Modal auxiliary verbs - degrees of certainty 01
Chooe the correct option. You will get some feedback on your answer. Sometimes more than one answer is possible.
We should be there by ten.
? We're talking about the future. ? We're talking about the present. ? We're talking about the past.
We should be there by ten.
? There is a small possibility we will arrive by ten. ? I'm sure we will arrive by ten. ? It's not absolutely certain but there is a strong possibility that we will arrive by ten.
Don't worry, she'll be there.
? I'm very sure. ? I'm not sure.
This horse might win.
? I'm going to put my life savings on it. ? I'll put a small bet on it. ? No way I'm risking even a dollar on it.
He could be in the library.
? He goes in there sometimes. ? I doubt he's read a book in his whole life. ? He's always in there.
They must be having lunch.
? This is the only possibility I can think of. ? Or they might be shopping.
She can't be still at lunch.
? She went three hours ago. ? She's only just gone. ? She's in the restaurant.
(Watching a film)
This must be London. ? There's Big Ben. ? The cars are driving on the left. ? It looks cold.
The thieves must have worn gloves.
? There are fingerprints everywhere. ? There are no fingerprints.
She can't have gone out.
? Her coat is still here. ? Her coat is gone. ? She sometmes goes out for a walk.
Did you smell his breath?
? He must have been eating garlic. ? He can't have been eating garlic. ? He might have been eating garlic.
Egypt was just amazing!
? Yes. You could have had a great time. ? Yes. You must have had a great time. ? Yes. You can't have had a great time.
She must be there this evening - I'm sure.
? This sentence is correct. ? This is wrong. A better sentence would be: She'll be there this evening - I'm sure.
He can be in the bathroom.
? This is wrong. A better sentence would be : He could be in the bathroom. ? This sentence is correct.
He mustn't have gone home alrealy - it's only three o'clock.
? This sentence is correct. ? This is wrong. A better sentence would be : He can't have gone home already. ? This is wrong. A better sentence would be : He couldn't have gone home already.
Notes modals of deduction See also: deductions / guesses
picture slide show - guesses and deductions
Set of 9 pictures. Deductions can be made about place, time and in some cases, what has happened.
making guesses - people photos
Ten photos - students have to guess which one is:
member of a royal family; rock musician; comedian; murderer; drug dealer; advertising executive; spy; explorer; children's author; sports person
Website offering online mysteries to solve and short mystery stories