2 ABILITY CAN CAN’T BE ABLE TO ABILITY IN THE PAST BE ABLE TO /COULD Could general ability(the ability to do something at any time )I could speak SpanishTo be able toa particular actionI was able to understand all questions in SpanishCould/couldn’t before imagine remember understand see etc
3 PERMISSION ASKING PERMISSION CAN COULD MAY Prohibition Visitors may not use this entranceTo be allowed (asking permission in all tenses)Asking for permission Asking about permissionMay I take a photo of you are we allowed to take photos
4 Certainty/Possibility She must be rich(we are certain)She can’t be poor(negative certainty)MAY/MIGHTSomething is possible /likelyUse: present/futureIt might be a bomb (Perhaps it is a bomb)May Might could in the negativeMAY NOT / MIGHT NOTSomething negative is possibleDaniel may not get the jobHe might not come(unlikely)COULDCOULD (SMALL POSSIBILITY)COULDN’TSomething is impossibleI’m completely unfitI couldn’t run a maratHON
5 MUSTSomething is certainly trueShe isn’t answering the phonehe must be outCAN’Tsomething is impossibleNick can’t be touring ScotlandI saw him here this morning
6 NECESSITYMUST HAVE TO (have got to informal)It is necessary the situation makes something necessaryMUSTN’T Something is a bad ideaNEEDN’T Something is not necessaryDon’t have toDon’t need to (English both forms/American Eng. Don’t need to)SHOULD OUGHT TO HAD BETTER BE SUPPOSED TOSHOULD OUGHTADVICEHAD BETTER (THE BEST THING TO DO)BE SUPPOSED TO (NORMAL OR CORRECT WAY OF DOING THINGS)
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.