Do, get up, go, go, pay, shave, wait, work
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1. I'm not working tomorrow, so I _________ early.

2. The car park is free – you _________ to park your car there.

3. I went to the bank this morning. There was no queue, so I _________ .

4. Sally is extremely rich. She _________ .

5. We've got plenty of time. We _________ yet.

6. Jack has got a beard, so he _________ .

7. I'm not particularly busy. I've got a few things to do but I _________ them now.

8. A man was slightly injured in the accident but he _________ to hospital.

7.3 Complete the sentences with must, mustn't or needn't:


1. We haven't got much time. We ____ hurry.

2. We've got plenty of time. We ____ hurry.

3. We have enough food at home so we ____ go shopping today.

4. Jim gave me a letter to post. I ____ remember to post it.

5. Jim gave me a letter to post. I ____ forget to post it.

6. There's plenty of time for you to make up your mind. You ____ decide now.

7...................... You ____ wash those tomatoes. They've already been washed.

8............................................... This is a valuable book. You ____ look after it carefully and you ____ lose it.

9....................................................................................... 'What sort of house do you want to buy? Something big?' 'Well, it ____ be big - that's not important. But it ____ have a nice garden – that's essential.'

7.4 Make sentences, using must not or do not need to:

In rugby football In tennis In chess In boxing In athletics In hockey In baseball In football In bridge touch the ball with your hands. lift your stick above your shoulder. hit your opponent below the belt. pass the ball forwards. look at other people's cards. touch a piece if you aren't going to move it. start before the gun. hit the ball before it bounces. hit the ball after its second bounce. throw the bat.


Typical behaviour


We can use “will” to talk about habits and typical behaviour. – e.g. She’ll sit talking to herself for hours. If we stress “will”, it can sound critical. – e.g. She will fall in love with the wrong people. “Would” is used to talk about the past. – On Saturdays, when I was a child, we would all get up early and go fishing.


8.1 Complete the sentences with will/would + one of the verbs:


Be  drive  fall  keep  listen  make  play  ring

Take  talk  tell


1. 'Dad, I've broken my watch.' 'Well, you _____ ____ playing with it.'

2. On Sundays when we were kids, Mother  _____ ____ us pancakes for breakfast.

3. He's no trouble – he _____ ____ by himself for hours.

4. She's nice, but she_____ ____about people behind their backs.

4. People _____ ____ to you if you listen to them.

5. We lived by a lake, and sometimes Dad ____ _____ us fishing.

6. I'm not surprised you had an accident – you _____ ____ too fast.

7. If you drop toast, it ____ butter side down every time.

8. If you're having a bath, the phone ____. And if you answer it, it   _____ ____ a wrong number.

9. He _____ ____ you one thing one minute and the opposite the next – he's crazy.

8.2 Here are some laws of nature. Join the beginnings and the ends:


Beginnings Ends
After you have bought something, If anything can go wrong, If there are two good TV shows, If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, If you throw something away, No matter how much you do, The one who snores The other queue it will. somebody will. they will both be on at the same time will always move faster. will fall asleep first. you will find it somewhere else cheaper. you'll need it the next day. you'll never do enough.



9.1 Write the sentences, choosing one of the modals:


1. We are leaving tonight, so you (should/must) buy a ticket for the flight.

2. (May/Might) I come in?

3. David (can/could) cook well when he wants to.

4. 'Do you think it (can/might) rain?' – 'Yes, possibly. We don't want to get wet so I think we (should/must) take our raincoats.'

5. Jenny tried to carry him but she (can't/couldn't).

6. We (can/might) visit my cousin in Australia next year but we don't know yet.

7. In many countries, you (should/must) wear a seat belt in the car - it's the law.

8. (Can/May) you hold this for me, please?

9. I know – they enjoy their work but they (shouldn't/mustn't) work at the weekends. It's not good for them. I think they (should/must) spend time at home with their families.

10. The letter (can/may) arrive tomorrow.


9.2 Complete the sentences with can, could, may, might, should or must in the positive or negative form:


1. Richard's only three but he _________ swim very well.

2. You've had that headache for two days. I think you _________ go to the doctor.

3. I don't think we _________ go to the beach because it _________ rain this afternoon.

4. I lived in Germany as a child so I _________ speak German then but I _________ speak it now.

5. You _________ remember to take your passport tomorrow.

6. _________ you close the door, please?

7. We _________ move house next year but we're not sure yet.

8. Passengers _________ smoke when the plane is taking off.

9. I think you _________ play tennis with Sally – she _________ play really well.

10. 'Do you think I _________ learn some Portuguese before I go to Brazil?' – 'Yes, that would be a good idea.'


9.3 Identify the function of the modal verbs:


(im)possibility - offer - advice - necessity - giving/refusing permission - ability in the past -absence of necessity - obligation - request - polite request - (im)probability – prohibition


1. This must be Jack's house.

2. It can't be 7 o'clock already!

3. Shall I open the door for you?

4. You should buy a new car.

5. You can’t leave before 12 o’clock!

6. Could I ask you a question?

7. There might be some apple pie left.

8. We’ve got to run to catch the bus.

9. Can you pass me the salt, please?

10. I must go to the dentist’s.

11. You can leave your coat here.

12. You mustn’t tell anyone what happened.

13. He could play the piano when he was young.

14. She needn’t wait for us.

15. Neil may not remember my phone number.


9.4 Rewrite the sentences using the words given in bold type:


1. It isn't necessary to buy a ticket. – needYou don’t need to buy a ticket.

2. It's not possible for you to eat so much. – can’t

3. I advise him to be more careful. – should

4. Do you want me to open the window? – shall

5. I think that's John's car. – must

6. It's just possible she's still at work. – could

7. I don't think he is her brother. – can’t

8. Do you want me to help you with that? – would

9. He couldn't swim when he was five. – able

10. I don't think she is the woman who spoke to me. – can’t

9.5a) Complete the grammar box. Put the phrases a-d in the gaps 1-4:

a) This was necessary.

b) This wasn’t necessary.

c) This was possible.

d) This wasn’t possible.


We use modal verbs to ask and talk about obligation and possibility in the past. We do not usually use must or mustn’t when we are talking about the past.   Could + infinitive You could leave school at sixteen. (1) ________________________________________ Couldn’t + infinitive She couldn’t leave me at home (2) ________________________________________ Had to + infinitive I had to go to the market with her. (3) ________________________________________ Didn’t have to + infinitive I didn’t have to go to the market. (4) ________________________________________  


9.5 b) Complete the text with had to, didn’t have to, could or couldn’t:


My twin brother and I are the oldest in a family of seven. When I was a teenager, I _______ look after my brothers and sisters until my parents came home from work. My brother was really lucky – because he was a boy, he _______ do anything. I _______ see my friends or go out because I _______ do my homework when my parents got home. I wanted to go to college, but I _______ get a place because I did badly in my exams. I got a job where I _______ work in the evenings, so I _______ go to evening school. For ten years I _______ work and study really hard, but finally I got the qualification that I wanted and became a teacher.


9.5 c) Think about when you were a child. Complete each sentence in three different ways:

I had to …                                                      I could …

I didn’t have to …                                         I couldn’t …

II *Functions of modal verbs with the Perfect, Continuous and Perfect Continuous infinitives


Modal verbs can also be used with the Perfect (have + Past Participle), Continuous (be + Present Participle) or Perfect Continuous (have been + Present Participle) infinitives. These types of infinitives add special shades of meaning to the functions described above. As a rule, the Perfect infinitive after the modal verbs refers to the situations that happened in the past. The Continuous infinitive emphasizes the process happening at the moment of speaking. The Perfect Continuous infinitive is used to describe the action, which happened in the past and has visible results in the present, or the one that was going on in the past for some time.


Could have done


Could have done is used for things which were possible but did not happen:

e.g. Why did you stay at a hotel when you went to New York? You could have stayed with Barbara. (= You had the opportunity to stay with her but you didn’t)


1.1* Read this information about Ken:


Ken didn't do anything on Saturday evening.

Ken doesn't know anything about machines.

Ken was free on Monday afternoon.

Ken was short of money last week.

Ken's car was stolen on Monday.

Ken had to work on Friday evening.


Some people wanted Ken to do different things last week but they couldn't contact him. So he didn't do any of these things. You have to say whether he could have done or couldn't have done them:


1. Ken's aunt wanted him to drive her to the airport on Tuesday. — He couldn’t have driven her to the airport (because his car had been stolen).

2. A friend of his wanted him to go out for a meal on Friday evening. — Ken ____.      

3. Another friend wanted him to play tennis on Monday afternoon. — Ken ____.

4. Jack wanted Ken to lend him £50 last week. — ____.

5. Jane wanted Ken to come to her party on Saturday evening. — He ____.    

6. Ken's mother wanted him to repair her washing machine. — ____.


2. Must have done & can’t have done


Must have done and can’t have done are used to express probability in the past:

e.g. The phone rang but I didn’t hear it. I must have been asleep.

e.g. Tom walked straight into the wall. He can’t have been looking where he was going.


2.1* Read the situations and use the words in brackets to write sentences with must have and can't have:


1. The phone rang but I didn't hear it. (I / asleep) — I must have been asleep.

2. Jane walked past me without speaking, (she / see / me) — She can’t have seen me.


3. The jacket you bought is very good quality. (it / very expensive)

4. I haven't seen the people next door for ages. (they / go away)

5. I can't find my umbrella. (I / leave / it in the restaurant last night)

6. Don passed the exam without studying for it. (the exam / very difficult)

7. She knew everything about our plans, (she / listen / to our conversation)

8. Fiona did the opposite of what I asked her to do. (she / understand / what I said)

9. When I woke up this morning, the light was on. (I / forget / to turn it off)

10. The lights were red but the car didn't stop. (the driver / see / the red light)

11. I was woken up in the middle of the night by the noise next door. (the neighbours / have / party)


May / might have done


We use may have done or might have done to express possibility in the past:

e.g. I can’t find my bag anywhere. I might have left it in the shop (perhaps it is in the shop). 

Sometimes could has a similar meaning to may and might:

e.g. You could have left your bag in the shop. (= you may/might have left …)

But couldn’t is different from may not and might not:

e.g. She was too far away, so she couldn’t have seen you. (= it is not possible that she saw you)

e.g. A: I wonder why she didn’t say hello. B: She might not have seen you. (= perhaps she didn’t seen you; perhaps she did)


3.1* Read the situations and make sentences from the words in brackets. Use may or might:


1. I can't find George anywhere. I wonder where he is.

a) (he/go/shopping) e.g. He may have gone shopping.

b) (he/play /tennis) e.g. He might be playing tennis.

2. I'm looking for Helen. Do you know where she is?

a) (she / watch / TV / in her room)

b) (she / go / out)

3. I can't find my umbrella. Have you seen it?

a (it / be / in the car)

b (you / leave / in the restaurant last night)

4. Why didn't Tom answer the doorbell? I'm sure he was in the house at the time.

a) (he / be / in the bath)

b) (he / not / hear / the bell)


3.2* Complete the sentences using might not or couldn't:


1. A: Do you think she saw you? B: No, she was too far away. She couldn’t have seen me.

2. A: I wonder why she didn't say hello. Perhaps she didn't see me. B: That's possible. She might not have seen you.

3. A: I wonder why Ann didn't come to the party. Perhaps she wasn't invited. B Yes, it's possible. She ____.

4. A: Tom loves parties. I'm sure he would have come to the party if he'd been invited. B: I agree. He ____.

5. A: I wonder how the fire started. Do you think it was an accident? B: No, the police say it ____.

6. A: How did the fire start? I suppose it was an accident. B: Well, the police aren't sure. They say it ____.


Needn’t have done


We use needn’t have done to express the action, which was performed, but it was unnecessary. Do not confuse needn’t have done and didn’t need to! Study the following examples:

e.g. I didn’t need to get up early, so I didn’t. OR: I didn’t need to get up early, but it was a lovely morning, so I did.

e.g. I got up early because I had to get ready to go away. But in fact it didn’t take me long to get ready. So, I needn’t have got up so early. I could have stayed in bed longer.


4.1 * Read the situations and make sentences with needn't have:


1. George went out. He took an umbrella because he thought it was going to rain. But it didn't rain. – He needn’t have taken an umbrella.

2. Ann bought some eggs when she went shopping. When she got home, she found that she already had plenty of eggs.

3. A friend got angry with you and shouted at you. You think this was unnecessary. Later you say to him/her: You ____.

4. Brian had no money, so he sold his car. A few days later he won some money in a lottery.

5. When we went on holiday, we took the camera with us but we didn't use it in the end.

6. I thought I was going to miss my train so I rushed to the station. But the train was late and in the end I had to wait 20 minutes.


4.2* Write two sentences for each situation. Use needn't have in the first sentence and could have in the second (as in the example):


1. Why did you rush? Why didn't you take your time? – You needn’t have rushed. You could have taken your time.

2. Why did you walk home? Why didn't you take a taxi?

3. Why did you stay at a hotel? Why didn't you stay with us?

4. Why did she phone me in the middle of the night? Why didn't she phone me in the morning?

4.3* Write didn't need to or needn't have and the correct form of the verb to complete these sentences:

1. I didn’t need to catch (catch) the bus this morning, because Vic gave me a lift.

2. I needn’t have lent (lend) him that money. I found out later that he had already borrowed all the money he wanted.

3. I _____________ (do) that homework - the teacher didn't even look at it.

4. I ____________ (take) a tent, because I knew I could hire one at the campsite.

5. You _____________ (buy) such an expensive present, but I'm very glad that you did.

6. I ____________ (take) any money: they had already told me that it wasn't necessary.

7. I ___________ (count) the money: they had already told me that it was done automatically.

8. I ___________ (work) so hard for my exams: they were much easier than I expected them to be.

9. I __________ (get up) so early: I had forgotten it was Saturday.

10. I had some friends in the town, so I _______________ (stay) in a hotel.

11. I __________ (water) the flowers; I could see that Anne had already done it.

12. You ___________ (cook) supper for me; I've already had something to eat.


Should have done


We use should have done to express the action that was not performed, but it would have been the right thing to do:

e.g. It was a great party last night. You should have come. Why didn’t you? We use shouldn’t have done to express the action that was performed but it was wrong to do it: e.g. I’m feeling sick. I shouldn’t have eaten so much chocolate.


5.1 * Complete the sentences with should (have) + the verb in brackets:


1. Margaret ______________ the exam. She's been studying very hard. (pass)

2. You missed a great party last night. You ______________________ (come).

3. We don't see you enough. You __________ and see us more often. (come)

4. I'm in a difficult position. What do you think I __________________? (do)

5. I'm sorry that I didn't take your advice. I ___________ what you said. (do)

6. I'm playing tennis with Jill tomorrow. She ________________ – she's much better than me. (win)

7. We lost the match but we ______________.We were the better team. (win)

8. 'Is John here yet?' 'Not yet, but he __________________ here soon.' (be)

9. I posted the letter three days ago, so it ________________ by now. (arrive)


5.2 * Read the situations and write sentences with should/shouldn't. Some of the sentences are past and some are present:


1. I'm feeling sick. I ate too much. I shouldn’t have eaten so much.

2. That man on the motorbike isn't wearing a helmet. That's dangerous. He should be wearing a helmet.

3. When we got to the restaurant, there were no free tables. We hadn't reserved one.

4. The notice says that the shop is open every day from 8.30. It is 9 o'clock now but the shop isn't open yet.

5. The speed limit is 30 miles an hour, but Catherine is doing 50.

6. I went to Paris. A friend of mine lives in Paris but I didn't go to see him while I was there. When I saw him later, he said: You ____ .

7. I was driving behind another car. Suddenly, the driver in front stopped without warning and I drove into the back of his car. It wasn't my fault    ____.

8. I walked into a wall. I wasn't looking where I was going.

Revision exercises

6.1 Put could, must, should, might, or can't in the past tense in the spaces provided. Sometimes more than one answer is possible:


1. How did you know about the wedding? Someone must have told (tell) you!

2. The money was on the desk: I _________________ (take) it, but I didn't.

3. I know you were angry, but you ___________________ (not be) so rude.

4. I don't know who sent these flowers: it ___________________ (be) Jane.

5. She _________________ (not move) abroad - she hates foreign countries.

6. ____________________________ (you not be) just a little more polite?

7. They _____________________ (not know) about the plans for the new factory – it's not possible.

8. I think you _____________________ (tell) your parents you were going to be late. They were very worried.

9. They _______________________ (not get) into the house through a window: they were all closed.

10. They __________________ (not leave) without being seen by anybody.

6.2 * Complete the sentences with can, could, may, might, will, should, ought to or must and an infinitive in the appropriate form:


1. Kerry's rather late. She must have missed (miss) the train.

2. Travellers' cheques can/may be exchanged (be exchanged) at most banks.

3. They're not answering the phone so they __________________ (be) out.

4. Don't phone her now. It _________________ (be) the middle of the night in Australia.

5. They ___________________ (not move) house yet. I saw them in town this morning.

6. I haven't seen Molly this week. I think she ____________________ (visit) her parents but I'm not sure.

7. Her exam results are coming out soon. She worked very hard so she ___________________ (do) well.

8. That woman's just fallen over. Let's go and see her: she ___________________ (be) hurt.

9. I don't know where she is. She ________________ (not still play) tennis: it's been dark for the last hour.

10. I sent the letter two days ago so he __________________ (get) it by now, but you can never be sure.

6.3 * Moneybags case


Mrs Wilson is reading an exciting murder story. She is trying to explain to her husband the plot so far, and to deduce who committed the crime. Complete the blanks, using might have or could have (= its possible), and couldn't have (= its not possible):


Lord Moneybags has been murdered - he was shot in the library just before dinner. Jenkins, the butler, says he ran into the library as soon as he heard the shot, and found Lord Moneybags dead on the floor. There was nobody else in the room, and the window was shut. Lord Moneybags' own gun was in his hand, and there were no other fingerprints on it.'


Mr Wilson: “Well, he 1) might have committed suicide, 2) mightn't he?”

Mrs. Wilson: 'No, the detective says he 3) ____ done that, because he had no reason.'

Mr Wilson: 'But he 4) ____ had money problems that nobody else knew of.'

Mrs. Wilson: 'Yes, I suppose he 5) ____, but Inspector North is sure he was murdered.'

Mr Wilson: 'Who are the suspects, then?'

Mrs. Wilson: 'Well, there were six other people in Moneybags Hall that evening, and they all have an alibi for the time of the murder. But any of them 6) ____ committed the crime, because they all had a motive!

Mrs. Wilson: 'Lady Moneybags 7) ____ killed him, because she was upstairs. Jenkins was in the hall, so it 8) ____ been him, 9) ____ it? Monty 10) ____ done it, because he was with Madeleine – and she was with him, so she 11) ____ done it either, 12) ____ she? But, wait a moment, they 13) ____ planned it together, 14) ____ they?'

Mr Wilson: 'Well, I'm not reading the book, so I don't really know, but what about Clara? She's mad, so she 15) ____ done it. She 16) ____climbed through the window from the garden, still singing! Or the cook 17) ____left her chips for a moment and gone to the library, I suppose. But then Jenkins would have seen her but, of course, he had a motive, too! He and the cook 18) ____ done it together.'

Mrs. Wilson: 'It's difficult, isn't it. It 19) ____ any of them. I'd better read some more.'





Mrs Wilson has read a bit more of her book - Inspector North has found a clue: a long yellow hair on the library floor!

Madeleine, the maid, has long yellow hair. Complete the conversation with must have or couldn't have:


Mrs. Wilson: 'I knew it all the time. Madeleine 20) must have killed him. And Monty 21) ____ helped her. But they 22) ____ planned it very well, 23) ____ they, because they left such an important clue!'

Mr Wilson:   'I don't agree. Those two 24) ____ committed the murder. That would be too obvious for a mystery story. I still think it 25) ____ been Jenkins. He had a good motive. Madeleine's hair 26) ____ fallen out earlier, when she was cleaning the library.'



Inspector North decided to interview all the suspects separately. Complete the dialogues with the modals in brackets. Sometimes more than one is possible, but use each modal at least once:

A (would / could /might)

North: You 27) could have run down the stairs, shot your husband, and run back to the bath without anyone seeing you!
Lady M.: No, I 28) ____ n't. That 29) ____ have been impossible. How 30) ____ I have done all that without being seen by Jenkins?
North: Ah! Jenkins 31) ____ have helped you, 32) ____ n't he?

B (would / must / can't / need)

North: You 33) ____ have helped Lady Moneybags to commit the crime. You 34) ____ n't bother to tell more lies!

Jenkins: I 35) ____ never have helped her do anything! I 36) ____ stand her! 37) ____ you see it 38) ____ have been Monty – he was always arguing with his father about money!

C (should / would / could / must / can't)

North: Maud Sludge! You 39) ____ have killed your master. You 40) ____ hide the truth any longer. You 41) ____ n't accept the way he criticised your cooking, 42) ____ you?

Sludge: It's true he was cruel to me, and I 43) ____ have killed the old fool. But I didn't! And you 44) ____ say I did! It 45) ____ have been that impertinent new French maid. You 46) ____ see the way she goes after Monty, and Lord Moneybags 47) ____ n't agree to their marriage

D (may / can / would / has to)

North: 48) ____ you mind telling me what you were doing at the time of the murder?

Monty: As you 49) ____ recall (since I have told you before), I was teaching Madeleine how to lay the table the English way. She 50) ____ do it absolutely right, you know, otherwise Mrs Sludge gets angry with her. Poor Madeleine 51) ____ never remember whether the forks go on the left or the right! I was just showing her, when we heard the shot, and ran to the library.

E (must / 'll / could / can)

North: Young lady, 52) ____ you explain to me how one of your hairs was found near the body?

Madeleine: Certainly, it 53) ____ have fallen out of my head from shock, when I saw my dear master lying dead.

F (must / ‘ll /could / can)

North: Lady Clara, did you get on well with him?

Clara: No, I 54) ____ n't stand him! He 55) ____ pay for it, though!

North: Who? Your brother?

Clara: No, Barratt, the gardener. My brother sent him away last week. Barratt 56) ____ have killed him. I saw him climb through the library window just before the shot was fired.

North: Good lord! Why didn't you tell me before? He 57) ____ still be in the house!

G (ought to / must / can't / won't)

Mr Wilson: 'Good lord! The writer 58) ____ think his readers are stupid. I 59) ____ read any more of his books!' 'You 60) ____ try writing a murder story yourself. It 61) ____ be easy!'

Test yourself: modal verbs


1. Correct ( + ) or wrong ( – )?

e.g. John cans swim. –

I must go now. +

1. I don't must see Andrew today.

2. Anna can't to speak English.

3. Last year I must sell my car.

4. Would you like to have some coffee?

5. It may rain tomorrow.

6. I mustn’t work on Saturdays, but I can if I like.

2. Choose the correct answers:

7. Can / Should / Mustn't I help you?

8. If you travel to Morania you can / should / must have a visa.

9. You shouldn’t / don’t have to / couldn’t laugh at old people.

10. Passengers must / must not / should not smoke in the toilets.

11. I think you should / must / may eat less and take more exercise.

12. You may / have to drive on the left in Britain.

3. Change the times of these sentences:

e.g. Helen can ski. – Helen could ski when she was 3 years old.

13. I can speak French now. ____ soon.

14. Everybody must fill in a big form. ____ last year.

15. Everybody must fill in a big form. ____ next year.

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