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Modals that express speculation and deduction

A. Speculation and deduction about the present Modal verb COULD MIGHT MAY MUST Idicates certainty It cant be her birthday, she had a Indicate certainty, in relation party in August. to impossible ideas and They couldnt possible be here situations before lunchtime. It couldnt possibly be a case of mistaken identity, could it? Couldnt it be a comuter error? Explanation Example It could be a sea eagle, though the feathers look too dark. That star you are looking at might in fact be Jupiter. The solution may be to readvertise the job.


B. Speculation and deduction about the past Modal verb COULD HAVE MIGHT HAVE MAY HAVE MUST HAVE CANT HAVE COULDNT HAVE Expresses near-certainty about something in the past Explanation Example It could have been Greg you saw on the bus. That dinosaurs might have survived without the meteor impact. I think I may have met you before.