Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
3. Modals

3. Modals

|Views: 232|Likes:
Published by florinachearepula

More info:

Published by: florinachearepula on Dec 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





§1. Ability:
can, could, be able toCan
We use
to say that someone has the ability or opportunity to do something. The negative of 
Can you swim?He can play the guitar.It's nice today. We can sit in the garden.I can't open this bottle.
usually expresses the idea that something is possible because certain characteristics or conditions exist.
combines the ideas of possibility and ability.Tom is strong. He can lift that heavy box. (Itis possible for Tom to lift that box becausehe 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 possiblefor that car to go fast because of its specialcharacteristics.)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 
 Are you able to swim?
is more common.
was/were able to
We can use
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 monthsold.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 back ...)The manager wasn't in the office for very long, but we were able to speak to him for a few minutes. (Not: we couldayeak 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
 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
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 
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 toCan
has no infinitive,
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 liveon 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 drivesince I was 18. (We cannot say I've could ...)
We use
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,
often has a similar meaning to
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
to talk about theoretical possibility in the past.My brother could be really horrible when he was a child.
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 longtime, 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 themand ... reach them without too much trouble..
Rewrite these sentences using 
can, can't, could
1. Do you see that man over there? 2. I smell something burning. 3.1 understood what he said. 4. Did youunderstand what he said? 5. I don't see anyone. 6. I didn't understandwhat 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?
Supply suitable forms of 
be able to
in these sentences.1.
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 theopera. 8. He has managed to live in England for years without ... speak English. 9. I'm practising hard because Iwant to ... pass my driving test first time. 10. If I ... sing, I would have loved to be an opera singer. 11. It's been aquiet day, I ... get some work done.
Fill the following spaces, using 
 for present,
 for past and 
shall/will be able
 for future. There is noneed to use other 
 forms in this section. Put 
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 testI ... 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 thefog lifts we ... see where we are. 6. You've put too much in your rucksack; you never ... carry all that. 7. When I wasa child I (not) ... understand adults, and now that I am an adult I (not)... understand children. 8. When you havetaken your degree you ... work as an interpreter? 9. Don't try to look at all the pictures in the gallery. Otherwisewhen 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.2. The car plunged into the river. The driver ... get out but the passengers were drowned. 3. I was a long way fromthe stage. I ... see all right but I (not) ... hear very well. 4. We ... borrow umbrellas, so we didn't get wet. 5. ... youwalk 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 himwhere to go. 8. When the garage had repaired our car we ... continue our journey. 9. At five years old he ... readquite well. 10. When I arrived everyone was asleep. Fortunately I ... wake my sister and she let me in. 11. Theswimmer 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 verycarefully and I... see a figure in the distance. 22. They didn't have any tomatoes in the first shop I went to, but I... getsome 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 butthey ... find it. 26. He (not) ... come to the meeting last week. He was sick.
VI. Complete the sentences using 
where possible. If 
could is
not possible, use a form of 
 be ableto.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 onSaturday. 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. Ithink 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 brokedown and I (not) ... drive it for a week. 18. The exam was easy. I ... do all the questions. 19. It's nice ... sleep onSundays. 20. After the accident he (not) ... smell or taste anything. 21.1 lost all my money but fortunately I... borrowsome 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, andI (not) ... find it. But I'll keep looking. 24. If they (not) ... fix the car today, they can fix it tomorrow. 25. Mr Wilsonis 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
 for the italicized verbs if possible.
1. We had a good time yesterday. We
to the zoo. The children
themselves very much.
They saw
 polar  bears and elephants.
(No substitution of 'could' is possible.) 2.
When I lived in St. Louis, I
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
thenews while I was eating dinner. I
the news about the political situation in my country. 4. When I lived athome with my parents, I
TV every day if I wanted to, but now while I'm going to school, I live in a smallapartment and don't have a television set. 5. When I worked as a secretary,
 I was able to type
60 words a minutewithout making a mistake. My typing skills aren't nearly as good now. 6. Yesterday I
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 wentto my favourite fishing hole last Saturday, I
two fish. I
them home and
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
enough for our dinner within an hour or so. 9. Last night Mark and I had anargument about politics. Finally, I
to convince him that I was right. 10. My grandfather was a merchant allhis 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
good defence, but myfavourite player 
managed to score
two goals. 12. When I ran into Mrs Forks yesterday, I
her eventhough I hadn't seen her for years.
VIII. Complete the sentences with
and the verb in parentheses if possible. If the use of 
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 nightwe ... to a restaurant. The food was delicious, (go) 3. The teacher gave the students plenty of time for the testyesterday. All of them ... it before the time was up. (complete) 4. I wastired, but I ... my work before I went to bed last night, (finish) 5. Last night I ... TV for a couple of hours. Then Istudied, (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 haveto 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 Baileyfinally ... a raise in salary last April, (get) 10. I ... long distances when I was a teenager, (swim) 11. I had to puttogether 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 
Is it possible to buy sweets at BuckinghamPalace? No, you can't buy sweets at Buckingham Palace.
Is it possible to go to the top of the Post OfficeTower?Yes, you can go to the top of the Post OfficeTower.1. Is it possible to buy sweets at Buckingham Palace?2. Is it possible to go to the top of the Post Office Tower?3. Is it possible to have clothes washed at the hairdresser's?4. Is it possible to put all your clothes in a handbag?5. Is it possible to go by train from London to Bristol?6. Is it possible to swim in a boat?7. Is it possible to swim when the tide is in?8. Is it possible to book seats at the theatre?9. 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 
and the verbs in the box. Use each verb only once.
grow be make reach live survive cross
Tigers can be dangerous.1. Elephants ... for up to 70 years.2. Temperatures near the South Pole ... minus 43 degrees centigrade.

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Phoenix_wings liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->