On MODAL VERBS, from

May 31, 2006 at 3:01 pm (Uncategorized)

“Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and Proficency”
Guy Wellman and Richard Side
Pearson-Longman
First Edition

Unit three: Modal Verbs 1

Section 4: Possibility, probability and certainty
1. LIKELIHOOD
-verbs and verbal phrases:
. I bet you never write to her
. I´d stake my life on his honesty
. I don´t doubt that he could do the job
. I can´t see the situation changing much in the foreseeable future
. I assume he knows what´s he´s doing
. I presume we´ll be having our weekly meeting on Friday

-adjectives and adjetival phrases:
. He´s highly unlikely to arrive before nine
. He´s bound/ certain/ sure to arrive at some point

-noun phrases:
. The chances are that interest rates will fall in the near future
. There´s every chance/ likelihood of interest rates coming down
. There´s a strong/ a distinct possibility that interest rates will be reduced

-adverbs and adverbial phrases:
. Presumably, he´ll be back
. In all probability, today
. Maybe, even this morning
. Conceivably, within the next half an hour
. Doubtless, he´ll ring first

2. IMPROBABILITY
-verbs and verbal phrases:
. I wouldn´t bet on his coming first
. I doubt if we´ll meet again
. In situations like that, climbers don´t stand a chance of surviving
. He hasn´t got a cat in hell´s chance of winning (informal)

-adjetives and adjetival phrases
. She´s highly unlikely to have survived the earthquake

-noun phrases:
. The prospects of them surviving are slim
. I have my doubts
. There´s very little/ no chance/ likelihood that the exchange rate will improve
. There´s a slight/ slim possibility of her coming back
. Hopes are fading/ Fears are growing as to their chances of survival
. The odds are against them coming out of their comas
. I must confess to a few reservations concerning the ultimate success of the project
. It´s odds on that the project will fall flat on its face
. There´s no way this project is going to see the light of day, I assure (!)

Section 5: Obligations

1. LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATIONS
-verbs
. Visitors are not allowed / permitted to picnic on the grass
. Smoking on the premises is strictly forbidden
. Chewing gum has been banned from the canteen area
. José has now been barred from five different clubs
. Guests are required to vacate their rooms by midday
. You´re breaking the law

– adjectives
. Military service is still compulsory/ mandatory in many countries
. Is her evidence permissible in court?
. Joining the union is not obligatory

– prepositional phrases
. It´s within or outside the law
. Some people think they are above the law
. You are under no obligation to say anything if arrested
. It´s in your contract

2. MORAL OBLIGATION
-nouns
. It´s your duty to help them
. You have an obligation to support your family
. There´s no need to feel guilty

-adjectives
. He was sent off for illegitimate use of the elbow
. There´s has been talk of an ilicit liaison
. Their demands were (totally) unreasonable

-verbs
. You´re supposed to smile at all your clients
. You´re not expected to leave a tip
. You´re not obliged to pay to go into the gallery

3. PERSONAL OBLIGATION AND FREEDOM OF CHOICE
we use many common phrases to express personal obligation
. It´s your job to make sure they all get back safely
. Isn´t it your turn to cook?
. It´s up to you to tell him, after all he´s your brother
. It´s all down to you to deciede if you´re going

we also use a number of common phrases to suggest we have freedom of choice
. It´s up to you what you wear
. You choose
. Do as you wish
. It´s your choice
. Nobody is forcing you
. Nobody is telling you what to d
. Please yourself
. Do as you think fit
. It´s enterily your decision
. It´s your life (!)

Girls and boys, if you happen to come up with some othe ones, that would be useful for everyone, I think….Thank you!!!

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2 Comments

  1. María de los Angeles Gutiérrez said,

    Oups! I forgot to say hello in the post, and it seems the software wouldn´t say….Anyway, I´m at home now (I typed it at the cyber), just checking, and it seems to me that looks good, it´s useful, but again, I think we all could contribute to the list.

    See you

    María

  2. inescambiasso said,

    Thank you Maria. Interesting contribution.
    It’s inspiring for me to see how interested you are in learning and how aware of the fact that you can do for yourselves much more than we could ever do in class even if we could work miracles.
    Careful, though. Twice you use – ‘s- and then the full nerb -has- so that we get the verb twice.

    This is the grammar book I used last year, I think, and it’s wonderful because it provides plenty of vocabulary options.
    Keep up the good job people. Inés Cambiasso

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