plans by the end of the month. Barbara: Yes, but you finish them by next week. I think
you have a holiday. Can't we have a long weekend
in Paris? Charles: All right. But I stay longer than next Tuesday
or I'll never finish my work on time. Barbara: Good. But if we are going, you book the seats
today. Charles: I'll ask Mr Peters first, but I don't think he'll
XVI. Complete these sentences using had to or ought to have.
James (work) harder, then he would have passed the exams.
Graham didn't play squash because he (help) his wife.
Bill (visit) his mother-in-law on Saturday so he missed the match.
You (take) a taxi, then you wouldn't have missed the train.
5. He opened all the windows but he (know) better.
I left the office early because I (meet) Mary at o'clock.
They (sell) their car last month in order to pay their debts.
We (buy) a house last year when the prices were lower.
XVII. Change the following sentences to the passive.
People should save pandas from extinction. Pandas should be saved from extinction.
People must obey all traffic laws.
Someone ought to repair this broken window.
Someone should have supplied the hotel guests with clean towels.
Someone had better take this garbage to the dump soon.
Someone is supposed to tell Fred about the meeting.
Someone has to finish this work today.
8. Someone ought to have reported this accident to the police.
9. You shouldn't put bananas in the freezer.
We should teach children to respect their elders.
XVIII. Make sentences using should(n't) ought(n't) to should(n't) have or ought(n't) to have and the
words in brackets.
Example: My car is always dirty. (I/clean/ it more often.) I should clean it more often./I ought to clean it more often.
You think your friend works too hard. You tell him/her: (You/not work/so hard.) (You/relax/more.)
Your friend overslept this morning and was late for work. His boss said to him: (You/buy/an alarm clock!)
Kate didn't feel well yesterday, but she went to work and now she feels really terrible. (She/not go/to work yesterday.) (She/stay/in bed.)
Mr Woods walked straight out into the road without looking. He was nearly killed by a bus. (He/not walk/into the road without looking.) (He/look/first.)
XIX. Here are five situations where you will be able to use the modals you have been practising. Use each modal only once.
must/mustn't/ought to/needn't/'d better
There's a fantastic film on at the Odeon. Advise your friend to see it before it's too late.
Tell your friend not to drive her car till it's insured.
You are going to play tennis with a friend at the tennis club. Tell him it isn't necessary for him to bring any tennis balls as the club supply them.
Your friend has just received his bank statement. He's sure it's incorrect. Advise him to telephone the bank.
Tell your Venezuelan friend that she needs a visa to get into France.
XX. Translate from Russian into English.
XXI. Study and practise.
Mother: Kathryn, I want to talk to you about something.
Have you got a minute?
Kathryn: OK. What's the problem now?
Mother: You know you don't have a job and you're getting money from Social Security. You said you wanted to prepare for your exams. I think you should stay at home and do some work.
Kathryn: I think you should leave me alone. You don't know if I'm working or not. It's not your business.
Mother: Kathryn! You shouldn't talk to me like that! I'm your mother.
Trainer: OK, boys. We've got the big competition in front
of us now. It's our big chance. You must train
harder than ever. Player: We're going to do that. You needn't worry.
But I think we ought to practise more often
together this week. Coach: No, we oughtn't to overdo it. We'll become
stale and tired. We shouldn't risk that.
Jenny: Nick, Mum has a headache. We ought to be quiet.
We shouldn't make so much noise. Nick: Did you say something? Jenny: The music is too loud. You ought to turn it
Nick: I can't hear you! Jenny: Don't shout, Nick! Shut up! And turn the music
Nick: Yes, I've already been to town. Jenny: No, Nick. Your music. Turn down your music! Nick: I can't hear you. The music's too loud.
A. Some of your friends have problems. Give advice with ought to. Use these or your own ideas:
go to bed earlier
talk to them
join a club
see a doctor
get a job
save money for a new one
go on a diet
get it cut
I'm always tired.
You ought to go to bed earlier.
My eyes are sometimes red and sore.
I never have enough money.
My school marks are bad.
I'm too fat.
I've got spots.
I've had a quarrel with my parents.
I haven't got many friends.
My old bicycle needs repairing again.
My hair looks terrible.
I can't find anything. My room is so untidy.
Gina: Susan, please. Make up your mind. I'm exhausted. Susan: I know, I'm tired, too. But this is an important decision.
Oh, which one should I buy? Yon Mi: Susan, you're young! Why don't you buy a sports
car? Sports cars are fun. Susan: Maybe you're right. The red one is nice. Maybe
I'll look at that one. Lucy: Wait a minute! You won't be single forever, you
know. You should think about the future and
buy a family car. Susan: Hmm. That's good advice, too. Oh, I'm confused.
I don't know what to do. Gina: What about that green car? It's a lot bigger, and it
isn't too expensive. Susan: Oh, I don't know. The red sports car is nice, but
you're right, Lucy. It's too small and impractical.
And I really can't afford it. I think I'll buy the
green one. Yon Mi: Well, it's your choice, but you shouldn't decide
too quickly. Let's go and get a cup of coffee. We
can sit and talk about it and come back later. Susan: Good idea!
A. What should or shouldn't Susan do? Match each sentence on the left with the best response.
Susan likes to drive fast.
a. She shouldn't get a two-door
She thinks big cars are safer
b. She should buy an economical
than small cars.
She likes to listen to music.
c. She shouldn't buy an expensive
Gas is expensive.
d. She should get a car with air con-
Dallas is very hot in the
e. She should get a sports car.
She can't afford an expen-
f She shouldn't get a small car.
She isn't a very good driver.
g. She should get a car with a good
She has to drive her aunt and uncle to work.
h. She should practise a lot.
B. Ask and answer questions as in the examples.
you/wear a seat belt when
people/cross the street when the
light is red
A: Should you wear a seat
Should people cross the
belt when you drive?
street when the light is red?
B: Yes, you should.
No, they shouldn't.
1. people/drive slowly when
You/swim after you eat
you/drive fast on a crow-
you/cover your mouth when
you/look at your passen-
you/stand under a tree
gers when you drive
during a storm
drivers/pay attention to
traffic signs when they
Simon is talking to Ellen Change, a travel agent.
Ellen: You and your wife have been to France before, haven't you?
Simon: No, we haven't.
Ellen: Well, then, you really ought to go. You'll love Paris, and the weather is perfect this time of the year.
Simon: But we don't speak French.
Ellen: You shouldn't worry about that. A lot of people speak English in France, especially in the hotels and restaurants.
Simon: Should we make our reservations now?
Ellen: Well, you ought to make them as soon as possible.
Simon: Where should we stay? Do you have any suggestions?
Ellen: I'll find an inexpensive hotel for you.
Simon: Do you have any brochures? I don't know anyone
in Paris, and I don't know anything about the city.
Ellen: I'll give you some brochures, but you ought to visit Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. Also, if you have time you ought to drive to Versailles for a day. It's really beautiful.
A What is the travel agent's advice? Choose the appropriate word in parentheses.
Simon and Lucy (should/shouldn't) go to France.
They (should/shouldn't) worry about speaking French.
They (should/shouldn't) make their reservations as soon as possible.
They (should/shouldn't) stay in an inexpensive hotel.
They (should/shouldn't) plan to visit Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre.
They (should/shouldn't) try to visit Versailles.
B. Give advice for someone who is thinking of taking a vacation abroad.
You must get a passport.
You shouldn't pack too many clothes.
a) get a passport.
b) pack too many clothes.
c) buy a roundtrip ticket.
d) make hotel reservations.
e) get health insurance.
f) check the weather.
g) carry lots of cash.
h) get traveller's checks.
i) take a lot of luggage.
j) check on visas.
j) carry your wallet in a back pocket.
Pair work. Give more pieces of advice.
Group work. What advice would you give tourists planning
to visit your city or country?
What time of the year should they visit?
What kinds of clothing do you think they ought to bring?
Where should they stay?
What places should they visit?
What should they see?
Is there anything they shouldn't do?
What other advice would you give them?
Chris: Nell! I was digging in the garden and I've just cut
my foot with the spade.
Nell: Oh dear! How did you manage to do that? OK. You'd better let me have a look.
Chris: Ouch! It really hurts a lot.
Nell: It doesn't look too good. I think you'd better go along to the Out-patients Department at the hospital. You'd better have an injection. There could be germs in the wound.
Gina and Frank are having lunch.
Gina: Frank, we've got a problem. We don't have enough money to pay the rent this month.
Frank: I know. I guess I'd better ask Mom and Dad for a loan.
Gina: And I'd better ask my boss for a raise.
Frank: Do you think you'll get it?
Gina: I don't know. But maybe I'd better not take another English course for a while.
Frank: Gina, you can't stop studying English. It's important. This is an English-speaking country. You can't get ahead without English.
Gina: I know.
Frank: I'd better get a part-time job. I can work at the office during the day and then do something else at night. In fact, I'd better check the newspaper right now.
A. Pretend you have something to do (a date, a meeting, a class, etc.). Ask the time and then give yourself some advice.
A: Victor, have you got the time?
B: Yeah, it's
A: I'd better go. I haven't done my homework yet.
I have a date at I'd better not be late.
Maggie and Daisy are having tea with Daisy's aunt in the country.
Aunt: Would you like some bread and butter Daisy? Daisy: No thank you, I'd better not have any, I'm on a
Aunt: Some bread and butter for you, Maggie? Maggie: Well, I know I shouldn't, but I think I will have
Aunt: How about a cake then, Daisy? Daisy: No thank you, I'd better not have one, I'm on a
Aunt: What about you Maggie, would you like one? Maggie: Well, I know I shouldn't, but I think I will have
A. Complete the following and discuss the meaning you wish to express by giving reasons for your statement.
Example, I'd better...
Possible response: I'd better write my mother a letter. (Reason: If I don't, there will be a bad result: she'll be angry or start worrying about me or feel hurt.)
I should I'm supposed to I ought to I'd better I have to I've got to I am to I must I shouldn't I'm supposed to I'd better not I don't have to I must not
Jane: Sylvia is having trouble with her parents. They say
she ought to do more at school. She knows she should work harder for the exams, but she's angry because her parents don't like her friends. Although she's almost sixteen, she's supposed to be home every night by eight o'clock.
Nick: Perhaps her parents ought to trust her more. They shouldn't treat her like a child. Why don't they like her friends?
Jane: I'm not sure. Sylvia's mother says that they are very rude. They don't do any school work. Sylvia is supposed to do her homework every night but she goes out with her friends instead. She says she wants to leave home.
Nick: She had better not do that. She might regret it.
Jane: But her parents just complain and never listen.
Nick: I think they had better start listening before it's too late.
A. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
a. What do you think Sylvia, her parents and her friends should do to improve the situation? Say sentences from the table.
Sylvia should/ought to talk to her parents.
Sylvia Her parents Her friends
should shouldn't ought to
talk to her parents, work harder, listen to Sylvia, leave home, leave school, be more tolerant, be rude to her parents, ask her friends home, be so strict, trust Sylvia, encourage Sylvia to leave home.
b. What else do you think Sylvia, her friends and Sylvia's parents ought to/should do or shouldn't do? Write five more suggestions. Take turns to read them to the class.
Sylvia's parents should try to get to know her friends better.
c. What do you think they should do in the following situations? Say a sentence with had better and a sentence with had better not for each situation.
Sylvia's exams are in two weeks' time. She had better do some work. She had better not waste time.
Sylvia's friends want to go to the cinema.
Sylvia wants to invite her friends to a party.
Sylvia's parents want to watch television, but Sylvia is playing very loud music in her room.
Sylvia's friend Anne wants Sylvia to go on holiday with her and her family.
Sylvia wants to go away for the weekend with some friends.
Her parents are worried about her. They don't want her to go.
Sylvia has decided to try to explain to her parents why she isn't happy at home.
B. WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?
a. Sylvia is supposed to be home by eight o'clock every evening. Which of the following things are you (not) supposed to do? Say your answers.
I am supposed to tell my parents the truth.
I am not supposed to park my bicycle in the living-room.
tell your parents the truth
park your bicycle in the living-room
help at home sometimes
tell your parents where you are going every time you go
be punctual for meals
tell your parents if you will be home later than usual
eat everything that's on your plate
sit at table in silence during meals
stay out all night without permission
take all your friends home to meet your parents
stay in bed until lunchtime at weekends
wear dirty shoes inside the house play loud music late at night go everywhere with your parents
b. Work with a partner. Interview him/her about what he/ she is supposed to do at home.
YOU If you want to go out, are you always suppo-
sed to ask your parents?
PARTNER I am supposed to ask them if I want to stay overnight at a friend's house.
Liza is Mrs Ross's au pair. One Sunday evening she came back from London looking very upset.
Mrs Ross: What's the matter dear?
Liza: Something awful happened. We went to the
Portobello Road and someone stole my handbag.
Mrs Ross: Oh, dear, did you lose a lot of money?
Liza: No, only a few pounds, but my passport was in
the bag. That's what I'm really worried about.
Mrs Ross: You must tell your embassy about it and I think they'll issue you with a new one.
Liza: I'd better go tomorrow.
Mrs Ross: No, you needn't go tomorrow, but you mustn't leave it too long. Did you report it to the police?
Liza: No, I couldn't find a policeman.
Mrs Ross: Well, you must report that it's been stolen and give the police a description of your handbag. You'd better go to the local police tomorrow morning.
Liza: Perhaps I could go to the embassy on Satur-
Mrs Ross: They might not be open on a Saturday, so you ought to ring them to check first.
Liza: Yes, I'll do it tomorrow.
Mrs Ross: And Liza
Mrs Ross: Don't be too upset it's not the end of the world.
What is Liza's job? What happened to her in the Portobello Road? Did she lose much money? What else did she lose? Where can she get a new one? Where must she go on Monday? Why? When might she go to the embassy? What ought she to do first?
B. Look at these ideas:
You must tell your embassy. You ought to ring them.
You'd better go to the local police station tomorrow
Note that all three of these are interchangeable, but by changing them we alter the meaning of the sentence.
YOU MUST TELL YOUR EMBASSY ABOUT IT is an urgent recommendation in this text, though it is usually an order. YOU OUGHT TO INFORM YOUR EMBASSY is a strong recommendation
YOU'D BETTER INFORM YOUR EMBASSY is a piece of advice.
You are speaking to a friend. Make up three sentences for each situation below.
take it back/shop
write/to him tomorrow
tell Jack/deal with it
have/a few days off
C. Look at this pattern:
A professional footballer train very hard/smoke
A professional footballer must train very hard. A professional footballer mustn't smoke.
Say what these people must or mustn't do.
The driver of a car
have a licence/drive without a licence
study for a long time/practise without being qualified
A teacher of English for foreigners speak too fast/ speak clearly
a hospital nurse
be kind and understanding/too upset at the sight of blood
A passenger on British Rail
have a ticket/travel without a ticket
A visitor to the zoo
pay at the entrance/feed the monkeys
7. A bus driver
drive too fast/drive very carefully
A shop assistant
be rude to the customers/be familiar with the goods she's selling
9. A referee
know the rules of the game/be afraid of making unpopular decisions
accept bribes/be honest
D. Look at this pattern:
tomorrow/you can go on Saturday
You needn't go tomorrow, you can go on Saturday.
What other things needn't your friend do?
any coffee/we have plenty
your key/I've got mine
lock door/we'll be back in a few moments
wait landlady/you can leave her a note
umbrella/isn't going to rain
money now/ you can pay me later
7. coffee for me/I've just had my tea
any money/the shops will all be closed
9. reserve seats/ it's not a very popular play
get stamps/ I found some
E. Give your friend some advice in the following situations. Use you'd better
1 only bought these shoes last week and this heel has come off already.
This tooth hurts when I drink anything cold.
I sent the money off for those theatre tickets two weeks ago. I still haven't heard anything, and the performance is on Friday.
The milkman forgot to deliver any milk today.
Oh, dear. I forgot to take that book to the library.
It's some time since this suit was cleaned.
Bother, I didn't post that letter to the bank.
Oh, I forgot to send my sister a birthday card and it's her birthday tomorrow.
F. Idea for discussion
In big cities there are thieves, and they often steal from foreign visitors. What advice would you give your young brother or sister, who was going abroad for the first time? Are there special places where a visitor must be careful? Is it more dangerous at night? How much cash should one carry? What is the advantage of having traveller's cheques?
A: How was your dinner party? B: I think it went pretty well. A: That's good.
B: Yeah, but we shouldn't have invited my wife's boss.
We couldn't get him to leave! A: Really? How late did he stay?
В: Until two o'clock in the morning! And we both had to
work the next day. A: Oh, he shouldn't have stayed so late. That was really
inconsiderate. I would have asked him to leave earlier. B: Well, it's really difficult to say that to your boss!
A, What would you have done in this situation?
B. Do you sometimes wish you had done things differently in your life? Think of three things and talk about them.
Well, I probably should have gone to a different university. I guess I shouldn't have got married so young.
Gloria didn't do as well as she should have at a job interview today. She didn't get the job, and she realizes now that she should have done a few things differently.
She should have spoken more confidently. She should have told more about her previous experience. And she probably should have worn more conservative clothes,
In addition, she shouldn't have arrived late for the interview. She shouldn't have smoked a lot in the interviewer's office. And she definitely shouldn't have asked so many questions about vacations and sick days.
Gloria will certainly do a few things differently the next time she has a job interview!
How did Gloria do at a job interview today? What does she realize now? How should she have spoken? What should she have told more about? What should she have worn? In addition, what shouldn't she have done?
B. In your opinion, what should Gloria do the next time she has a job interview?
C. Discuss or write what you think the people in the following situations should have done and should not have done.
Tom didn't study for the test. During the exam he panicked and started looking at other students' test papers. He didn't think the teacher saw him, but she did. She warned
him once to stop cheating, but he continued. As a result, the teacher took Tom's paper, told him to leave the room, and failed him on the exam.
Tom should have studied for the test.
He shouldn't have panicked during the test.
He shouldn't have started cheating.
He should have known the teacher would see him cheating.
He should have stopped cheating after the first warning.
The teacher should have ripped Tom's paper and sent
him out of the room the first time she saw him cheating.
John and his wife, Julie, had good jobs as professionals in New York City. John was offered a high paying job in Chicago, which he immediately accepted. Julie was shocked when he came home that evening and told her the news. She liked her job and the people she worked with, and she did not want to move away and look for another job.
Ann agreed to meet her friend Carl at the library to help him with his chemistry homework. On the way, she stopped at a cafe where her boyfriend worked. Her boyfriend told her he could get off work early that night, so the two of them decided to go to a movie. Ann didn't cancel her plans with Carl. Carl waited for three hours at the library.
Donna had been saving her money for three years for a trip abroad. Her brother Larry had a good job but spent all of his money on expensive cars, clothes, and entertainment. Suddenly, Larry was fired from his job and had no money to support himself while he looked for another one. Donna lent him nearly all of her savings, and within three weeks he spent it all on his car, more clothes, and expensive restaurants.
Last Christmas, the circus owner, Jimmy Gates, decided to take some presents to a children's hospital. Dressed up as Father Christmas and accompanied by a 'guard of honour' of six pretty girls, he set off down the main street of the city riding a baby elephant called Jumbo. He should have known that the police would never allow
this sort of thing. A policeman approached Jimmy and told him he ought to have gone along a side-street as Jumbo was holding up the traffic. Though Jimmy agreed to go at once, Jumbo refused to move. Fifteen policemen had to push very hard to get him off the main street. The police had a difficult time, but they were most amused. 'Jumbo must weigh a few tons,' said a policeman afterwards, 'so it was fortunate that we didn't have to carry him. Of course, we should arrest him, but as he has a good record, we shall let him off this time.'
A. Supply the correct form of should, ought to, or have to in these sentences.
I not tell) him this news; he was so much upset but I really do) so, for the circumstances demanded that.
I didn't go shopping this morning as I do) the housework.
You see) him dance! You have missed a lot. I take) you to the concert.
You ask) for permission before you left the table.
'It is very wicked of you,' she said. 'You be) ashamed of yourself.'
After she had gone I found myself wondering whether I do anything for her.
I'll see and speak to Maurice. He not behave) like that.
That day, however, I had a pupil waiting for an English lesson and I cut) my visit short.
I think I let) your parents know we are here.
I realize now I not say) anything.
What a pity you go). I know it's time for you to catch your train.
I finished all of my homework this afternoon. I not study) tonight.
These books return) to the library by tomorrow.
He is her freind. He invite) to the party.
Possibility or uncertainty: may, might, could
Present and future possibility
We use may, might and could to talk about present or future possibility.
'There's someone at the door.' 'It may be Sarah.' (=Perhaps it is Sarah.)
We aren't sure what we are going to do tomorrow. We might go to the beach. Perhaps we will go to the beach.)
'Where's Simon?' 'He could be in the living room.' Perhaps he is in the living room.)
Might is normally a little less sure than may. Could is normally less sure than may or might.
may might could
We use the negatives may not and might not (contraction: mightn't) with this meaning, but not could not.
Simon may not be in the living room. Perhaps he is not in the living room.) We might not go to the beach. Perhaps we will not go to the beach.)
Note the form: may /might /could be -ing.
They may be having dinner at the moment. Perhaps they are having dinner.)
Possibility in the past
We can use may might could have past participle to talk about possibility in the past.
'Where was Sally last night?' 'I think she may have been at the cinema.' I think perhaps she was at the cinema.) 'Peter is late.' 'He might have missed his train. Perhaps he missed/ has missed his train.) 'I can't find my wallet anywhere.' 'You could have left it at home.' Perhaps you left/ have left it at home.)
'She walked straight past me without saying hello.' 'She might not have seen you.' Perhaps she didn't see you.)
We also use could and might (but not may) with have past participle to say that something was possible in the past but did not happen.
'I forgot to lock my car last night.' 'You were lucky. Someone could have stolen it.' You were stupid to try to climb that tree. You might have killed yourself.
Pam: Do you know the Bartons' new address, Jeff? Jeff: No, sorry, I don't.
Pam: Do you think Steve will have it? Jeff: Yes, he may know it. Ring him. Pam (Rings the number.): No reply. Oh, it's Wednesday.
Jill may be at her evening class. Jeff: And Steve said he might have to work late. They
may not be home until after o'clock.
2. It's World Cup time. Stephen and Jim are talking about football and the different matches.
Jim: I wonder what's going to happen. Do you think
Russia will win the cup? Stephen: They might win the cup, but I doubt it.
Jim: Do you? I wonder if Charlie Watts will play for
England. Stephen: He might play for England but I doubt it.
Mrs Collins usually has a driving lesson every afternoon. Her instructor isn't sure if he can give her one tomorrow. She might have one tomorrow.
If she has a driving lesson at all tomorrow it will be from to o'clock. One of Mrs Collins's friends has just rung up and has said she wants to come over at 'Don't come over then,' Mrs Collins says. 'I might be having a driving lesson.'
Two weeks ago an old woman was found dead in her attic in Amsterdam. Among her scanty belongings two large paintings were discovered, each with the name of 'Rembrandt' at the bottom. An art expert is examining the paintings now. He cannot be sure about them yet. Certainly, however, the style is right and it has been established through various tests that the paintings are the right age. They might have been painted by Rembrandt.
Lady Crocker casually left her car with the keys still in the door. It was still there when she got back.
It could have been stolen.
The people interviewing Julie for the job can't understand why she is so late.
A: Why isn't Miss Wilson here?
B: She may be ill or she might be too nervous. It may not be her fault.
What other possible explanations do the interviewers think of? Use may/might (not):
Perhaps her train is late.
Perhaps her watch is slow.
Perhaps she doesn't know the way.
It's just possible she thinks it's on another day.
Perhaps there's a traffic jam.
Maybe she feels the salary is too low.
There's a slight possibility that she doesn't want the job after all.
Perhaps she's not feeling well today.
It's just possible she has a good reason.
The dentist isn't sure if he can save the tooth but he hopes to. He says:
'Well, I may be able to save it.' What do you say in the same situation if someone asks you:
Can you come to the party?
Can you do this work?
Can you learn all these words?
Can you repair the damage?
Can you carry this case?
III. Make up similar dialogues using the prompts.
A: Do you think James will win the tennis championship? B: Well, he might, but I doubt it. He hasn't been playing very well recently.
Peter/get/promotion he wants?
we/find/cure for cancer?
A: When do you think you'll be back home?
B: I might be back at It depends on the traffic.
How/you/find/money to buy a car? Bank loan.
When/your book/be/ready for publication? In six months' time.
Who/get job of Director? Henry.
How long /your trip around the world/take you? A couple of years.
A: Where are you going for your holidays this year? B: We haven't decided yet. We might go to Greece, or we might go to Italy.
Student A Ask the questions.
Student You haven't made up your mind!
travel? fly/go by car
stay? hotel/rent a house
for a week/for a fortnight
Who with? friends/alone
IV. What are some of the things you might be doing at these times:
next Saturday morning
o'clock in the morning on a warm day next summer
this time next year
V. Respond by using 'I don't know may/might/could.
Example: (...)'s grammar book isn't on her desk. Where is
it? Response-. I don't know. It may/might/could be in her book
(...) isn't in class today. Where is s/he? don't know. S/he
Where does live? (I don't know. S/he
What do you think I have in my briefcase/pocket/purse?
What kind of watch is wearing?
I can't find my pen. Do you know where it is?
How old .do you think (someone famous) is?
What are you going to do tomorrow?
What's the weather going to be like tomorrow?
VI. Listen to the clues; then make guesses. Use could, may and might.
Example made of metal and you keep it in a pocket.
TEACHER: I'm thinking of something made of metal that you can find in my pocket. What could it be?
STUDENTS: It could be a pen. It could be some keys. It might be a paper clip. It may be a small pocket knife. It could be a coin.
TEACHER: was right. I was thinking of the keys in my pocket.
has wheels and a motor
is made of plastic and can be found in my purse/pocket
3. is brown, is made of leather, and is in this room
is flat and rectangular
is white, hard and in this room
is played with a ball on a large field
has (three) stories/storeys and is made of (brick)
has four legs and is found on a farm
is green and we can see it out of that window
is sweet and you can eat it
VII. Put in suitable forms which express uncertainty or possibility.
We make decisions all the time, but we never be certain whether we are right or wrong. The work you choose to do be suitable for you or it not. The person you marry
be a perfect match or be the worst possible choice. Suppose you have saved money for the future. You invest it wisely so that it grows in value or you lose the lot in a foolish moment. You think you have a healthy diet, but the food you eat actually be very bad for you and be the cause of terrible illness. Perhaps you travel a lot by plane. All the flights you make are routine, but one of them be your last. Decisions! Decisions! But we .don't learn from experience. Experience is the quality that allows us to go on making the same mistakes with more confidence!
VIII. Replace may by might or can, as appropriate.
They may come with us, but I think they're too busy. I know it rained yesterday and today, but it may be fine tomorrow. You may leave as soon as you have finished. I know you don't like television but you may enjoy this programme. The snow is getting deeper. The trains may not be running. The students may answer the questions in any order they like. Visitors to Britain may not work in the country without a permit. Jamie may ask for a sweet; if he does, he may have one. My father says I may go to the party as long as I get home by midnight.
IX. Make up short dialogues.
[> The speakers are wondering what happened to certain things/people.
A: Perhaps she took it with her.
B: Well, she may have taken it away with her, I suppose.
Note This exercise can be done with might /could instead of may. Perhaps
he stole it.
she sold it.
you lost it.
she drank it.
he threw it away.
she left it at home.
he ate it.
they hid it in the attic.
he burnt it.
10. she tore it up.
they had an accident.
their car broke down.
he advised them not to come. he fell overboard. they got lost.
he was murdered. something delayed them. he took the wrong drug.
(a) A: Perhaps he is working for Jones. B: Yes, he may be working for Jones.
(b) A: Perhaps he was working for Jones. B: He may have been working for Jones.
Note This exercise can be done with might/could.
(a) Perhaps (b) Perhaps
he is waiting for he was waiting for someone. someone.
they are wondering what they were wondering to do. what to do.
she is trying to confuse us. i.e. just as in (a), but re-
they are window-shopping. placing IS/ARE by WAS/
she is expecting a letter WERE from us.
he is looking for another job.
they are working overtime.
8. he is listening at the keyhole.
9. they are watching television.
he is following us.
he is learning karate.
she is telling his fortune.
he is showing her the way.
14. she is doing exercises.
15. they are burying something.
16. he is taking drugs.
17. they are helping the police.
Ann and Bill are worried about a packet they are expecting from a not very efficient firm.
A: Perhaps they didn't treat this order as urgent.
B: Yes, it may/might not have been treated as urgent.
didn't deal with the order at once.
didn't post the packet promptly.
didn't mark it urgent.
didn't address it correctly.
didn't label it clearly.
didn't tie it up properly.
didn't send it by air.
didn't stamp it sufficiently.
didn't register it.
didn't insure it.
X. Here, Wilson is speaking to his secretary, Margaret Dobson.
Wilson: Can you type all these letters? I must have
them before Margaret: Well, I may have typed them all by then. I
can't be sure.
Reply as Margaret did. Wilson says:
Finish all this work by this evening.
Do you think you can do it before
Type this interview before noon.
Oh, and you must make all these-phone calls before I get back.
And book my tickets before lunch.
Wilson: My airline ticket still hasn't arrived. It was
sent five days ago. Margaret: Well, it may have got lost in the post.
What does she say if she thinks that perhaps:
the postman delivered it to the office downstairs
the airline sent it to the wrong person
3. the airline has forgotten to post it
it has come in this morning's post
she has put it on his desk
someone has taken it away by mistake
XI. Draw possible conclusions.
A: He was found wandering around the house at three in
the morning, (he/sleepwalk) B: He might have been sleepwalking.
I don't know who she was talking to for so long, (she/ phone/her boyfriend)
Why did you tell me to turn down the music? (the neighbours/try to sleep)
There was a strange sound outside the sitting room window
last night, (someone/try to break in)
I phoned her but her number was engaged, (she/try to phone you)
You weren't in when I called yesterday. (I/sit in the garden)
XII. Here is some advice that the travel agent gave Mr Wilson before he went to a foreign country. Complete it with may/ might (not) phrases from the list:
get ill stop have to pay a lot
ask be a lot of traffic have been washed
You'd better leave for the airport early there
Don't drink water from the taps you
Don't eat salad in restaurants it
You'd better take out medical insurance you
Mind how you cross the road when you're there the traffic even if the lights are red.
Take your passport everywhere with you the police to see it.
XIII. Rewrite these sentences using may/might (not) or may/ might (not) have instead of perhaps, it's possible and maybe. (Remember that the only difference between may and might is that might is weaker.)
Perhaps they have forgotten where we live.
It's possible they've lost our address.
There's a possibility that they didn't get our invitation.
Or maybe they thought it said Thursday, not Tuesday.
It's possible their car has broken down.
Perhaps they have been held up by a traffic jam in the centre.
Or maybe someone telephoned them when they were leaving.
XIV. Turn these 'certain' statements into 'possible/less than certain statements.
He is at home now He may-might could be at
He will be at home tomorrow.
He was at home yesterday.
She leaves at nine.
She will leave tomorrow.
She has left.
She left last night.
She will have left by nine.
He is working today.
He will be working today.
He was working today.
He has been working all day
XV. Write uncertain answers to these questions.
Where's Jim today? He may/might/could be at home.
2. Where was Jim yesterday?
Where will Jim be tomorrow?
What time does the train leave?
What time did the train leave last night?
What's Sue doing at the moment? - 7. What was Sue doing yesterday?
What will Sue be doing tomorrow?
What has Sue been doing this week?
What has John had for breakfast?
Where has Ann parked the car?
What did the car cost?
XVI. Now answer as does here.
A: I drove very fast but I didn't have an accident. B: Yes, but you might have had an accident! That's why you shouldn't have driven so fast!
I ran out into the street without looking and nothing
happened to me. 1 drank five bottles of whisky and I did not die afterwards.
I shouted at the boss but he did not sack me.
I didn't set the alarm clock and I didn't oversleep the next morning, either.
They built the house with very cheap materials and it didn't fall down.
I didn't lock my car last night but it wasn't stolen.
XVII. Imagine you are talking to someone who has written a book on the Titanic disaster.
A: The other ship didn't help. It just sailed away. B: In other words, the other ship could have helped but it didn't.
Some passengers didn't escape even though there was some room in the lifeboats.
They didn't even get into the boats.
The telegraph operator knew there were icebergs around. He didn't tell the captain.
The Titanic didn't avoid the iceberg even though it saw it in good time.
For some reason, the other ship didn't stop.
And so, all those people were never saved.
XVIII. Imagine you are an old man or woman. You are looking back at all the things you never did when you were younger. You are sure you could have done all these things.
Example You never became rich.
You say. I could have become rich, but I didn't. What a pity.
Think of more things you might say. For example: you never learned Chinese, became a famous film star, travelled round the world, etc.
XIX. Make up short dialogues.
A: I got there on Tuesday.
B: Couldn't you have got there before? (=Wouldn't this have been possible?)
I posted it on Tuesday.
They paid me on Tuesday.
She started on Tuesday.
He brought it back on Tuesday.
He sent in his application on Tuesday.
I phoned him on Tuesday.
7. They moved out on Tuesday.
We left on Tuesday.
9. She wrote on Tuesday.
He applied on Tuesday.
He booked the tickets on Tuesday.
They reported it to the police on Tuesday.
We re-addressed the letters on Tuesday.
I got back on Tuesday.
I made the arrangements on Tuesday.
I cancelled the tickets on Tuesday.
I answered his letter on Tuesday.
I gave her the message on Tuesday.
We invited him on Tuesday.
I told them about it on Tuesday.
XX. Complete the following sentences in an appropriate way, using either might or could an infinitive (present or past).
If I don't have too much work tonight, I
My car's being repaired at the moment. Sorry. If I had it, I
If I earned more money I
Four people died in a fire at their home. If they had had a smoke detector, they
If you were more understanding of other people,
If it's a nice day on Sunday, we
I've got terrible toothache. If the dentist decides I've got a bad tooth,
The ship had no life boats, and twenty-five people drowned. If
I started writing poetry after I'd met a famous poet at a cocktail party. He encouraged me to start. If
It's a lovely day, and the sea's beautifully warm. What a pity we didn't bring our swimming costumes! If
XXI. Write may, might, or could with an appropriate infinitive (present or past, simple or continuous) in each gap. Often all three are possible, but pay attention to the form of the infinitive.
1 wonder why Alan didn't buy me anything for my birthday. I suppose he (forget). Or he (think) that now I'm getting on, I don't like to be reminded of my advancing years. On the other hand, he can't have forgotten! He (give) me a present this evening when I see him. Oh no! He (plan) a surprise party, as he did last year. What a disaster that was! I hope he isn't doing it again!
Every time I phone Jane, it's engaged. It's very annoying. I suppose she (try) to phone me while I'm phoning her. I'll wait a while.
I can't help worrying when Jack is late back home. I always think that he (have) an accident, and that he (lie) on the side of the road with ambulances and police cars all about him. I know it's irrational. Wait a minute! It's Tuesday today, isn't it? He works late some Tuesdays. He (not leave) the office yet, I'll give him a ring.
I wonder why Helen has got all these books on Greece from the library. I suppose she (think) of going there on holiday. On the other hand, she (not get) them out
for herself. They (be) for Henry. He (write) a project on Greece for his geography course.
XXII. Translate from Russian into English.
give her a ring next week. Perhaps she'd like to
have lunch with me one day. Clare: I'm sure she'd love to, Mum, but she might not be
here. I think she's going to Ireland next week. Ann: Goodness! When is she going back to Australia? Clare: I'm not sure. She may try to get a job here in
England for a while. Ann: Good. Oh, just look at that sky! I think we're going
to have a lovely autumn.
A. In pairs, say why you should take certain things on a walking trip.
A: Shall I take a sweater? B: Yes, you might get cold.
a sweater a pair of binoculars
a compass a camera
a bar of chocolate some matches
get lost get hungry need to light a fire
want to do some birdwatching
want to take some photos get cold
B. In pairs, ask and answer questions about possible future events.
A: Where do you think you'll go for your next holiday? B: I think I might go to Thailand.
What are you going to do at the weekend?
What are you going to do about your English studies after this course?
What's the next article of clothing you are going to buy?
What's the next film you are going to see?
What do you think the weather will be like tomorrow?
Pierre: Where are you and Simon going to go for your
Lucy: We haven't decided yet. We might go to Paris, or we might go to Madrid.
Pierre: Oh, that's nice. Paris is an interesting city. It's beautiful. I was there a couple of years ago. Of course, Madrid is very nice, too.
Lynn: Have you ever been to France?
Lucy: No, I haven't. My family was from Spain originally so I've travelled in Spain and Portugal, but I've never gone to France.
Pierre: Has your husband ever been there?
Lucy: No. Simon's never been there either.
Pierre: Well, Paris might be a nice place for a vacation. It's very romantic!
Lucy: Yeah, but it may be expensive. I have to check with my travel agent.
Lynn: What's the weather like this time of the year?
Lucy: I don't know. It may not be very nice. I have to check that, too. Madrid might be warmer.
A. Read the statements about Lucy and Simon. Work in groups and make comments about each statement with might (not) or may (not).
Simon and Lucy aren't going to take many suitcases on their vacation.
A: They might not like carrying a lot of things. B: They may prefer travelling light. C: They may not need a lot of clothes.
Lucy and Simon don't want to spend a lot of money for their plane tickets.
Simon isn't interested in going to a beach.
Lucy isn't interested in going to the country.
They want to go to a big city.
They're worried about going to Paris.
They can't go on a long vacation. They're going for only a week.
A: You know, we're studying dinosaurs in science class.
It's really interesting.
B: Oh, yeah? Hey, have you learned why the dinosaurs disappeared?
A: Well, no one knows for sure.
B: I thought it had something to do with the climate. The
temperature might have gotten cooler and killed them
off. A: Yeah, that's one theory, another idea is that they may
have run out of food. B: Uh-huh. And you know, there's even a theory that
they could have been destroyed by aliens from outer
space. A: That sounds crazy to me!
A. You have arranged to meet a friend in front of a coffee shop at o'clock. It is You are there but your friend is not. Why? Think of possible explanations with may have..., might have, or could have. For example: perhaps he forgot about it, or has had an accident, or his car has broken down, etc.
George didn't come to his English class yesterday evening, and all the students in the class are wondering why.
Natasha thinks he might have gotten sick. Henry thinks he might have had a doctor's appointment. Mr and Mrs Ramirez think that one of George's children may have been sick. Nicole thinks he may have had to work overtime. Mr and Mrs Sato think he might have gone to the airport to meet his relatives who are arriving from overseas. And Maria thinks he may have decided to study in another school.
All the students are curious about why George didn't come to English class yesterday evening and they're a little concerned.
A. Tell a story using this model as a guide.
Our English teacher didn't come to class today, and all the students are wondering why.
And I think
We're all curious why our English teacher didn't come to class today and we're a little concerned.
Deduction (certainty): must, can't
Must, can t
We use must in deductions to say that we are sure (certain) about something.
It's not very warm and you're not wearing a coat. You must be cold. I am sure that you are cold.)
Mrs Woods must know London very well. She has lived there all her life. am sure that she knows London very well.)
We use can't (not mustn't) as the negative of must in this meaning. We use can't in deductions to say that something is impossible.
Peter was here a moment ago, so he can't be
far away. It is impossible that he is far
Annie can't be asleep. There's a light on in
her bedroom. It is impossible that she is
Note the form: must/can't be -ing.
You've been working hard all day. You must be feeling tired. I am sure that you are feeling tired.)
Simon has bought two tickets for the concert, so he can't he going on his own. (=It is impossible that he is going on his own.)
We also use can in questions about possibility.
'Can this be Mr Darcy?' thought she.
The telephone is ringing. Who can that be?
Sally is late. Where can she be?
Must have and can't have
We use must/can't have past participle for deductions about the past.
Those shoes you bought are very nice. They must have been expensive. I am sure that they were expensive.)
You can't have been at the swimming pool yesterday! The swimming pool was closed all day yesterday! It is impossible that you were at the swimming pool!)
We can use couldn't have instead of can't have here.
You couldn't have been at the swimming pool yesterday! The swimming pool was closed all day yesterday!
We use can have and could have in questions about past possibility.
Where can they have gone?
Sally is very late. What could have happened
Could the bank have made a mistake?
Note].-Must is not used to express deductions with reference to the future. Instead of the modal verb the adverbs probably, evidently and the word combinations be likely (unlikely), be sure are used.
He will probably feel lonely.
Evidently the weather will change tomorrow. The weather is likely (unlikely) to change soon. He is sure to win a scholarship.
Note Must is not used to express deductions in negative sentences. There are several ways of expressing the negative meaning of probability in such sentences: by negative affixes, or negative pronouns or lexically.
You must have misunder-
You must have been inat-
She must have failed to recog-
He must have had no chance
to warn you.
The letter must have never
The letter must have been
No one must have seen him
Evidently he didn't notice
Probably he didn't catch
the night train to town.
Note3: The Russian negative sentences of the type can be translated into English in different ways:
Haven't you seen him? Can you have failed to see him? Don't you like football? Can you dislike football? He can't be unaware of it.
Didn't he understand me? He can't have misunderstood me. Can he have failed to understand me?
Drawing definite conclusions
Drawing possible conclusions
He must be a policeman. Look at his uniform. They can't be lost. They know the way here.
She might be Spanish. Her name's Maria. They could be in the park. They often play there.
John: Where do you live?
Rita: In Elm Street at number
John: Really! That must be next door to my friend
Rita: Oh, I don't think I know him. John: You must know him! He's a fanatical runner. You
must have seen him running round your area in
all weathers. Rita: Oh! You must mean the man with the red bicycle!
Yes, I've seen him but I didn't know he was a
friend of yours.
Gary must have been daydreaming while he was driving to work yesterday. He drove through a red light at the busiest intersection in town. Fortunately, he didn't hit anybody. Gary was pretty lucky. He could have caused a terrible accident.
Man: What on earth could that be?
Woman: It's that couple upstairs. They must be having
another argument. Man: An argument? They must be having a battle.
Nick: Jenny, look at this letter. It says 'For the young
Bells. Open with care.' The handwriting is so strange. I don't recognize it.
Jenny: Let me have a look. It's so untidy that I can hardly read it.
Nick: Well, it must be for us. It can't be for Mum and
Dad. Their names aren't on the envelope. Jenny: And it can't be a bill. I bet it's from Uncle Joe.
He's such a joker. Let's open it. Nick: It is from Uncle Joe. He's sent us tickets for a.
helicopter flight over London! He always has
such great ideas.
Only an hour ago the director of a large firm was found dead in his office with a bullet in his head. The police have established that he was murdered at They are questioning his secretary now. 'I was in the canteen having lunch at that time,' she has just said. The office manager is listening. 'She can't be telling the truth,' he tells one of the detectives. 'The canteen was closed at
Someone ran into the tree in front of our house. I wonder who did it.
It could have been Sue; she has a car, and she was out driving last night.
It couldn't have been Jane; she doesn't have a car, and she doesn't know how to drive.
It must have been Ann; she was out driving last night, and today her car has a big dent in front.
From the given information, make your'best guess' by using must.
Example: Alice always gets the best grades in the class.
Why? Response She must study hard./She must be intelligent.
(...) is yawning. Why?
(...) is sneezing and coughing. Why?
(...) is wearing a wedding ring. Why?
(...) is going to get married in five minutes. His/her hands are shaking. Why?
(...) has already had two glasses of water, but now he/ she wants another. Why?
(...) is smiling. Why?
(...) is crying. Why?
There is a restaurant in town that is always packed (full). Why?
Every night there is a long line of people waiting to get into (a particular movie). I wonder why.
Don't look at your watch. What time is it?
11. Make sentences with must do or must be doing for these situations.
A man's breath always smells of whisky. He is sitting in the office now.
You have just come into a room. Cigarette smoke is hanging over your young son's head. His hands are behind his back.
You hear a strange language behind you. Two Chinese are there and you hear the words 'Mao Tse Tung' several times.
You can hear a typewriter upstairs. You know a writer lives there.
In his library he has books in six different languages.
The only kinds of bottles in his dustbin are always empty champagne bottles.
A priest is walking down the road. There is a small book in his hands and his lips are moving.
You go to bed rather late every evening, but when you do there is always a light on in the man's house across the street.
You can see the man now. It is midnight and he is just turning that light off!
The beautiful woman in the airport lounge is holding a Pan Am ticket to Los Angeles.
Max is asleep but his lips are moving and you can hear a few words.
You mentioned the President's name. The man you were talking to called him by his first name.
The man in the bus is wearing blue overalls with the word 'Ford' on them.
The girl on the beach has her ear next to the radio.
Tom knows all about French politics and there are lots of French newspapers in his room.
III. Rewrite the second sentence in each pair below, using 'must've'. You may have to change the person, as in example a).
Examples: a) It rained during the whole holiday. We felt fed up.
b) I almost fell asleep during the film. It was very boring.
Answers: a) You must've felt fed up.
b) It must've been very boring.
My wife and I had a meal in the best restaurant in town. It cost a lot. The computer at the office broke down yesterday. Everything went wrong. 1 worked overtime every evening last week. It made me feel very tired. Look, there's a crowd outside the bank. There was a robbery. I've phoned him twice but there's no reply. He's gone out. Peter bought a new car last week. He was given a pay rise. Susan failed her exam. I can't believe it. She misread a question. Did you hear? Mike's wife's gone off to Australia. She was glad to get away from the cold weather.
IV. Martin and Simon have just come back to their house after a weekend. Martin notices various changes; Simon thinks these must be the result of actions by Peter, who shares the house with them.
A: The door's open!
B: Peter must have left it open.
My torch isn't here! (borrow)
The plates are all clean! (wash up)
What are all these books doing here? (leave)
The teapot is in pieces! (drop)
How shiny the furniture looks! (polish)
The steps are unusually clean! (sweep)
There are some sandwiches on the kitchen table! (make)
There are no biscuits left! (eat)
And there's no whisky left! (drink)
The car is in a terrible state! (drive into a wall)
The clock is going again! (wind)
The bath's overflowing! (leave the tap on)
V. Complete the dialogues. Use an appropriate form of must with the verbs in parentheses.
A: Paula fell asleep in class this morning. B: She (stay up) too late last night.
A: George had to give a speech in front of people. B: Whew! That's a big audience. He (be) nervous. A: He was, but nobody could tell.
A: What time is it?
B: Well, we came at seven, and I'm sure we've been here for at least an hour. So it (be) around eight o'clock.
A: My favourite magazine doesn't come in the mail any mo-
re. I wonder why. B: Did your subscription run out? A: That's probably the problem. I (forget) to renew it.
A: Where's Dorothy? I've been looking all over for her. B: I saw her about ten minutes ago in the living room.
Have you looked there? A: Yes, I've looked everywhere. She (leave)...
A: Listen. Do you hear a noise downstairs? B: No, I don't hear a thing.
A: You don't? Then something (be) wrong with your hearing.
A: You have a black eye! What happened? B: I walked into a door.
A: Ouch! That (hurt) B: It did.
A: Who is your teacher?
B: I think his name is Mr Rock, or something like that. A: Mr Rock? Oh, you (mean) Mr Stone.
A: I grew up in a small town. B: That (be) dull.
A: It wasn't at all. You can't imagine the fun we had.
A: Why are you here so early?
B: Sam told me that the party started at seven o'clock. A: No, it doesn't start until eight o'clock. You (misunderstand)
A: I have passed the exams successfully. B: You (work) hard.
A: Yes, and I have deserved a good rest.
VI. Translate from Russian into English.
VII. Study how negation is expressed in the following sentences, translate them into Russian.
I. Nobody must have noticed him leave. He must have left the door unlocked on purpose. He thought that he must have taken the wrong train, because the names of the stations they were passing seemed unfamiliar. The news must have never reached him. He never says a word about it. He must have failed to see his mistake, for he didn't stop to correct it. He must have refused the offer. He seems to be a very quiet child. He must have given you no trouble at all. They must have been unwilling to leave so early. They treated our offer with suspicion. They must have misunderstood our intentions. Such a possibility must have never occurred to him. He must have failed to prove his point.
They must have missed the train. They had left too late.
He must have left the letter unanswered. He must be quite unaware of his clumsiness. What a pity I could not say good-bye to them, but they must have had no chance to warn me about their departure.
VIII. Change the following sentences making them opposite in meaning. (See Exercise VII.)
Everybody must have noticed that he was not used to speaking in public. He must have written to them of his arrival in due time. She must have bolted the door forgetting that I was to come later. He must have a good chance of winning, he is in good form. The man must have understood me, for he nodded his head. She must have been quite conscious of having made a mistake. They
must have given us the correct information about the road. I can see all the landmarks they have spoken of. The telegram must have certainly come in time. She must have been very careful. She did not spill a drop of milk. He must have done something about it. I see some changes in the design. The dog must have recognized his master. It did not bark as we approached the house. He must have been very experienced in sailing navigation. He must have kept his promise. They must have caught the train. She must be very patient with children, they like her. The student must have given the right answer. The teacher was pleased.
IX. Remembering that must in the meaning of probability is not used with reference to the future or in the negative form, find a suitable way of translating the following sentences into English.
X. Give possible reasons for Speaker B's conclusions.
A: Someone is knocking at the door. It might be Mary. B: It couldn't be Mary. (Reason? Mary is in Moscow./Mary
went to a movie tonight.)
A: Someone left this wool hat here. I think it belongs to
Alex. B: It couldn't belong to him. (Reason?)
A: Someone told me that Fred is in Norway.
B: That can't be right. He couldn't be in Norway. (Reason?)
A: Look at that big bird. Is it an eagle? B: It couldn't be an eagle. (Reason?)
A: Someone told me that Jane quit school.
B: You're kidding! That can't be true. (Reason?)
XI. Answer the questions in A using1 must or can't, give a reason from B.
Example They can't be Greek. They're speaking Italian.
Are they Greek? It's very cold in here.
Is he ill? Is the heating on? Are they asleep? Is she happy? Is he a doctor? Is Jane married?
He's too young. She's just passed her driving test. They're speaking Italian. Their bedroom lights are off. She's only fifteen. He's got a high temperature.
XII. Complete the statements with must or can't.
A: This is Mr and Mrs Arnold's house. They be far away
because their car is here. B: Yes, they be somewhere near perhaps they're in the
house. It's a very big house they be poor. A: And look at that expensive car! It be a new one. B: They have a child. Look, there's a child's bike. A: It's a small one, so the child be very old. B: And there's another bike there, too. It be Mr Arnold's.
It be Mrs Arnold's because it's a man's bike,
XIII. Make sentences with can't be doing.
Someone says, 'Richard's sitting in the park.' You saw him in the office a second ago.
You hear piano music and see Jane at the piano. You know she has never played before.
Your uncle has something that looks like a cigarette in his mouth. He is the head of the Anti-Tobacco League.
You understand Russian but you do not understand the two foreigners at the next table.
The six-month-old child has a book open in front of it.
'Bill's playing tennis,' someone says. You know Bill has a broken leg.
XIV. Yesterday someone finished the wine/broke a wineglass/ borrowed Mary's radio etc. Mary thinks it was Tom who did these things, but you know that Tom was out all day.
A: I wonder who broke the glass. I expect it was Tom. B: Tom couldn't have broken it. He wasn't here yesterday.
wonder who ...I expect it was Tom.
spoke to her
paid the milkman
brought the flowers
fixed the television set
tuned my guitar
made all the mess
moved the piano
spilt the wine
opened my letters
borrowed my umbrella
answered the phone
ate the cold meat
14. planted the rose bushes
XV. Complete the sentences using must have or can't have
and the verb in brackets,
She didn't answer the door bell even though I rang several times. She (be) asleep. I (run out of) petrol. I only filled up the tank this morning. I'm so sorry I'm late. You (wonder) what had happened. Cathy's got a new BMW! She (win) a lottery. I (lose) my glasses. They were here a minute ago. The flowers are beautiful! They (cost) you a fortune. Alan (get lost). I gave him the address and drew a map.
XVI. Respond to the following statements.
A: Steve's late. He's probably missed the bus. B: Yes, he must have missed the bus.
A: He didn't phone, so I'm sure he has decided not to
come. B: No, he can't have decided not to come.
Steve's late. He's probably missed the bus.
He didn't phone, so I'm sure he has decided not to come.
Jane didn't come. She's probably seen the play already.
I can't find the tickets. I'm sure we didn't leave them at home.
They aren't in my pocket. I've probably left them in the car.
It's after o'clock. The play's probably started by now.
There's another bus. Surely Steve hasn't missed two buses.
It's Wednesday today, isn't it? Surely he didn't think we were going tomorrow.
XVII. Draw definite conclusions.
A: I couldn't see the little boy anywhere, (he/hide) B: He must have been hiding.
A: She suddenly forgot what she was saying, (she/
concentrate) B: She can't have been concentrating.
I couldn't see the little boy anywhere (he/hide)
She suddenly forgot what she was saying, (she/concentrate)
Sally wasn't home when I called, (she/fetch the children)
He came last in the race, (he/try)
The man was stopped in his car by the police, (he/drink and drive)
I didn't hear the announcement at all. (you/ doze)
Don't you remember I said we'd be late? (I/listen)
Her eyes were red and puffy, (she/cry)
She got burnt on the first day on the beach, (she/wear any suntan lotion).
The man couldn't fix the tap in the end. (he/use the right tools)
He has achieved brilliant results, (he/work hard)
XVIII. Express doubt about the statements below.
Example She likes judo.
Could (Can) she like judo?
He is a liar. She is still waiting for you. He has won the race. He was promoted. Jane is in love with Peter. She has done it. They are still playing football. She speaks five languages. She enjoys football. Dobson scored two goals. He was studying the whole night. He was waiting for you all this time. She has enjoyed the performance. It is true. She has passed the exam.
Jane has accepted his proposal. She has been walking in the park the whole night.
XIX. Translate from Russian into English.
17. Не может быть, чтобы она ошиблась. 18. Неужели сестры так похожи? 19. Невероятно, чтобы он не сдал экзамен. 20. Ты не мог проголодаться. Мы основательно пообедали два часа назад. 21. Не может быть, чтобы они уже приехали. Поезд должен прибыть в 7 часов. 22. Неужели он не пригласил вас на свадьбу? 23. Не может быть, чтобы она сделала такую глупость. 24. Не мог он этого не заметить. 25. Не может быть, чтобы вас послали ко мне. Я не имею к этому никакого отношения. 26. Неужели он видел их? 27. Где он мог их видеть? 28. Не может быть, чтобы они ждали нас. 29. Неужели они ждут нас? 30. Кого же они могут ждать? 31. Неужели ты сам это написал? 32. Он не мог не осознавать опасности. 33. Неужели он не позвонил тебе вчера? Он сказал, что собирается сделать
XX. Which of the two completions is the speaker most likely to say? Choose the best completion.
1. 'Do you know where Mary is?'
'She be at home. She was going either there or to Barbara's after work.'
A. must B. could
'Look at all the children waiting for the bus. What time is it?'
'It be after That's when school is out.' A. must B. might
'I heard that Jose has received a scholarship and will be able to attend the university in the fall.' 'Wonderful! He very happy to have the matter finally settled.'
A. must B. may
'Excuse me. Could you tell me which bus I should take to get to City Hall?'
'Bus number go there. But maybe you'd better ask the driver.'
A. must B. might
'George says that we're going to have a very high inflation
'He be right. I think his view is as good as anybody's.
I've heard strong opinion on all sides of that issue.'
A. must B. could
'Do you suppose Carl is sick?'
'He be. Nothing else would have kept him from coming to this meeting.'
A. must B. may
'Have you heard anything from Ed? Is he still in Africa?' 'He be, or he already be on his way home. I'm just not sure.'
A. must/must B. could/could
'It that a famous person over there in the middle of that crowd?'
'It be. Everyone's trying to get her autograph.' A. must B. might
'Isn't Peter Reeves a banker?'
'Yes. Why don't you talk to him? He be able to help you with your loan.'
A. must B. may
'Isn't Margaret's daughter over sixteen?'
'She be. I saw her driving a car, and you have to be at least sixteen to get a driver's licence.'
A. must B. might
'Is that Bob's brother standing with him in the cafeteria line?'
'It be I suppose. He does look a little like him.' A. must B. could
'Do you think the grocery store is still open?'
'It be. I can't ever remember what their hours are.' A. must B. could
'Is Jeff a good student?'
'He be. Although he seems to study very little, I heard he was offered a scholarship for next year.' A. must B. could
'Have you seen the new movie playing at the Odeon?' 'No, but it be sad. Many people leaving the theatre seem to have been crying.'
A. must B. might
'The speedometer on my car is broken.'
'Do you think you're driving over the speed limit?' 'I don't know. I be.'
A. must B. might
Jenny and Tom have had a party. It has just finished.
Jenny: There's a taxi outside. Whose is it? Tom: I'm not sure. I think it be John's. He was telephoning for one earlier.
a) will b) might c) can
Jenny: Is there anyone else still here? Tom: No. Only John. Jenny: Well, then it be his.
a) must b) won't c) mustn't
John, I think your taxi has arrived.
John: I'm coming. Thanks for the party. It was great. Tom: That's O.K. Oh, wait a moment. Do you know
whose jacket this is? John: I think Martin was wearing something like that.
It be his.
a) can't b) will c) could
Jenny: Goodness. I'm tired. What's the time?
Tom: It's two fifteen.
Jenny: It be that late! When I looked at my watch
a few moments ago, it was only one o'clock.
a) can't b) won't c) mustn't
Tom: Well, I'm sorry but that's the time. Jenny: I forgot to tell you. The builders here at eight tomorrow morning.
a) come b) are c) will be
Tom: That's too bad because I be asleep, a) can b) c) must
XXI. Complete the sentences using might have, must have or can't have, and the correct form of the verb in brackets.
1 can't find my keys anywhere. I think I (lose) them. You shouldn't have driven when it was so foggy. You (have) an accident. You never know. They (take) the wrong bus. She (telephone) because I was in all day. I'm glad you didn't come to see me yesterday. You (catch) my cold. I (lose) my passport. It was here on the table just a few minutes ago.
XXII. Respond to the following statements.
A: He didn't answer the doorbell. Do you think he was
B: Yes, he may have been sleeping. A: It was Sunday, so I don't think he was working. B: No, he couldn't have been working.
He didn't answer the doorbell. Do you think he was sleeping?
It was Sunday, so I don't think he was working.
His car was outside. Perhaps he was having a bath.
Graham was out last night. Do you think he was meeting Jack?
He didn't take his racket, so I don't think he was playing squash.
Mary looked surprised to see Peter. I don't think she was expecting him.
I thought Peter was driving a Rolls Royce. Do you think I was dreaming?
Charles looked tired this evening. Perhaps he's been working too hard.
XXIII. Complete the dialogue with the correct form (simple or continuous) of the modals in the past. Role-play the conversation.
Peter: Hi, Louise! I've been trying to get in touch with you all week.
Peter: Yes, first I tried to phone you on Monday evening.
I suppose it was about
Louise: Oh, I (must/already/leave) for the cinema. Peter: Then on Tuesday evening I phoned at about six
Louise: I (might/work late). I usually do on a Tuesday. Peter: Then I tried again on Wednesday, at about ten
o'clock in the evening. Louise: Really? I suppose I (might/already/go to bed). I
had an early night, I think, on Wednesday. Peter: Then I tried on Thursday evening around eight
o'clock. Louise: I (must/shop). It's late night shopping on
Thursday. Peter: Then last night I tried several times but still no
Louise: I think I (might/have) a shower. Peter: What! For four hours! You (can't/be) in the
shower all evening! I get the feeling you're trying
to avoid me, Louise.
XXIV. Rephrase the following sentences, using must, can't, or might.
A. I'm sure Harry's at least sixty. I'm sure he hasn't retired yet. He still leaves the house every morning. I'm sure he isn't very well off. His house is in a terrible mess. Perhaps he spent all his money when he was younger. I'm sure he does a lot of gardening. His garden looks beautiful. I'm sure he's read a lot of books about gardening. He's certainly an expert. I'm sure he's working in his garden now. I can hear someone digging. Now I can hear voices. Perhaps he's talking to Miss Appleby. No, I'm sure it isn't Miss Appleby. It's two men's voices. They're shouting. Perhaps they are having an argument. They're talking about money. Perhaps Harry owes the other man some money. Now I can't hear anything. I'm sure they've gone inside. My
God! A gun shot! I'm sure Harry has killed him! No, there's Harry outside, so it wasn't Harry who was shot.
There's a siren. I'm sure this is the police arriving.
Look at all those lights and cameras. Ah! Now I understand. They are making a film!
B. I'm sure John's been held up in a traffic jam.
He said he did the journey in three hours! That's impossible.
Perhaps Ben has decided to have an early night.
I'm sure the train left early.
That wasn't an elephant, surely. It was too small.
It's highly likely you dropped the envelope as you were running for the bus.
There's a chance that one of our employees has double-booked your ticket.
I'm sure they decided to take the train after all.
Maybe they missed the turning.
The boy was evidently reading something funny. He was smiling all the time.
The boy is probably reading something funny. He is smiling all the time.
It is possible that they left it in the car.
I'm certain that he has heard the gong.
14. It is impossible that he should have refused your request.
I don't believe that he has done the work carelessly.
Is it possible that this old man is her brother?
My students are certainly at a lecture now.
18. Is it possible that they have already left?
Perhaps they are having a party.
XXV. A detective is investigating a burglary at the home of Mr and Mrs Smith. Put in the correct modal verbs of deduction.
'I wonder how the thief got in. He used a ladder or he had a key.
Ah! What's this? Broken glass by the kitchen door, and the
door has been unlocked. He broken the window, put his
hand inside, and turned the key. That made a noise. I
wonder if the neighbours heard anything?
(He goes next door to talk to the neighbours, and knocks on
There's no reply. I suppose they be on holiday, or they
(He listens at the letter-box.)
I can hear voices. Someone in. Rather odd.
(He goes back to the Smiths' house.)
Now, I wonder what was stolen. I don't think the Smith
family is terribly well off, so the thief found a lot to
steal. It was clever of him to come in just after Mrs Smith
went shopping. He known she would be out.
What was that noise? It came from upstairs. The burglar
not left the house yet! He hiding upstairs! I'd better go
XXVI. Work in pairs. Respond to the following situations using the word or words in brackets and the perfect infinitive (have past participle).
A: I can't find my ticket, (must, drop) B: You must have dropped it.
John didn't come to school yesterday, (must, ill)
Look at my new gold watch! (can't, buy yourself
Why is Isabel late for class? (might, oversleep)
I can't find my homework, (must, forget)
The teacher's checking Maria's work, (can't, finish already)
Did you know that Charles got top marks in the exam? (must, cheat)
Where's my umbrella? (could, leave it on the train)
XXVII. Respond first with may have/might have/could have. Then use must have after you get more information.
Example Jack was absent yesterday afternoon. Where was he?
Possible response: I don't know. He may have been at home.
He might have gone to a movie. He could have
decided to go to the zoo because the weather
was so nice. Follow-up. What if you overhear him say, 'My sister's
plane was late yesterday afternoon. I had to
wait almost three hours.'
Now what do you think? Expected response. He must have been at the airport to meet
his sister's plane.
Jack didn't stay home last night. Where did he go?
What if you overhear him say, 'I usually go there to study in the evening because it's quiet, and if I need to use any reference books, they're right there.'
How did Jack get to school today?
What if you see him pull some car keys out of his pocket?
Jack took a vacation in a warm sunny place. Where do you suppose he went?
What if you overhear him say, 'Honolulu is a nice city.'
Jack visited a person in this class yesterday. Do you know who he visited?
What if I say this person (supply a certain distinguishing characteristic)!
Jack walked into class this morning with a broken arm. What happened?
Then you overhear him say, 'After this I'm going to watch where I'm going when I'm riding my bicycle.'
Students A and are waiting to meet an English-speaking friend outside a cinema. The film is about to start and their friend has not yet arrived. They know that their friend:
does not know his/her way round the town very well.
is going to come to the cinema straight from work.
has recently been ill.
is going to drive to the cinema and parking is difficult.
They also know that the same film is showing at another cinema in town.
In pairs, draw some conclusions about why the friend has not yet arrived and decide what to do. For drawing definite conclusions use must or can't; for drawing possible conclusions use could or might, may.
A: I wonder where (Sabina) is.
B: She might be lost. She doesn't know her way round the
town very well. A: No, she can't be lost. But she might be
XXIX. Emma and Sadie are students. They've both got exams tomorrow. Complete their conversation using a modal verb be the-ing form of each verb in brackets. Use the modal verbs ought to, might, must and would.
Emma: Hello, Sadie. Aren't you doing any work? You (revise)
for the exam.
Sadie: I (read) my notes if I had them, but I've lost them. Emma: Good Lord! How awful! Do you want to look at mine? Sadie: No, thanks. It's okay. Don' t worry, Emma. Exams
aren't important. Emma: Not important! You (joke)! I (look) everywhere if my
notes were lost.
Sadie: Well, I'll probably find them before tomorrow. Emma: Have you seen Helen? She's got a book of mine. Sadie: She was in here not long ago. Perhaps she's outside.
She (sit) in the garden. Emma: I'll go and have a look. Then I (go). I have to get to
the library before it closes. Sadie: What are you doing tonight, Emma? Emma: Revising, of course. Aren't you? Sadie: I (play) tennis with Rebecca. If the weather stays
fine, that is. It'll be too late for revision tonight.
A. Say what you might be doing at the moment if today was a different day of the week. Find out what the other members of the class might be doing if it was a Saturday or a Sunday.
XXX. Supply must be, can't be, or mustn't be.
The meeting is at o'clock sharp and you late. You at the station ten minutes before the departure of the train. The children tired already! We've only been walking for ten minutes! The children thirsty. They haven't had a drink for hours. Did you hear that? It someone walking about in our garden. I don't recognize the handwriting on this envelope. It from anyone we know. Your handwriting clear, otherwise no one will be able to read it. You a nuisance when you're a guest in someone's house. Don't panic! We late for the train. It doesn't leave till We late for the train or we'll miss our connection.
XXXI. Supply must have been, can't/couldn't have been, have to/had to (be), didn't have to (be).
He knows a lot about flying planes. He a pilot when he was young. Vera at the supermarket this morning. I didn't see her there. John at the bank till so he only arrived here five minutes ago. When she at the hospital? Early this morning. We had enough foreign currency left at the end of the holiday, so I buy any more. Monica knew exactly what to do. I tell her twice. There are so many nice things for tea, I think you expecting us. There an accident on South Street because the road is closed off. You waiting long. After all, I'm only five minutes late. When I was a boy we sitting at our desks working before the boss got in. I left a message on your answer phone last night. You out. The fire alarm went and we out of the building in two minutes.
XXXII. Put in must be/must have been, can't be/can't have been, had to be or didn't have to be.
Tracy Evans at work till ten, so she ignored her alarm clock. But she woke up with a start when she heard a strange sound coming from her wardrobe! What was it? It a mouse, Tracy thought. No, it She knew there were no mice in her room. I careful, Tracy said to herself as she opened the wardrobe. There, in front of her, was the lovely pair of wedge-shaped sandals she had bought the day before. Then she heard the sound again! 'It coming from my sandals!' she cried. She picked them up and, sure enough, one of them was 'talking'! Tracy at work at ten, but she still had enough time to visit Mr Lucas, her shoemaker. He removed the wooden heel and they were both amazed to see a white larva eating the wood. Mr Pope, of the Natural History Museum, solved the mystery. 'These shoes (import) from Brazil. An insect (lay) its eggs in the tree from which the shoes were made,' he explained.
XXXIII. Fill the spaces in the following sentences by using must, can't and needn't perfect infinitive of the verbs in brackets.
Did you hear me come in last night? No, I (be) asleep. I wonder who broke the wineglass; it (be) the cat for she was out all day. You (help) him. (You helped him but he didn't need help.) I had my umbrella when I went out but I haven't got it now. You (leave) it on the bus. He (escape) by this window because it is barred. I (give) would have been enough. I saw a rattlesnake near the river yesterday. You (see) a rattlesnake. There aren't any rattlesnakes in this country. He is back already. He (start) very early. I bought two bottles of milk. You (buy) milk; we have heaps in the house. I phoned you at nine this morning but got no answer. I'm sorry. I (be) in the garden. I left my bicycle here and now it's gone. Someone (borrow) it. When she woke up her watch had vanished. Someone (steal) it while she slept. I've opened another bottle. You (do) that. We've only just started this one. Perhaps he swam across. No, he (do) that; he can't swim. Do
you remember reading about it in the newspapers? No, I (be) abroad at the time. He (walk) from here to London in two hours. It isn't possible. We went to a restaurant and had a very good dinner for You (have) a very good dinner if you only paid 1 have just watered the roses. You (water) them. Look, it's raining now! That carpet was made entirely by hand. It (take) a long time. The door was open. It (be) open. I had locked it myself and the key was in my pocket. He said he watered the plants every day. He (water) them. If he had they wouldn't have died. We've sent for a doctor. You (send) for him. I am perfectly well. I've made two copies. You (make) two. One would have been enough. I had to get down the mountain in a thick fog. That (be) difficult. saw Ann in the library yesterday. You (see) her; she is still abroad. You (lend) him your map. He has one of his own. He was found unconscious at the foot of the cliff. He (fall) metres. Jane took Spot for a walk and he disappeared. He (steal). Lucy looks upset. She (give) a bad mark. I found this book on my desk when I came to class. It (leave) by one of the students in the earlier class.
XXXIV. Translate from Russian into English.
XXXV. Study and practise.
My aunt is an actress. She must be at least thirty-five years old. In spite of this, she often appears on the stage as a young girl. Jennifer will have to take part in a new play soon. This time, she will be a girl of seventeen. In the play, she must appear in a bright red dress and long black stockings. Last year in another play, she had to wear short socks and a bright, orange-coloured dress. If anyone ever asks her how old she is, she always answers, 'My dear, it must be terrible to be grown up!'
Kate: Can you recognize that woman, Millie? Millie: I think I can, Kate.
It must be Karen Marsh, the actress.
Kate: I thought so.
Who's that beside her? Millie: That must be Conrad Reeves. Kate: Conrad Reeves, the actor?
It can't be.
Let me have another look.
I think you're right!
Isn't he her third husband? Millie: No. He must be her fourth or fifth. Kate: Doesn't Karen Marsh look old! Millie: She does, doesn't she!
I read she's twenty-nine, but she must be at least
Kate: I'm sure she is. Millie: She was a famous actress when I was still a
Kate: That was a long time ago, wasn't it? Millie: Not that long ago!
I'm not more than twenty-nine myself.
Sybil: Sidney! Sidney! Wake up!
Sidney: Eh! What? What's the matter? It can't be eight
o'clock already! Sybil: No, it's half past one. It's those people next door
Sidney: Oh, yes. They must be having another party. Sybil: Listen to that! They must be waking up the whole
street. And they've got three young children. They
can't be sleeping through that noise. It's disgusting!
Somebody should call the police! Sidney, wake up! Sidney: Eh? I wasn't asleep, dear. They're all laughing.
They must be having a good time! They never
invite us, do they? Sybil: Sidney!
Sidney: Yes, dear. What is it now? Sybil: Listen! They must be leaving. Sidney: Thank goodness for that! Maybe we'll get some
Sybil: I hope so. It's nearly three o'clock. Goodnight,
Sidney: Oh, hell! They're having a row now. Sybil: I'm not surprised. They always have rows after
parties. Sybil: Oh! They must be throwing the pots and pans
again. Sidney: No, I think that was a plate, dear, or maybe the
television. They'll be sorry in the morning. Sybil: Sidney! Wake up! Sidney: Eh! Oh, what's that?
Sybil: He can't be hammering at this time of night. Sidney: What time is it? Sybil: Four o'clock. What can they be doing at four
o'clock in the morning?
Sidney: I can't hear any voices. Go back to sleep, Sybil, Sybil: Sidney! Listen. There's someone in the garden next
Sidney: Eh? It must be the milkman. Sybil: No, it can't be. It's too early. It's only quarter to
five. Who could it be? You'd better have a look. Sidney: All right. Ooh! It's Mr Sykes, and he's carrying a
Sybil: Oh, no! You don't think he's killed her, do you? Sidney: Well, we haven't heard her voice for a while. No,
she's probably sleeping.
Sybil: But what can he be doing at this time of night? Sydney: If he has killed her, he might be burying the
Sybil: What! You don't think so, do you? Sidney: Well, he can't be planting potatoes, can he? I
suppose you want me to phone the police? Sybil: No. Ask him what he's doing first! Sidney: Hello, there, Mr Sykes. You're up early this
morning. Mr Sykes: I haven't been to bed yet. We had a party last
night. I hope we didn't keep you awake. Sidney: Oh, no. We didn't hear anything, nothing at all.
Mr Sykes: Well, it was a pretty noisy party. My wife knocked over the goldfish tank while we were clearing up. The poor fish died. I'm just burying them before the children wake up.
A. What do you think your parents/brothers/sisters/friends
are doing this moment?
If you think you know what they are doing answer with:
They must be doing this. They can't be doing that. They're probably doing this.
If you don't know, use:
They could/may/might be doing this.
They're possibly doing this.
Policeman: OK. I've been following your car now for ten
minutes. You've been driving at far more than
the speed limit and in a very erratic manner.
I think you must have had a little too much to
drink. Driver: I really must protest, officer. I can assure you
that I only drank one glass of whisky or
maybe two. Policeman: Will you show me your driving licence? And I
need to check your insurance papers too. Driver: Er I haven't got them with me. I know I
ought to keep them in the car but I always
forget. Policeman: I think you forgot to stop drinking too! You'd
better get into my car. You certainly oughtn't
to drive any further tonight.
Ann: Look, Harry!
That policeman's waving to you. He wants you to stop. Policeman: Where do you think you are?
On a race track?
You must have been driving at seventy miles
Harry: I can't have been. Policeman: I was doing eighty when I overtook you.
Didn't you see the speed limit? Harry: I'm afraid I didn't, officer.
I must have been dreaming. Ann: He wasn't dreaming, officer.
I was telling him to drive slowly. Harry: That's why I didn't see the sign. Policeman: Let me see your driving-licence and your
insurance certificate. Policeman: I won't charge you this time.
But you'd better not do it again! Harry: Thank you.
I'll certainly be more careful. Ann: I told you to drive slowly, Harry.
Harry: You always tell me to drive slowly, dear. Ann: Well, next time you'd better take my advice!
Jack is on his way to the sports centre to meet some friends. He's feeling miserable because he hasn't got any money. It's his girlfriend's birthday next week. He may not be able to buy her a present and she could be very disappointed. She might even refuse to go out with him! He could ask a friend to lend him a few pounds, but he already owes money to all his friends.
When he arrives at the sports centre, he sees something pink near the entrance. It's a purse and it's full of money. Fifty pounds! Who could it belong to?
'A pink purse can't belong to a boy. It must belong to a girl at the centre,' Jack thinks.
Jack doesn't know what to do. He could pay his debts with the money and he could buy Debbie a present. There's no one in the street, but someone might be watching him.
A. Rephrase the sentences with may.
Perhaps the purse belongs to a girl at the centre. The purse may belong to a girl at the centre.
Perhaps the owner is looking for the purse.
Perhaps Jack knows the girl.
Perhaps someone will be watching Jack.
Perhaps he won't tell anyone about the purse.
Perhaps he won't try to find the owner.
Perhaps he will put the purse back where it was.
Perhaps he will find the owner.
Perhaps Jack will get a reward for finding the purse.
B. Say what might happen. Say what you think Jack might or might not do.
Jack might (not) keep the money.
C. What could Jack do with the money? Write five sentences. He could pay his debts.
Say what you could do with fifty pounds in your currency. Think of five things.
I could buy some new clothes.
D. Complete the sentences with must or can't.
It's an expensive leather purse. It isn't scratched. It must be quite new.
It smells of leather, so it be very old.
Jack thinks, 'The owner get a lot of pocket money.'
Why does Jack think that the purse belong to a
Why it belong to a boy?
The owner be very careless to lose so much money.
The owner know that she has lost the purse outside.
No one is looking for it.
E. a) Imagine that you have found these things in the street or on a bus. Make deductions about the things or the owners
with must and with can't (where possible). Say your answers.
a dog's lead
It must belong to someone who has a dog. The owner must have a dog.
(a pink umbrella, a paintbrush, a tin of cat food, a silk tie, a mask, a pair of football boots, an English grammar book, a balloon on a string, a book about gardening)
b) A pupil thinks of one of the above objects. The class asks questions and tries to guess the object. The pupil answers with Yes, you can/No, it isn't etc. After an answer the class says a sentence with It could be/It can't be or It must be.
Class: Can you use it in the rain?
Pupil: No, you can't.
Class: It can't be the umbrella. Can you read it?
Pupil: Yes, you can.
Nick: Jeff wanted to take Ann to the disco on Saturday. She waited for him at home for an hour, but he didn't turn up and he didn't phone. Ann was angry, so she phoned Jake Cook and asked him to take her to the disco. She knew that Jeff and Jake didn't like each other. Later that evening, Jeff saw Ann at the disco with Jake. Jeff felt angry, so he left immediately.
Jane: Something must have delayed Jeff. He should have
phoned Ann to explain. He could even have had an
accident on the way to her house. Nick: He might have forgotten about the disco. Jane: No. He can't have forgotten about Ann! But she
shouldn't have gone out with Jake. Nick: I agree. But they needn't have been so angry with
A. Suggest possible reasons why Jeff didn't turn up at Ann's house. Use might/may have been or could past participle.
A visitor might have arrived unexpectedly. He could have lost his watch.
B. Complete the sentences with must have or can't have past participle.
Later, Jeff said the he had phoned Ann before the disco. Ann can't have heard (hear) the phone.
1. Why didn't she hear the phone? The television
(be) too loud.
Because Ann didn't answer the phone, Jeff (think)
that she had already gone out.
After the disco, Ann didn't look very happy. She
(enjoy) the evening.
Jake looked miserable too. He (be) disappointed.
5. Jake didn't mention Jeff. Jake (know) that Ann
had planned to go to the disco with him.
6. Jane didn't know the story about Ann and Jeff. Ann (tell) her.
A week after the evening at the disco, Ann got a letter
from Jeff. In the letter Jeff (explain) what had
happened and how he had felt. Ann understood.
Next Saturday, Ann and Jeff are going to the cinema together. They (solve) their problems.
C. What do you think Jeff, Ann and Jake should have done or shouldn't have done to avoid problems?
8. Mr Fielding: Sorry to hear about the fire, Charles. Not
too much damage, I hope?
Mr Williams: No, it wasn't too bad. We've had to redecorate the whole of the living-room, but the rest of the house wasn't damaged.
Mr Fielding: I suppose it must have been a cigarette end.
Mr Williams: Probably. We ought to have checked for that sort of thing after the party, of course, but we were so tired we went straight to bed.
Mr Fielding: I wonder who the culprit was? It couldn't
have been me I don't smoke. Mr Williams: It might have been Ted Redman or Bill
Coleman the more they drink, the worse
they get. Mr Fielding: It could well have been old Bill. He was
standing by the big window, flicking his
ash all over the place. Mr Williams: So he was! Still, it could have been anyone,
and the insurance company's paying the
A. Add the most suitable modal and the appropriate verb forms.
Example He (can't/must/may: finish) yet; he's only just started. He can't have finished yet; he's only just started.
Someone has broken a big window in the classroom. The broken glass was inside the room, so it (may/must/can't: break) from the outside. It was probably broken by a ball, but of course it (might/couldn't/must: be) a stone. I didn't find a stone or a ball in the room, but a boy (couldn't/must/ could: pick) it up before I arrived. I did some marking in the room after school yesterday and it (may/must/can't: be) at least o'clock when I left. The window was all right then, so it (must/mustn't/couldn't: break) after o'clock last night or before this morning. William often breaks things, but it (must/mustn't/couldn't: be) him because he's away from school this week. It (may/must/can't: be) that rough boy Roy, but I can't be sure because there were at least six boys playing football outside when I left and it (must/may/ mustn't: be) any of them.
Jerry Brennan's brother is a computer programmer. He works on the tenth floor of an old office building in downtown San Francisco. The building was built in and is made of brick. He was the only one working late in his office last
night when an earthquake hit. The streets shook and the buildings swayed from side to side. Windows were shattered and the electricity was cut off in some areas. In some places, telephone service was interrupted.
The earthquake could have been much more serious than it was, but most of the newer buildings are considered 'earthquake proof so no one was injured. Jerry called Richard at work to make sure that he was all right.
Jerry: Richard, are you all right? Ann and I are worried
Richard: Sure. Why? Jerry: Didn't you feel the earthquake? You might have
Richard: What earthquake? Jerry: I 'm watching the news and San Francisco has
just been hit by an earthquake. Didn't you feel
it? Richard: Well, yeah, I guess so. But I was so busy with my
work that I wasn't paying much attention. Jerry: You must have been awfully busy if you didn't
notice it. Was anything damaged in your office? Richard: Well, now that you mention it, one window was
broken and some books were knocked off the
bookcase. And a chair was knocked over. Jerry: Richard, you shouldn't have stayed there so late.
And you're probably all alone. Richard: Well, yes, I am. But I have such a big report to
Jerry: Richard, please go home. And be careful! Richard: Yes, all right. I guess that's a good idea. I can
finish this tomorrow.
A. Work with a group and give an appropriate response to
Make assumptions about the past.
£> I called Lucy, but she wasn't at work. She must have been sick.
Lynn wasn't at school yesterday.
Richard wasn't at home last night.
Ann and Jerry called Richard after the earthquake.
Talk about past possibility.
Oscar wasn't at the hospital yesterday. He could have been at home. He might (may) have had class. He might (may) not have had any class.
I called Richard, but he wasn't home last night.
Our teacher didn't come to class yesterday.
Victor speaks English perfectly.
Talk about past advisability.
I was sick, but I didn't go to the doctor. You should have gone to the doctor. You shouldn't have come to school, then.
Richard worked very late last night.
I had a terrible headache yesterday.
Ann and Jerry had an automobile accident.
My grandfather used to have a beautiful gold pocket watch. He wore it on a fine gold chain across the front of his waistcoat, and when I was small he promised to leave it to me in his will.
'When I'm gone', he said, 'this is going to be yours.'
Unfortunately that will never happen now. About three months ago, my grandfather came up to London to visit us. The first Sunday morning after he arrived, my youngest son said he wanted to go to the park.
'We'll do better than that', said my grandfather, 'we'll go and feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.' So off they went. They got home about tea-time and my grandfather was looking very upset.
'My watch,' he said, 'it's gone. Someone must have stolen it while we were feeding the pigeons.'
'Did you tell the police?' I asked.
'No,' he said, 'I didn't think it would do any good.'
'You should have reported it', I said, 'Perhaps you just lost it.'
'No', he replied, shaking his head. 'Someone must have taken it. But I know what I'm going to do.'
My grandfather put an advertisement in the Personal column of the Evening Standard and the Evening News for a week.
if the gentleman who stole my gold pocket watch near the statue of Nelson will meet me on Sunday 6th May, in the same place at o'clock, I will buy my watch back for the sum of This theft has not been reported to the police, and no questions will be asked.
At a few minutes after one on the afternoon in question, a small nervous man, wearing a cloth cap, approached my grandfather. 'Excuse me, Sir,' he asked, 'are you the gentleman enquiring about his pocket watch?'
My grandfather nodded. 'Well, you must understand, Sir, that I didn't have it, but the gentleman who did has asked me to give it back.'
From the pocket of his rather dirty overcoat, he produced my grandfather's watch. My grandfather was delighted. He paid the man as promised, and fixed the watch and chain back where they belonged. Solemnly he shook hands with the little man.
'If I were you, Sir,' said the little man, 'I should keep you overcoat buttoned up when you're in a crowd like this.' Then he disappeared.
My grandfather strolled back to the bus stop. He thought he would like to have another look at his watch. So, smiling to himself, he unbuttoned his coat and looked down. The smile froze on his lips. The watch and chain were no longer there.
A. It is easy to be wise after the event. Your friend takes a certain action. Things don't turn out successfully. So you tell him/her what he/she should have done or shouldn't have done.
Look at these examples:
'You should have reported it to the police.' 'You shouldn't have given him all that money.'
Make at least one should have and one shouldn't have sentence for each of the situations below.
Your friend is complaining about the price she paid for her coffee at the corner shop. It's cheaper at the supermarket.
Your friend has bought a secondhand car recently. It has been giving a lot of trouble.
Your friend had to go to Sheffield. He went by coach, and the journey was very slow. Trains go to Sheffield.
Your friend has had a problem that has been worrying him/her for days. At last he/she has told you about it.
Your friend came to England four months ago, knowing no English at all. The first weeks were very hard for him/her.
Your friend had an extra ticket for the jazz concert. It cost He gave it away. Other people were selling spare tickets outside the theatre.
You are out with a friend. He isn't wearing a coat, and it's very cold.
B. Someone stole my watch is a definite statement.
But often we want to say what probably happened. Then we
can use this construction:
'Someone must have stolen my watch.' Use the situations below to make more sentences like this.
Note Some of the situations might lead to more than one idea.
You left your bicycle outside the school. When you came back it wasn't there.
You had some guests staying in your home. After they had gone, the phone bill came in. It was much bigger than usual.
Your friend Kitty was coming to supper. You went to meet
the bus she planned to come on, but she wasn't on it.
You are very busy in the office. One moment you have an important letter in your hand, the next you don't. You know it's not lost.
A burglar came into your house and stole several items. In the morning you find a window wide open at the back.
You are visiting Wells, in Somerset, and you are shown a model of the cathedral, made entirely out of matchsticks.
C. If we want to express the idea of what possibly happened, we can say:
'Someone might have stolen your watch.'
Look at the situations in exercise B, and see which you could use to make might have statements.
D. Ideas for discustion:
Have you ever had anything stolen? Has your house ever been broken into? What did the thieves steal?
Do you know anybody who has suffered in this way?
When you have remembered some real robberies you will be
able to say:
what must have happened or
what might have happened and
what someone should or shouldn't have done to
prevent the robbery.
Probability: should, ought to
We can use should or ought to to say that something is probable at the moment of speaking, or in the future.
Sally should be at work by now. She's normally
there at this time. (=Sally is probably at work
I should finish work early today. I haven't got
much to do. will probably finish work early
He ought to pass his driving test easily. He's a
very good driver. He will probably pass his
driving test easily.)
She is pretty. She ought to make a good match.
(=She will probably make a good match.)
Should have and ought to have
We use should have/ought to have past participle when we expected something to happen and we do not know if it happened.
They should have arrived by now. (But I do not know if they have arrived.) 'I wonder if he passed his driving test this morning.' 'He ought to have passed it easily.' (But I do not know if he passed it.)
We also use this structure when we expected something to happen but it did not happen.
They should have arrived by now, but they aren't there yet.
He ought to have passed his driving test easily. I was surprised that he failed.
I. Complete the sentences using should or ought to and the correct form of the verbs in the box. Use each verb only once.
pass be win not take
sell arrive receive
I've only got but that enough. We won't need to buy very much. You my letter first thing tomorrow morning. I posted it early today. I was surprised Liverpool lost the football match. They easily. I my car easily. I only want for it and it's in very good condition. Andrew the exams last week. He worked very hard for them. 'How long will it take to drive to the park?' 'Well, it long. It isn't very far.' I'm still waiting for the o'clock bus. It half an hour ago.
II. Use should or ought to to say that you think something will happen.
Do you think Ted will get the job he applied for? Well, He's got all the necessary qualifications.
Do you think Margaret will pass the examination? Well, She has studied very hard.
Do you think Jim will win his tennis match against Tom? Well, He's a much better player than Tom.
Do you think will be enough to do all the shopping? Well, it But take a bit more in case it isn't.
III. Stephen and his father are looking at the league table, and trying to predict who will be in the final. Complete their conversation with should/shouldn't or ought (not) to/ oughtn't to.
Stephen: Brightsmouth beat Mancastle.
Dad: I agree, they lose that match.
Stephen: How about the other semi-final? Liverton beat
Dad: Yes, they but it won't be easy. Stephen: If Brightsmouth reach the final, they win the
cup. They have much difficulty against either
Wetford or Liverton.
IV. Use should/ought to, or must in the following.
Look at all the people standing in line to get into that movie. It be a good movie. Let's go to the lecture tonight. It be interesting. Look. Jack's car is in front of his house. He be at home. Let's stop and visit him. A: Hello. May I speak to Jack? B: He isn't here right now. A: What time do you expect him? B: He be home around nine or so. A: Who do you think is going to win the game tomorrow? B: Well, our team has better players, so we win, but you never know. Anything can happen in sports. A: What time are you going to arrive? B: Well, the trip takes about four hours. I think I'll leave sometime around noon, so I get there around four. A: Susie is yawning and rubbing her eyes. B: She
be sleepy. Let's put her to bed early tonight. Hmmm. I wonder what's causing the delay. Ellen's plane have been here an hour ago. I thought I had a dollar in my purse, but I don't. I have spent it. Ed has been acting strangely lately. He be in love. Forty minutes She have been back for her rest hour by now.
V. Rephrase the sentences using the correct form of the words in brackets.
I'm sure she is in bed. (must) We'll probably arrive before o'clock, (should) Perhaps he was ill. (may) It's impossible that they missed the plane, (can't) Perhaps she'll phone later, (might) I'll probably be at home by o'clock, (should) Perhaps they went home, (could) It's impossible that he's telling the truth, (can't) I'm sure you've heard the news, (must) Perhaps I won't go out this evening, (may) It's impossible that she saw us. (can't) I'm sure the bus has left, (must) Perhaps he didn't apply for the job. (might) She'll probably be here soon, (ought to)
VI. Complete the sentences with the appropriate form of the
words in parentheses. Add not if necessary for a sentence to make sense.
A: I need to see Tom. Where is he?
B: In his room. Knock on his door softly. He (might take) a nap.
When I walked into the room, the TV was on but the room was empty. Dad (must watch) TV a short while before I came into the room. He (must forget) to turn the TV off before he left the room.
Michael wanted to go to the opera, but he put off buying a ticket and now they're all sold. He (should buy) his ticket weeks ago. He (should wait) until now to try to get a ticket.
Bob was stopped by a police officer last night. He (must drive) too fast when she clocked him on her radar. She gave him a speed ticket.
A: Why didn't Jack answer the teacher when she asked
him a question?
B: He was too busy staring out of the window. He (must daydream). He (should pay attention). He (should stare) out of the windows during class yesterday.
Why do you ask my opinion? You have been in the business much longer, you (ought to know) better.
7. A: Where's your bicycle?
B: I don't know. One of my friends (may borrow) it.
I hope it wasn't stolen. Maybe Sally borrowed it. A: Sally? She (could borrow) it. She has a broken leg.
Why should she want to borrow your bicycle?
Renny drove her to the train. He (should be) back at any moment.
There's a fine sunset, it (ought to be) a fine day tomorrow.
Tea is between half-past five and six, and it (should be) ready now.
A: Kathy just bought a new car, and now she's looking
for a new apartment. B: She (must make) a lot of money in her new job.
It's five o'clock. The plane (should+land) now.
A: The roads are treacherous this morning. In places,
they're nothing but a sheet of ice. I (should+take) the bus to work this morning instead of driving my car. I thought I'd never make it.
B: I know. It's terrible outside. Jake still hasn't arrived. He (must+walk) to work right now. He doesn't live too far away, and I know he hates to drive on icy roads.
A: He (might+decide) not to come in at all. He (could+work) on his report at home this morning. I'll check with his secretary. He (may+call) her by now.
14. Do you hear that guitar music? Carla (must+play) her guitar.
My tweed jacket isn't in my closet. I think my roommate (might+borrow) it. He often borrows my things without asking me.
A: Do you think Jane has got my letter yet?
B: She (should+receive) it by now. I haven't heard of any hold-ups with the post.
Alex has a test tomorrow that he needs to study for. He (should+watch) TV right now.
VII. Translate from Russian into English.
you might can express a very casual request: You might post these for me.
But it can only be used in friendly relaxed situations, otherwise it would sound rude.
With a certain intonation and a strong stress on the important word might can express a reproachful request: You might 'help me with stress on help might imply 'Why aren't you helping me?/You should be helping me.'
might can also be used with other persons to express this sort of irritation: He might 'pay us! with stress on pay could mean 'We are annoyed that he doesn't pay/hasn't paid us.'
might perfect infinitive can express irritation at or reproach for the non-performance of an action in the past: You might have 'told us with stress on told could mean 'You should have told us.' In this sense might is interchangeable with could.
You might at least have met me at the station. You could at least have met me at the station.
Advice with may /might as well
We use may /might as well (+infinitive without to) to say that we should do something because there is no strong reason not to do it and because there is nothing better to do. This construction expresses very unem-phatic advice.
'Shall we get a taxi or wait for the bus?' 'We
might as well wait for the bus. We're not in a
hurry, are we?'
'Why don't we go out for a walk?' 'We may as
well, I suppose. We haven't got anything else to
'I'll go on Monday by a slow train.' 'You might
just as well wait till Tuesday and go by the fast
'Shall we have dinner now?' 'We might as well.'
Example You do not remember your child's birthday.
You might remember your child's birthday. Example You did not switch off the lights before leaving.
You might have switched off the lights before
You do not wear your new suit to the office.
You did not sew the buttons on, Alice.
You did not even notice how well she played. You do not pay enough attention to your child.
Do come and help me choose the present.
You did not try hard enough.
Please help me with my homework.
He didn't meet her at the airport.
You didn't tell me at once what was wrong.
Please stay with us a little longer.
He didn't pay the bill.
I can't understand why he didn't offer us a lift.
Why didn't you ask me first?
You never let me know when something like this happens.
You didn't get up earlier and help me to clean after the party.
Why don't you write to her?
Why didn't you invite him?
Why didn't she write?
I was a bit upset that they didn't lend a hand.
Julie was going to attend an interview for a job. She borrowed her mother's car, but she had a puncture, and was two hours late for the interview. Later her mother was rather annoyed.
She thought Julie could have: but Julie said:
got a lift phoned a garage walked to the next village changed the wheel herself
she didn't hav? any tools nobody stopped it was too far there was no phone nearby
Surely you could have couldn't you? Couldn't you have
No, I couldn't because I could have, but
Use all four constructions, and the items above, to complete the dialogue:
Couldn't you have a got lift? I could have but nobody stopped.
III. Make sentences from the table to go with these ideas.
Example: You may as well switch off the TV. Nobody is watching it.
1____. It's not very far.
2___. I'm too ill to go on holiday.
3___. It isn't going to stop raining.
4___. No one wants any more to eat.
5___. There's a chance I'll get it.
You may as well switch off We might as well stay We may as well walk I might as well apply You might as well cancel I might as well clear
to the station, the table, the hotel bookings, the TV. at home today, for the job.
IV. Give unemphatic advice.
Example I'd prefer to buy an orange pullover, but they've
only got red ones.
Then you might as well buy a red one. Example: Mary doesn't want to marry John, but Julie does.
Then he might as well marry Julie.
I'd prefer to buy an orange pullover, but they've only got red ones.
Mary doesn't want to marry John, but Julie does.
1 prefer the expensive flat to the cheap one, but someone's taken the expensive one.
She likes the short skirt better than the long one, but the short one is too dirty to wear.
They wanted to leave on Saturday, but the planes are full until Sunday.
I prefer planes to trains, but I can't afford to take a plane.
Mary won't go to the dance with John, but Julie will.
The television has finished now, and it's just about our bedtime.
V. Insert the correct form of may/might except in and where a be allowed form is necessary.
It rain, you'd better take a coat. He said that it rain.
We as well stay here till the weather improves. I borrow your umbrella? You tell me! think I have a right to know.) Candidates not bring textbooks into the examination room. If he knew our address he come and see us. I come in? Please do. When he was a child he (they let him) do exactly as he liked. I think I left my glasses in your office. You ask your secretary to look for them for me. (request) He be my brother admit that he is) but I don't trust him. I never see you again. He be on the next train. We as well wait. If we got there early we get a good seat. The police (have a right to) ask a driver to take a breath test. You ought to buy now; prices go up. I'll wait a week so that he have time to think it over. He isn't going to eat it; I as well give it to the dog. You at least read the letter. think you should.) You have written. am annoyed/disappointed that you didn't.) We'd better be early; there be a crowd. Nobody knows how people first came to these islands. They have sailed from South America on rafts. You (have permission to) use my office. He said that we use his office whenever we liked. I don't think I'll succeed but I as well try. You ought to go to his lectures, you learn something. If we can give him a blood transfusion we be able to save his life. Two parallel white lines in the middle of the road mean that you not overtake. If I bought a lottery ticket I win If you said that, he be very offended. I wonder why they didn't go. The weather have been too bad. I see your passport, please. He (negative) drive since his accident. (They haven't let him drive.)
VI. Translate from Russian into English.
VII. Study and practise.
'The play may begin at any moment,' I said.
'It may have begun already,' Susan answered. I hurried to the ticket-office. 'May I have two tickets please?' I asked.
'I'm sorry, we've sold out,' the girl said. 'What a pity!' Susan exclaimed. Just then, a man hurried to the ticket-office. 'Can I return these two tickets?' he asked. 'Certainly,' the girl said. I went back to the ticket-office at once. 'Could I have those two tickets please?' I asked. 'Certainly,' the girl said, 'but they are for next Wednesday's performance. Do you still want them?' 'I might as well have them,' I said sadly.
Mrs Smith: Have another cup of tea before you go, Mrs
Jones. Mrs Jones: I should be off really. I want to catch the ten
o'clock bus into town and it's nearly quarter
to already. Mrs Smith: You may as well have another cup and catch
the You'd have to run to catch the o'clock now and you might miss it even then.
Mrs Jones: All right, then, thank you. And can I have another of those chocolate biscuits?
Mrs Smith: Of course you can. Here you are
Mrs Jones: Did you read about that awful business at the new comprehensive school last week?
Mrs Smith: Yes, I did. A boy assaulted a teacher with a knife. Whatever next?
Mrs Jones: He ought to be given a good beating. They're too soft on children these days. The children can do what they like, and the teachers can't do anything to punish them May I have another biscuit?
Mrs Smith: Of course help yourself. I don't know why they abolished corporal punishment. Things like that didn't happen when we were at school because the teachers kept these hooligans under control by using a cane.
Mrs Jones: That's true Ah, well, I must go now Oh dear! Is your clock right? It can't be twenty past ten already.
Mrs Smith: I'm afraid it is. You've missed the too now. You may as well stay here for a chat and go into town after lunch.
Mrs Jones: Yes, I might as well. But Mrs Brown is expecting me. I really ought to ring her and tell her that I won't be turning up. Could I use your phone?
Mrs Smith: Certainly.
A Using the verb given with 'be or 'as well rephrase each sentence.
Example. It is possible that society is responsible for this, (might) Society might be responsible for this.
I'm sure she isn't his wife. She's too young and pretty, (can't)
I think that this is the quickest way to get there, (might)
I don't really need a big chicken, but they haven't got a small one, so I suppose I'll have to take a big one. (might)
I think he's home by now. He left over an hour ago. (should)
I'll never pass the exam. I think I'll stop trying, (may)
It isn't possible that he's back. He only left minutes ago. (can't)
I'm not sure but I think John is meeting Mary again tonight, (may)
It is almost certain that he'll be successful. He's very confident, (should)
Harry: Were you able to write that letter yesterday, Nora? Nora: Which letter do you mean? Harry: The one to the headmaster of Peter's school, saying
we want to take him away on holiday a week before
the end of term.
Nora: Oh no! I must write it tonight. Harry: You ought to have written it yesterday, you know.
We may have left it too late. Nora: But I thought you said I needn't. Besides, don't
you think you ought to write it, as Peter's father?
It might seem better coming from you. Harry: But you can write that kind of letter much better
than I can; you always could. Nora: I think you might do it instead of me you know
I hate letter-writing. Harry: Perhaps we might write it together. Where's a
piece of paper? Nora: There may be some in this drawer. Yes, here you
Harry: Now. What can we say? Nora (hesitating) Well you could say, er you could
say Peter needs a long holiday. Harry (dubiously): That might do. Nora: Harry, you could have spoken to the headmaster
when you met him last week; then we needn't have
written this letter.
Harry: Yes, I know and you could have written the
letter yourself yesterday when you said you were
going to. Nora: Well, anyhow, we don't seem to be making much
progress with it now. Peter: Hello, Mum and Dad! Harry: Hello, Peter. Nora: Hello, Peter. Peter: I've got some good news for you! Our headmaster
says the holidays are starting a week earlier because
the school is to be painted. Nora: What a relief, Harry! We needn't have worried
about how to write our letter.
A. Comment on the uses of the modal verbs in the conversation.
B. Find in the text appropriate phrases for the following.
C. Report the conversation.
D. Act out the conversation.
Offers: will, shall, can, could, would
We use will to say that we are willing to do something or to offer to do something.
I'll help you with your suitcase.
I'll lend you my bicycle if you want.
Are you hungry? I'll make you something to eat.
(I'll I will)
We also use will you? in offers and invitations.
What will you have to drink? Will you have dinner with us?
We use shall I? do you want me to?) to offer to do something for someone.
Shall I help you?
Shall I open the door for you?
Shall I post this letter for you?
We also use can/could 'ability') to offer to do something for someone.
I can post this letter for you.
I could lend you some money if you want.
Sometimes when we use can or could to 'ask for permission', we are really offering to do something.
Can I make you something to eat? Could I carry that bag for you?
In these uses, could is less direct and more polite than can.
We also use would with verbs such as like and prefer to make polite offers and invitations.
Would you like a cup of coffee? Would you like me to help you? Would you prefer to stay in or go out this evening?
I. Make offers using the words below.
Shall I switch off
something to drink?
you an umbrella if you like.
Would you like me to
Can I take
some bags for you?
Would you like
for the doctor?
Could I carry
you do the washing up.
I can lend
II. Note this pattern:
Your friend is finding it difficult to open a bottle. You say: I'll open it for you.
Offer to do more things for a friend, using I'll.
Your friend looks cold.
Your friend is reading, and the room is getting dark.
You think your friend might be thirsty.
Your friend has written a letter. He can't find an envelope.
You think your friend might be hungry.
Your friend has to catch a train. You have a car.
Your friend is short of money.
Your friend took a jacket to be cleaned. You are going near the cleaner's.
Your friend has two heavy suitcases.
Your friend is about to go home. He has no umbrella, and it's pouring with rain.
Make offers for the following things and substances.
a sandwich, some coffee, a slice of toast, some potatoes, an orange, some fruit, a cup of tea
Example: Would you like a sandwich?
IV. Offer to do things for others.
An old lady clearly wants to put her large suitcase on the luggage rack.
Shall I put the suitcase on the rack (for you)?
A young woman is shivering and the window is open.
Your friend accidentally drops some sheets of paper on the floor.
Your friend is moving into his new house.
Your sister has difficulty with her homework.
Your friend's mother is arriving and he can't meet her at the station.
Your friend's suitcase is too heavy for her to carry.
V. Make invitations for the following situations.
Your friend has nowhere to stay for the night. Would you like to stay with me?
You want your friend to join you for a meal.
You want your friend to come on an excursion.
You want your friends to have a holiday with you.
There is a concert on tonight and you want Tom to come with you.
You want your friend to have lunch with you.
VI. Translate from Russian into English.
Suggestions: shall, can, could
We use shall we? to ask for and make suggestions.
Where shall we go? What time shall we leave? Shall we stay at home? Shall we play tennis tomorrow?
We use can and could to suggest possible actions.
We can watch TV if you like.
We could go to the cinema tomorrow.
In this use, could is less direct and more polite than can.
Preference: would rather
Would rather means 'would prefer to'. After would rather, we use the infinitive without to.
'Would you like to go on holiday in June?' 'I'd
rather go in July.'
Would you rather meet on Monday or Tuesday?
We form the negatives with would rather not.
I'd rather not lend him any money.
Note also the structure would rather (do something) than (do something else).
I'd rather take a taxi to the station than go by bus.
Note: would rather would sooner
I'd rather/I'd sooner be a builder than an
Are you coming with us? No, I'd rather/
I. Peter and Sally are trying to decide what to do this evening. Complete the conversation using the words in the box. Use some words more than once.
Why don't we Let's shall we How about could
Peter: So, what we do this evening?
Sally: Well, we haven't got much money. staying in and
Peter: Oh, no! I'm fed up with watching TV. Sally: go out for a drink, then. We can afford one drink
Peter: All right. Where go? Sally: go to The Tropical Bar? They have really good
Peter: Yes, but the drinks are very expensive. Sally: That's true. Well, we go to the pub on the corner. Peter: Yes. They have very good videos. go there. Sally: I thought you said you were fed up with watching TV!
II. Answer the questions. Use could to suggest possibilities. Use should only if you want to give strong, definite advice.
Example. I need to get to the airport. Any suggestions? Possible Response. You could take a taxi or the airport bus.
Or I could take you if I can borrow my brother's
Possible response. In my opinion, you should take the airport \ bus.
I don't have any plans for this weekend. I need some suggestions.
(...) and I want to go to a nice restaurant for dinner tonight. Any suggestions?
I need to get from here to (name of a place in this city/ town). Any suggestions?
(...) needs to buy an umbrella, but s/he doesn't know I. where to go. S/he needs some suggestions.
I'm hungry. I'm going to eat an egg. Give me some
suggestions on how to cook it. What are the possibilities?
I need to get a car, but it can't be very expensive. Any
I bought a (name of a car), but I'm unhappy with it. In
hindsight, can you suggest other possibilities for a kind of car I could have bought?
1 went (name of a place) for my vacation last summer, but I didn't enjoy it. In hindsight, can you suggest some other possibilities that I didn't think of? (I had only five days and a limited amount of money.)
I went to the food store yesterday and bought some bread.
That's all. But then when it came time for me to fix myself some dinner, all I had was some bread and butter. Suggest some possibilities of other things I could have bought.
went to (name of a restaurant) for dinner last night, but the food was terrible. Do you have any hindsight suggestions?
III. Complete the conversation using would like to or would rather.
Julie: What (you) drink, Auntie? (you) have tea or coffee?
Aunt: I have tea, please.
Julie: What about you two boys. (you) have tea as well?
Boys: No, we have coffee, please.
Julie: OK. And what about Amanda? (she) drink something?
Aunt: No, I think she have anything at the moment. She sleep!
IV. Use I would rather to say what you prefer.
P> buy a TV set or save my money
I would rather save my money than buy a TV set.
go to the cinema or stay at home
buy a mountain bike or save money
revise for an English test or go to a party
look round a museum or watch a basketball match
go up in a rocket or go down in a submarine
work as a fashion designer or be a journalist
listen to music at home or go to a pop concert
learn windsurfing or take a course in parachute jumping
live abroad or stay in my country
play football or watch a football match on television
V. Supply negative short answers with I'd rather/I'd sooner
to these questions.
Are you coming with us? No, I'd rather/I'd sooner not.
Do you want to catch the next train? No,
Shall we go to a restaurant? No,
Do you want to go out tonight? No,
Shall we go to the country tomorrow? No,
Do you want to go swimming? No,
Shall we invite Betty Smith? No,
VI. Translate from Russian into English.
VII. Study and practise.
I. Jackie: Let's plan our summer holiday. Where would you rather go this year? Spain or Italy?
Jeff: Well, I'd really prefer to have an active holiday for a change maybe walking in Switzerland or even canoeing in Scotland.
Jackie: If those are your only suggestions, I'd sooner stay at home! Come on be reasonable. I'm not athletic and I need two weeks' sun every year!
Jeff: OK. Calm down. We'll do whatever you prefer. We usually do!
A. Respond to the following suggestions using I'd rather/I'd sooner.
Example: Do you want a coffee?
I'd rather/I'd sooner have an orange juice.
Let's go to an Indian restaurant.
Shall we play tennis this afternoon?
Let's paint the door red.
Would you like to watch television?
Do you want an apple?
Come for a walk.
Richard: Where shall we go for our holiday this year? Joan: We're going to Spain, aren't we? Richard: No, let's have a change. I'm tired of Spain. Joan: We can go to Greece if you like. Richard: No, I want to get away from the Mediterranean.
I'd rather have a holiday in the country. Joan: Well, what about Switzerland? We could rent a
chalet up in the mountains. Richard: I'm afraid that might be pretty expensive, and
anyway I'd rather go somewhere we haven't been
Richard: Don't be silly, I'm serious I was thinking of Finland.
Joan: Isn't it rather cold and dark there?
Richard: Not in the summer. They have dozens of fantastic lakes and marvellous pine forests if you're lucky you may run into a big brown bear.
Joan: A wild one?
Richard: Yes, I believe there are still a few.
Joan: All right, see if you can get some brochures
A. Read the conversation below and then fill each gap with one of the modal verbs listed. Use each modal verb once only.
David: I'm not going out now, it