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Modal verbs and their equivalents

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Modal verbs and their equivalents

Ex. 1 Complete the chart with your own examples

Notion verbs Modal verbs Auxiliary verbs Linking verbs


Modal Verbs of necessity------ Modals verbs ------Modal Verbs of possibility

The modal verbs of necessity

Глагол Present Past Future С перфектной формой
Must Долженствование Must -- -- --
To have to Вынужденная необходимость ввиду сложившихся обстоятельств   Have/has to   Had to   Shall/will + have to   --
Ought to Моральный долг, вежливое настояние   Ought to   --   -- Обозначает действие, которое требовалось и должно было состоятся, но не состоялась
Should Необходимость, чье-либо субъективное мнение или совет   Should   --   --   То же
Need Отсутствие необходимости, нецелесообразность   Need   --   -- Обозначает действие, в совершении которого не было необходимости, надобности
To be to Необходимость предусмотренная планом   Am/is/are to   Was/were to   -- Обозначает действие, которое должно было совершиться, но не совершилось

The modal verbs of possibility

Глагол Present Past Future
Can/ To be able to Выражает реальную возможность, физическую или умственную способность Can Am/is/are + able to Could Was/were + able to   Shall/will + able to
May/ be allowed to Выражает допущение возможности, разрешение совершить действие May Am/is/are + allowed Might Was/were + allowed Shall/will + be allowed


Modal verbs with Simple Infinitive and Perfect Infinitive

Simple Infinitive

Some corrections must be made in the program.

Perfect Infinitive

Some mistakes must have been made in the program.


This result may be extended to all the cases. This result may have been extended to all the cases.
The difficulty must be overcome. The difficulty must have been overcome.

Read a web page, find the modal verbs. Match them with their meanings – a. not necessary, b. necessary, c. not allowed/ not possible, d. allowed/ possible

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3. Get married on a river or in a quiet cave. You needn’t be experienced canoeists but you must be able to swim. Non-swimmers can’t choose this wedding.

4. Exchange rings 4.000 m above sea level – then ski down together after the ceremony! But you don’t have to – instead, you can ride down in a snowmobile or ski lift.

5. Skydive and parachute to the ceremony! You can’t do this without going on a course of skydiving lessons.

Now read the dialog once again and fill in the modal verbs.

1. The … seriously rich. 2. They … be famous. 3. They … have won a lottery. 4. She … know them. 5. She … realize that. 6. She … be snorkeling. 7. She … be worried about swimming back. 8. She … know about the sharks! 9. He … have been in the sun all day. 10. He … have fallen asleep. 11. He … have put any sun cream on.



  present past future
can can could will be able to …


1. Mental or physical ability Can you lift this box? They can get there by bus.  
2. Permission Можете+инф You can go now.  
3. Prohibition нельзя+инф You can’t cross the street here.  
4. Request Can you do me a favour?  
5. Doubt, astonishment Can she be waiting for us? Could she have said that? You couldn’t have done it!  


1. She can't help crying. - Она не может не плакать.

Не couldn't help admiring the city. - Он не мог не восхищаться городом.

2. I can't but ask about it. – Я не могу не спросить от этом.

They couldn't but refuse him. - Им ничего не оставалось, как отказать ему.

A in interrogative sentence

1. He was at the party yesterday. 2. They are in Germany. 3. He has broken his leg. 4. They were sent to prison. 5. She got married. 6. He studies at Cambridge University. 7. She has been practicing the violin for five years. 8. He has made an interesting report. 9. He has won a lot of money in the casino. 10. They will go to the Canaries next summer.

B in negative sentences

1. You are mistaken. 2. They forgot about the meeting. 3. He is writing a new novel now. 4. She has bought a new fur coat. 5. He had an accident. 6. Mary will invite the Jones to her place for the weekend. 7. They upset our plans. 8. She wastes a lot of time. 9. Mr. Fox is a reliable person. 10. She is making a cruise now.



  present past future
may may might will be allowed to …


1. Permission можно? May I take your pen, please?  
2. Possible happenings in the future/uncertainty возможно, может быть I may go to Italy. It might rain this afternoon.  
3. Possible plans I’m going to Italy (for sure) I may go to Italy in July.  
4. Reproach You might have reminded me about it.  


Must and its equivalents


  present past future
must have to be to must have/has to am/is/are to -------------- had to was/were to ------------- will have to … ------

Meanings - MUST

  1. Obligation, necessity
It’s 10 o’clock, you must go.  
  1. A command
You must leave the room at once.  
  1. Prohibition
You mustn’t speak while writing.  
  1. Probability or supposition
She must be waiting for us.  

Meanings – HAVE TO

  1. Obligation, necessity arising out of circumstances
I have to get up at 6 every day. My working day begins at 8. приходится, вынужден  

Meanings – BE TO

  1. An agreement or arrangement
We were to meet at the theatre at 9.  
  1. A strict order/ prohibition
You are not to get your feet wet. (не смей!)  
  1. Something thought as unavoidable
He went about thinking of his life and what was to become of him.  

Ex. 4

Modal verb need

Forms and meanings

meanings examples equivalents  
absence of necessity She needn’t get up early. do/doesn’t have to не нужно
something that has been done was unnecessary The water is clean. You needn’t have boiled it. didn’t have to …. не надо было

Mama knows best

By Caroline Graham

You shouldn’t do it that way.

You ought to do it this way. You ought to do it this way. You ought to do it my way.

You shouldn’t wear it this way.

You ought to wear it this way. You ought to wear it this way. You ought to wear it my way.

You shouldn’t go with them.

You ought to go with us. You shouldn’t take the train. You ought to take the bus.

You shouldn’t wear that hat.

You ought to cut your hair. You shouldn’t get so fat. You ought to eat a pear.

You shouldn’t do it that way.

You ought to do it this way. You ought to do it this way. You ought to do it my way.

Forms and meanings

meanings examples
moral obligation A man should help his parents when they become old.
advice You should be more careful
disapproval You shouldn’t treat me like this.
criticism of the past action You shouldn’t have taken my car.
reproach You should have listened to me more carefully.
regret It was my birthday yesterday. You should have come.



He must have sold his piano.

He may have sold his piano.

He might have sold his piano.

He can’t have sold his piano.

He should have sold his piano.

He shouldn’t have sold his piano.

He needn’t have sold his piano.

He didn’t have to sell his piano.

He had to sell his piano.

He was to sell his piano.

Они, должно быть, уехали в Нью-Йорк.

Они, возможно, уехали в Нью-Йорк.

Может быть, они и уехали в Нью-Йорк. (хотя едва ли)

Не может быть, что они уехали в Нью-Йорк.

Им следовало уехать в Нью-Йорк. (а они не уехали)

Они могли и не уезжать в Нью-Йорк. (а они уехали)

Им не зачем было уезжать в Нью-Йорк. (они и не уехали)

Им пришлось уехать в Нью-Йорк.

Им предстояло уехать в Нью-Йорк. (хотя едва ли)

A in interrogative sentence

1. Can he have been at the party yesterday? 2. Could they be in Germany? 3. Can he have broken his leg? 4. Could they have sent to prison? 5. Can she have got married? 6. Could he study at Cambridge University? 7. Can she have been practicing the violin for five years? 8. Could he have made an interesting report? 9. Could he have won a lot of money in the casino? 10. Can they go to the Canaries next summer?

B in negative sentences

1. You can’t be mistaken. 2. They can’t have forgotten about the meeting. 3. He couldn’t be writing a new novel now. 4. She couldn’t have bought a new fur coat. 5. He can’t have had an accident. 6. Mary can’t invite the Jones to her place for the weekend. 7. They couldn’t have upset our plans. 8. She can’t waste a lot of time. 9. Mr. Fox couldn’t be a reliable person. 10. She couldn’t be making a cruise now.


Choose the right variant

1. I don’t like the way you study. I think you _____ harder!

a) might have worked b) might work c) could work d) could have worked

2. Let’s wait a little. He ______.

a)may have come b) could have come c) may come d) might have come

3. She _____ of the plan herself. Somebody has suggested it to her.

a) can’t have thought b) may not have thought c) can’t think d) may not think

4. They _____ our telegram, that’s why they did not meet us.

a) couldn’t have received b) can’t have received c) may not have received d) may not receive

5. She _____my letter! – Don’t be so angry with her. She ______ it by mistake.

a) may not read, may do b) cannot read, can do

c) might not have read, can’t have done d) can’t have read, might have done

6. He ______ it. I don’t believe you.

a) is not able to say b) might not say c) can’t have said d) might not have said


Must and its equivalents

Choose the correct variant

1. His German is very poor. He must (study/be studying/ have studied) very hard. 2. His German is very good, he must (study/ be studying/ have studied) very hard. 3. His German has considerably improved, he must (study/be studying/ have studied) hard during his holiday. 4. He must (study/ be studying/ have been studying) German these two years, his German is rather rich and fluent. 5. She must (have taken/ be taking/ have been taking) a bath at that moment that’s why she did not answer your call. 6. She must (be/ be being/ have been) at home now, we saw her leaving the office. 7. She must (be/ be being/ have been) at home, she can’t go away because there is no one to look after her sick mother. 8. You must always (think/ be thinking/ have thought) twice before you say anything. 9. Now he must (think/ be thinking/ have thought) of what she has said. 10. He knows they are coming. They must (write/ be writing/ have written) to him of their arrival in due time. 11. She must (play/ be playing/ have been playing) the piano now. 12. The foreigner must (understand/ understood/ have understood) me, for he nodded his head. 13. Where is Sara? I haven’t seen her for a long time. – she must (stay/ be staying/ have stayed) at her friends’. She wanted to spend July with them. 14. He must (get/ be getting/ have got) all he needed, otherwise he would have come again. 15. We must (meet/ have met/ have been meeting) somewhere before.


Translate into English

1. Я должен знать, что происходит. 2. Неужели ты действительно должен делать это за него? 3. Сколько дней ты должен там провести? 4. Тебе придется напомнить ему об этом разговоре. 5. Мы вынуждены были отложить отъезд. 6. Когда он был маленьким ему часто приходилось оставаться дома одному. 7. Я надеюсь, я не должен буду отвечать на его вопросы. 8. Боюсь, нам придется изменить планы. 9. Мы должны сделать для нее все, что мы можем. 10. Я должен был подумать прежде, чем ответить на его вопрос. 8. Боюсь, нам придется изменить планы. 9. Я должен был подумать прежде, чем ответить на его вопрос. 11. Если ты туда пойдешь, я должен буду сопровождать тебя. 12. Боюсь, я должна буду задержаться на работе до 8. 13. Должен сказать тебе, что ты неправа. 14. Должно быть, это необычное решение. 15. Почему ты должен был туда поехать?

modal verbs and their equivalents

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