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1. past ability
can ability Im able to play the piano
could past ability I was able to play the piano
could + bare inf. (the action was performed I could play the piano
when I was five So, I played the piano.
could + perfect inf. the action was not performed He could have
walked there, but he was too lazy he didnt walk there
If I had a camera, I could take a photo I dont have a camera
unreal past something that hasnt happened, but may happen
theoretical possibility
If I had had a camera, I could have taken a photo I didnt have a
camera imaginary pas situation
2. asking permission to be allowed, permitted to
Could more polite
May rather formal
3. request
Can you help me?
Could you help me ? often more polite, less direct than can
You might help me criticism regarding something that is not done
but you dont do this
4. possibility
The plan may go wrong
The plan might go wrong smaller possibility
Unlike may, might expresses smaller possibility
go wrong = a nu fi pe drumul cel bun, a o apuca pe o cale greit
could alternative to might
The plan could go wrong perhaps, maybe the plan goes wrong

might smaller possibility
Maths is fun
couldnt + past inf impossibility
The story cannot be true
The story couldnt be true
The story couldnt have been true nu se poate ca povestea s fi
In the speakers opinion, this thing was not true/ didnt take place
should and ought to
You should revise
You ought to revise ar trebui s
must stronger than should
- should and ought to = the same thing
we use them to say what is the right thing or the best thing to do
- in negatives, questions and short answers, we normally use should
You shouldnt go to York
Who should we invite to that wedding?
Should (but not ought to) can be used in formal notices (anunuri
On hearing the alarm bell, hotel guests should leave their rooms.
Candidates should be prepared to answer questions
should, ought to expressing advice
You had better/ should/ ought to revise before the exam
had better +inf
youd better
had better = stronger than should or ought to
We had better not waste any time
to waste time = a pierde timpul

We could meet later
Shall we meet later? suggestion regarding a near event
You must be careful
You must be tired
You must have been tired
- logical certainty, deduction regarding a past situation
must stronger than should
- both have similar meanings an obligation and deduction, but
should is weaker
- must + verb it is essential
You must lose weight. you are dangerously overweight
should + verb it is important, but not essential
You should lose weight, you are slightly overweight
No one knew what would happen next
Nimeni nu a tiut ce se va ntmpla
sequence of tenses: A practical English grammar tHomson and
He thinks that it will rain
He thought that it would rain
We knew that the bridge was unsafe
Geoffrey Leech, A-Z of English Grammar and Usage
21. 10. 2015
1) must/have to
have to much more common in speech
You must fill in a form (I am telling you)
to fill in = to fill out
You have to fill in a form (thats the rule)
I must go on a diet. I am getting overweight/

I have to go on a diet (doctors order)

Have to stronger obligation, external circumstance makes the
obligation necessary
must personal circumstances
BE have got to= have to
He has (got) to take an exam tomorrow a se prezenta la un examen
Geoffrey Leach, An A-Z of English grammar and usage
to have got = to own, to possess
need semimodal
We neednt hurry nu este nevoie, necesar s ne grbim absence of
2) need/have to
ordinary verb used in affirmative and negative sentence and in
need to= have to
have to

need to
ordinary verb
the colors have to match the colors need to match
the figure doesnt have the figure doesnt need to
figure neednt be exact
to be exact
be exact nu este necesar
the bare infinitive
cifra nu trebuie sa fie exacta

modal vb
neednt +

Do ve have to book in advance? Do we need to book in advance?

need as an ordinary verb means to require
She needs our help
Does she need any money?
She doesnt need anything.
Sometimes need is followed by a gerund.
This room needed decorating/ to be decorated Era necesar ca
aceast camera sa fie decorat.
The active gerund can sometimes have a passive meaning. NO! being
decorated passive gerund

if need be =if (it is) necessary

He would stay with me for years if need be.
3) didnt need to/ neednt + perfect inf.
He didnt need (have) to take a taxi (He didnt take) no obligation,
no action
He neednt have taken a taxi (he took a taxi) no obligation, but
action performed. modal auxiliary
He shouldnt have taken a taxi.
should weaker than must
You should have taken your umbrella an obligation that was not
4) shall/will
Shall we meet later? suggestion
will assumption supozitie, banuiala
The letter will be somewhere in this file trebuie sa fie undeva
refers to a present situation.
We use will in all persons, in the first person we can use either will or
shall. the meaning is the same, but shall is a little formal.
I shall be/ will be at home tomorrow
shall not shant
I shant be here tomorrow shant is considered old fashion
nowadays and wont is preferred I wont be here tomorrow.
shall + II, III person formal rules (regulamente oficiale)
The sum shall be paid on the signature of the contract suma trebuie
pltit la semnarea contractului
Pupils shall attend classes s frecventeze cursurile
5) will/ would
The doorman wouldnt let us in. portarul nu ne-a lsat s intrm nu
a vrut
We can use would as a past form or will
would not or wouldnt to express a refusal in the past
will not refuses in the present

Im late already and the car wont start nu vrea s porneasc

- will not/ would not express unwillingness (reticen) or emphatic
refusalwillingness disponibilitate
a modal verb is followed by a short infinitive and this infinitive can be
simple, perfect (have + past perf), continuous and passive
Present infinitive
They may show us their holiday photos. s-ar putea s ne arate
may = possibility
might = smaller possibility
Perfect infinitive
I may have shown you this before (but I didnt show you this)
Present continuous infinitive
They may be showing the film on television soon e posibil s
difuzeze a planned intention, near future
Present infinitive passive
We may be shown the results later Poate or s ni se arate
They may show us the results later
Perfect continouous infinitive
You must have been dreaming trebuie s fi visat
a deduction regarding a past situation you must have dreamt
Perfect infinitive passive
The car must have been stolen masina trebuie sa fi fost furata
deduction about a past situation (by robbers, thieves)
The robbers must have stolen the car
I might be able to get the day off
to be capable + VB+ ing
I might be capable of getting a day off
We ought to be allowed / should be allowed ar trebui s ni se permit
In the old days, people used to have to wash clothes by hand erau
obligati - emphasis
need to=have to
to dare (a ndrzni) is a modal auxiliary

dare + to considered an ordinary verb + bare infinitive

dare a semimodal, sometimes the verb obtains a short infinitive or
Doar 4 dintre noi ndrzniser s accepte provocarea
Only of us had dared (to) accept the challenge
The police dont dare to approach an ordinary verb
The police were there.
Ar avea ntr-adevr oamenii destul curaj s reziste trupelor narmate ?
Would enough people really dare to resist armed troops ?
ndrzneti s spui ceea ce gndeti
I dare say that = I suppose that
we would go rather formal
used to is considered a defective verb expresses a past situation
I used to come gere
If the speaker empasises the context between a past and a present
situation, the translation into Rom ay include the adverb nainte or
I used to love sport nainte mi plcea sportul
Abstract nouns can be used as uncountable nouns when they express
general situations
crime - smth very general (crime, change, choice, effort, love,
to be in charge a se afla la conducere
First situation
second situation
had never seen
to get used
smth happened before another thing

Conditional clauses
Type 0 conditionals
the pattern if + present+ .+ present
If the doorbell rings, the dog barks
This pattern means that one thing follows automatically after another
We can use when instead of if, when the meaning is each time
If/ When I reverse the car, it makes a funny noise each time

Type 1 Conditional

the pattern if + present + will

If i trains the reception will take place indoors
If clause expresses an open condition
if i trains leaves open the following question : will it rain or not ?
the present rains expresses future time
We do not noramlly use will in the if-clause if it will rain
We can use will in the if-clause for willingness
If all of you will lend a hand, well soon get the job done
If not= refusal
If the car wont start, well have to ring the garage
We can use will in the if-clause for a request
Type 2 conditionals
the pattern : if + past + would (bare infinitive)

unreal condition

If I had lots of money, I would travel (a)round the world unreal past
means : I havent got much money
I only imagined a situation where I have lots of money
We do not normally use would in the if clause
We may sometimes use were instead of was in the if-clause
If I were you we give a piece of advice unreal past
If I were/was a billionaire, I would travel (a)round the world unreal
3. Type 2 conditionals
b) theoretical possibility in the future
If we caught the early train tomorrow, we would be in New YTork by
lunchtime dac am prinde, am ajunge
(we dont express a past situation ; here the past tense refers to a
possible future situation, such as catching the early train tomorrow)
If you were to win the first prize, what would you do with the
money ? imaginary condition, refers to something unlikely to
Dac ar fi s ctigi
Were to + the basic form of the verb an imaginary condition este
puin probabil
Other exceptions
We can use would in the if-clause for willingness (disponibilitate)
If George would tell me he wants Gullivers travels, I would lend it to
him. the speakers implies that George is unwilling to tell something
request with would in the if-clause
If tou wouldnt mind holding the line, Ill try to put you through
Do/Would you mind serving us water without ice ? verb+ing
(a polite way of asking someone to do something)
We dont express a past refusal in this case

4. Type 3 conditionals
the basic pattern : if past perfect + would + past inf.
If you had taken a taxi, you would have got here in time imaginary
past situation you didnt take a taxi I only imagine a situation
where you did
We can mix types 2 and 3
If Tom was ambitious, he would have fopund himself a better job.
Tom is not ambitious unreal past
were rather formal If Tom were ambitious
If you hadnt woken me in the night, I wouldnt feel tired
now/today/at the present time have felt
- negative past situation + present situation
If all the people in the world had vibrated with the pure soul of the
two heroes of Mark Twains novel, there wouldnt be any unsolved
racial problems today.
- sometimes we can mix types 1 and 3 :
If you know London so well, you shouldnt/wouldnt have got lost
present situation shouldnt(more polite and formal)
We might occasionally see a mixture of types 1 and 2
If England win against Germany tonight, it would be a miracle
future situation, near future event
Compare types 1 and 2
1) If we stay in a hotel, it will be expensive
2) If we stayed, it would be - unreal past
Type 1 the action as an open possibility, we may or we may not stay
in a hotel

Type 2 theoretical possibility, something more distant from reality

sometimles it can be more polite to use type 2 than type 1
When we make a request :
Would you be all right if I brought a frioend ? here type 1 is more
direct and less tentative (ezitant)
Compare types 2 and 3
Dac ai fi n locul meu, nu ai alege acelai loc ?
Type 2
If you were in my shoes, wouldnt you choose the same place ?
unreal past, unreal condition
Type 3
If you had been in my shoes, wouldnt have you chosen the same
place ? imaginary past situation I only imagine a situation in
which you were in my shoes
If you were in my shoes means you are not in my shoes
If you had been in my shoes you werent in my shoes
Helen will give you further details as soon as we have booked the
tickets de ndat ce will
further additional or extra
fine= amend
If you havez got a problem = If you have a problem
Mike had his bike stolen
George had his hair cut
auxiliarey have+ object+ pas participle
To save smb the trouble of = a scuti de osteneal
to evict = a izgonui
landlord - moier

Should, were, had and inversion formal constructions

we use should in an if-clause to talk about smth that might possibly
If you should fall ill trhe company will pay your hospital expenses
Should you fall ill
If the picture were/was genuine it would be worth one million pounds
rather formal, unreal past
were the picture genuine
If the decision were to go against us (smth unlikely to happen a
future event), we would appeal
were the decision to go against us, we would appeal
If I hadnt carried out the order (imaginary past situation), I would
have been set dac nu a fi ndeplinit ordinul, a fi fost concediat
Had I not carried out the order
More details about if
if need be = if (it is) necessary
Short clauses
We can sometimes use a short clause with if, leaving out the subject
and the verb
If (that is) possible
If (you are) in difficulty
We can omit the subject and the verb when the meaning is still clear
Even if expresses both a conclusion and a contrast
Im going to finish this report even if it takes all night

Intenionez s
This report may or may not take all night but Im going to finish it
Even if vs. even though
Even if the rumor is untrue, people will still believe it.
(the rumor may or may not be untrue)
The negation not can come before a negative prefix : -un, -in, -dis
Even though the rumour is untrue, people will still believe it
(the rumour is untrue)
Unless = if not
The club will go bankrupt unless it find a new backer soon
We are going to have a picnic unless it trains, of course. If it doesnt
The main clause is negative
You cannot get your money back unless you have got a receipt
to have got=to own, to possess
You can get your money back only if you have got a receipt
We do not normally use unless to express an unreal condition or
theoretical possibility, or imaginary pas situation. In this case we use
if not
If you didnt talk so much you would get more work done unreal
Dac nu ai vorbi att de mult, ai lucra mai mult
If the horse hadnt fallen, it would have won. imaginary past
(The horse fell down)
Compare if and in case
I will get some money from the cash point if I need some (I will wait
until I need some and then Ill get it)
I will get some money from the cash point in case I need some
(I will get the money now because I need it later)

We can use in case as an adverbial

I will get some money from the cash point, (just) in case.
I have my mobile on me
But for someone or something
But for me /you - Dac nu a fi fost eu
But for the children Mrs Smith would have left her husband years ago
If it hadnt been for the children
(Dac nu ar fi fost copiii
If it wasnt for the climate rather formal
I have just finished breakfast
The Subjunctive
1. In main clauses
God save the Queen ! exclamations involving supernatural
Heaven help us !
So be it ! Aa s fie
Someone launching ship : God bless her and who sail in her !
short infinitive of the verb = modul conjunctiv
2. Subjunctive in that clauses
-expresses the idea that something is necessary
A. Adjective patterns : IT + BE + THAT CLAUSE
It is essential that the parcel (should) arrive safely.
It is important that we (should) be there on time.
It is surprising that Bob (should) have played in time (a little
bit earlier)=
It is advisable/necessary/vital/likely/possible/obvious that


B. Verb patterns : NOUN + VERB + THAT CLAUSE

The opposition insisted that the Minister (should) resign.
The committee recommended that the scheme (should) go ahead
planul s continue
to propose, to suggest, to request
3. Past subjunctive form were can be used instead of was in the
first and third person singular
We can use the subjunctive were after as if, as though, if, if only,
suppose/ supposing, wish
Its a goof offer. If I wezre you I would accept (I cannot be in
your place unreal condition) unreal past
If (only) (only used for emphasis) that past of her werent so
vivid, so grandious, so operatic (ca de opera)
If I were a bit taller I could reach it (Im not a bit taller)
Supposing/ Suppose the story were true, what would you do?
(theoretical possibility)
He looked at me as id /Though I were mad ( a possible
explanation for smth although it is not the correct one)
She treats me as if I were her servant (I am not her servant)
I wish that I were really wealthy (bogat) unreal past
My sister wishes she were a boy
I wish (that) I were you.
The purpose clauses
Why ? For what purpose ?


I went out to buy a paper.

Im writing to inquire about activity holiday.
You have/need to know the length and the width in order to calculate
the area
Este necsar s
Need ordinary verb (+to+infinitive)
You neednt know modal verb
You dont need to know you dont have to know ordinary verb
Why not pay in instalments so as to spread the cost ? de ce s nu
plteti n rate ca s ealonezi, decalezi
You will be given full details in order that (in order to non finite)
you may make your arrangement
in order that introduce a finite clause
further details detalii suplimentare
for expresses the purpose of an action
We went out for some fresh air
for to express the general use of something
A saw (fierstru) is a tool for cutting wood
to saw, sawed, sawn/sawed
to infinitive expresses a specific need or action
We must buy some paper (uncountable) to print those photos on
material, general meaning
my papers countable my documents
The negative form
We should allow plenty of time not to be late/ in order not to be late
There was a book for visitors to write their comments in

There are telephones for drivers to call for help if they break down
You should keep milk in a refriogerator soso that it stays fresh.
a finite clause must contain a verb that shows the tense
a non-finite clause contains a verb which does not show the tense
Students learn to analyse situations so that problems can be solved
passive voice
so that astfel nct, aa inct, n aa fel nct
I always use sunscreen so that I dont get burned/ to avoid getting
To avoid + -ing form
I need a saw to cut this wood
We use a ruler for measuring/ to measure things
Purpose clauses/ expressions answer the question why ?
why + verb
Why + not + verb
There are specifical questions/ patterns without a subject for giving
advice or making a suggestion
Why cause difficulties for yourself ?
De ce i creezi probleme ?
Why not send off now for our brochure ? a comanda prin
lest = for fear that ; de team s nu/ pentru ca sa nu/ ca nu cumva
formal + should / must + bare infinitive
I dont want to tell him anything for fear that/ lest I should/might
awake unpleasant memories to him


We dont use the negative form of the verb should/might express

fear and anxiety
He is very polite to his superiors lest something adverse should/might
be written in his recors (proces-verbal)
Previoous action/ past situation
He didnt answer a word lest she should have felt offended
N-o s las hrtiile pe birou, ca s nu le risipeasc vntul prin camer,
deoarece fereastra este deschis
to scatter = a risipi
I wont left / leave the papers on the desk lest the wond should scatter
them throughout the room, beause the window is open/because of the
ope window/ as the window is opened
- is linking verb (to look, sound, seem)
open adj.