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The nominative absolute participial construction with participle II.


The construction consists of the nominal element (a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the nominative case) and participle II which form a syntactical complex, the nominal element and the participle being in subject-predicate relation. The preparation completed, we started off.

The nominative absolute participial construction with participle being has the syntactical function of a detached adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances (a), manner (b), time (c), reason (d), condition (e).


a) The next day I observed you - myself unseen - for half an hour.

She was smoking now, her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.


b) He sat on the sofa, his legs crossed.


c) The duster refolded and restored, he threw his legs across the saddle. “Give it to Harriet, please,” was

then the direction, “and she can put it away.” This said, he turned and fixed his eyes on Mrs. Bretton.


d) We began to talk, but my attention distracted by my surroundings, I took small notice of him.


e) He was a gentleman, but he was passionate, the cup once sipped, would he consent to put it down?


The prepositional absolute construction with participle II.


This construction differs from the discussed above in that it is introduced by the preposition withand its nominal element is hardly ever presented by a pronoun; it is more closely related to the predicate verb and is seldom set off by a comma.


She went on reading with her eyes fixed on the pages of the book.

It is unhealthy to sleep with the windows shut.


The main syntactical function of the construction is that of an adverbial modifier of manner or attendant circumstances.

An additional idea of time, reason, or condition may be prompted by the context, as in: I can’t walk with my leg broken (reason).




§ 153. Modal verbs, unlike other verbs, do not denote actions to states, but only show the attitude of the speaker towards the action expressed by the infinitive in combination with which they form compound modal predicates. Thus modal verbs may show that the action (or state, or process, or quality) is viewed by the speaker as possible, obligatory, doubtful, certain, permissible, advisable, requested, prohibited, ordered, etc. Modal verbs occur only with the infinitive. This or that meaning is to a great degree determined by the comminicative type of the sentence and the form of the infinitive.

There are 12 modal verbs in English. They are: can, may, must, should ought, shall, will, would, need, dare, to be, to have (to have got).The latter two are modal only in one of their meanings.

Ten of them (that is, all but to be and to have) are also called defective or anomalous verbs as they lack some features characteristic of other verbs, that is:


1) they do not take -s in the third person singular;

2) they have no verbals, so they have no analytical forms;

3) they have (except for can and may) only one form and no past tense;

4) they are followed (except for ought) by a bare infinitive (that is by the infinitive without the particle to);

5) they need no auxiliary to build up the interrogative and negative forms.


All modal verbs have 2 negative forms, full and contracted.


full form may not must not would not should not need not contracted form mayn’t mustn’t wouldn’t shouldn’t needn’t


Some of them have peculiarities both in spelling and pronunciation:


cannot shall not will not Can’t [ka:nt] Shan’t [∫a:nt] Won’t [wount]




§ 154.This modal verb has two forms: can - for the present tense and could - for the past tense and for the subjunctive mood.


I can’t dance now but I could when I was young.

I wish I could go with you.


I. Can followed by the non-perfect common aspect infinitive expresses:


1. Physical and mental ability or capacity.


The notion of ability is also expressed by “to be able to”.

Mary can speak English quite well but she can’t write it at all (can = to be able, to know how to...).

John can keep a secret if he wants to (can = to be capable of).

I can drive a car = I know how to...

I couldn’t understand him when he spoke very fast (= was unable to, was incapable of...).

He could (was able to) speak English very well when he was twelve.


The meaning of ability is expressed only by “to be able to” when the reference is to the future, as can, having no infinitive, has no future tense form.


Soon he will be able to speak English quite fluently.


Can is interchangeable with to be able to when it denotes mere capacity,


I couldn’t/was not able to do that new job; it was too difficult.

This man could/was able to cure all diseases.


But only to be able to is used to express attainment or achievement of something through some capacity. Thus to be able to often combines the idea of “ability” and “achievement”. In this case was able to means “managed to” or “succeeded in”, and could is impossible.


The fire brigade was able (succeeded in putting, managed) to put out the fire before it destroyed the other

buildings. Пожарные су­мели, им удалось ...

I was able to go to the mountains yesterday as I had a day off (I could and went).

I was able to finish my work in an hour (I managed, I could and did it).


2. Possibility.


a) possibility due to circumstances:


Anybody can make a mistake. Ошибаться может каждый.

You can hardly blame him for that. Вряд ли можно его за это винить.

I couldn’t take your coat without paying you for it.


b) possibility due to the existing rules of laws:


In old days a man could be sentenced to death for a small crime. В старые времена можно было

приговорить человека к смерти за небольшое преступление.


The Lower House alone can initiate financial measures. Только Палата представителей может

выносить на рассмотрение финансовые вопросы.


c) possibility of the idea (the so-called “theoretical” possibility):


The railways can be improved. (It is possible for the railways to be improved, as they are not yet



In general statements of possibility can has roughly the same meaning as “sometimes”.


The sea can be rough. = The sea is sometimes rough. Mope иногда бывает бурным.


Can is generally used in questions about possibility and in statements about impossibility.


Can this be true? (Is it possible that this is true?) Неужели это правда?

This can’t be true. (It is impossible that this is true.)


3. Permission.


Can we go home, Miss? Можно идти домой, мисс?

Не can go now. Теперь он может идти.

The teacher said we could go home. Учитель разрешил нам идти домой.


Can is now more common than may (or might) to express the idea permission.


4. Prohibition (it is found only with the negative form of the modal verb, as prohibition may be understood as the negation of permission - not to be allowed to...). It corresponds to the Russian нельзя, не надо.


You can’t cross the street here. Здесь нельзя переходить улицу.

You can’t touch the exhibits in a museum (it is not allowed).

- Can we stay here? - No, I’m afraid you can’t. (It’s not allowed.)


5. Request.


Can you hold on a minute, please?

Can I have some water?

Can you put the meat in salted water?


Could suggests a greater degree of politeness:


Could you come again tomorrow?


II. Can followed by any form of the infinitive may express:


1. Strong doubt, improbability, incredulity.This meaning occurs only with the negative form of the modal verb + perfect infinitive, continuous infinitive, or be.


He can’t be working at this time (it’s impossible that he is working...) He can’t have seen it (it’s impossible that he saw it). He can’t be there. - He может быть, чтобы он работал сейчас.   - He может быть, чтобы он видел это. - He может быть, чтобы он был там.


Could is used instead of can to express greater doubt. Thus the difference between can and could is in the degree of expressiveness, could showing a greater degree of doubt or incredulity. The time-reference is indicated not by the form of the verb but by that of the infinitive.


He Can’t Couldn’t be so old. - He может быть, что он так стар.  
Не Can’t Couldn’t be telling the truth. - не может быть, что он говорит правду.  
He Can’t Couldn’t have told the truth. - не может быть, чтобы он сказал правду.  


2. Surprise, when can/could is used in questions. It corresponds to the Russian неужели ...


Can it be so late as all that? Неужели уже так поздно?


То refer the action to the past a perfect infinitive is used.


Could he have known her before? Неужели он знал ее раньше?

Could he have been telling her the truth?

Can (could) he have let you down?


The verb can expressing surprise is not used in the negative form.


Therefore the Russian negative questions of the type - нeyжeли он не ... is translated into English in different ways:


a) by complex sentences:


Can if be that you haven’t seen him?

Неужели вы не видели его?


b) by different lexical means:


Can you have failedto see him?

Неужели вы не видели его?

Can you dislikethe book?

Неужели вам не нравится эта книга?

Can nobodyhave seen him?

Неужели никто не видел его?

Can he have neverwritten that letter?

Неужели он так и не написал письмо?


3. Reproach, implying that a person should have done something, or behaved in a certain way, but didn’t do it. This meaning is found only with the form could.


You could at least have met me at the station, couldn’t you?


In this sense could is interchangeable with might.


4. Purpose. This meaning occurs only with the form could in clauses of purpose.


I wrote down the telephone number so that I could remember it.


Note some set expressions with the modal verb can:


Cannot/can’t help doing smth. - He могу не делать что-то

When I saw him I couldn’t help laughing. - Когда я увидел его, я не мог не засмеяться.


Cannot/can’t but do smth. - не могу не ...

I cannot but suggest... - Я не могу не предложить ...

We cannot but hope he is right. - Нам остается только надеяться, что... (не можем не надеяться...)


One cannot but wonder - нельзя не задуматься

as can be - an intensifying expression

They are as pleased as can be. - Они очень (страшно) довольны.

It’s as ugly as can be. - Это необычайно уродливо (трудно себе представить что-либо более





§ 155.This modal verb has two forms: mayfor the present tense and might for the past and as the subjunctive mood form. Thus the form might is used:


a) in indirect speech according to the rules of the sequence of tenses (though the verb could is preferable in this case).


He told me that I might go.

The librarian told the man that he might take the book home.


b) in some syntactical patterns requiring the subjunctive mood forms:


However hard he might (or may) try, he will never manage to do the same.

I’ve brought you the book so that you may write your paper.


I. May followed by the non-perfect common infinitive expresses:


1. Permission. In this usage it expresses the meaning to have permis­sion to, to be allowed to, to be permitted to.


You may go now (you are allowed to go).

May we leave this with you? (Are we allowed to...? Is it all right if we leave it here?)


In polite requests for permission might is used.


Might I use your telephone, please?

I wonder if I might borrow your book.


Can is now more common than may or might to express informally the idea of permission, but may is often used when talking of ourselves.


May/might I help you?


When the action was permitted and performed the expression was allowed to is preferable.


When translating the story we were allowed to use a dictionary, so I took a Longman new dictionary.


2. Possibility of the fact (the so-called “factual possibility”).This meaning occurs only in affirmative sentences.


You may find all the books you want in the National Library. (It is possible that you will find...)

The railways may be improved. (It is possible that the railways will be improved.)


The above sentence could suggest that there are definite plans for improvement.


May expressing possibility is avoided in questions and in negative sentences, instead can is used.


3. Prohibition(only with the negative form of the modal verb).


You may not go swimming. (You are not allowed to ...) - He смей...

You may not enter the room until I say so. - He смей...


The contracted form mayn’t is also very rare.

There are other ways of expressing the idea of prohibition which are more common. They are mustn’t, can’t, and don’t. Mustn’t and can’t are often found in negative answers to express prohibition instead of may not.


II. May (might) followed by any form of the infinitive denotes:


1. Supposition, uncertainty. May in this sense is synonymous with perhaps or maybe, and occurs in affirmative and negative statements.


This news is so strange that you may not believe it. (Perhaps you won’t believe it.)

He may come or he may not. (Может быть, он придет, а может и нет.)

She may not know that you are here. (Perhaps she doesn’t know that you are here.)

Why hasn’t he come? He may have been hurt. (Perhaps he has been hurt. We still don’t know whether he

has or has not.)

Why aren’t you at the station? They may be arriving.


The non-perfect infinitive indicates reference to the present or fu­ture, that is, it expresses suppositionor uncertainty about a present or future action.


They may arrive tonight or tomorrow.


The perfect infinitive indicates reference to the past.

May (might) in the sense of supposition or uncertainty is not used in questions, instead some other means are used: Is it (he) likely ... ? or Do you think ... ?


Is Mary likely to arrive tonight?

Do you think he has already come?

Note:   The difference between the meaning of the negative forms of can and may:
He may not be ill.= It is possible that he isn’t ill. He may not be working. = It is possible that he isn’t working. He can’t be ill. = It is not possible that he is ill. He can’t be working. = It is impossible that he is working.

Can + negation in these sentences denotes doubt, incredulity on the part of the speaker, whereas may expresses uncertainty about a negation of some fact.


2. Reproach. This meaning is found only in positive statements and only with the form might as it is a reproach made about something that has not been done and thus implies some unfulfilled action.


You might at least offer to help.


In combination with the perfect infinitive it renders irritation (annoyance)that the action was not carried out.


You might have opened the door for me.


3. May/might partly loses its meaning when used in certain sentence patterns and is in such cases a quasi-subjunctive auxiliary (see § 80):


a) in clauses of purpose:


Sit here so that I may see your face more clearly.

He died so that others might live.


b) in clauses of concession:


Try as he may he will never be top of his class.

However hard he might try, he never managed it.


c) in object, predicative and appositive clauses after verbs or nouns expressing hope, wish, fear:


The doctor has fears that she may not live much longer.

The prisoner had hopes that he might be set free.


Here are some expressions with the modal verb may/might:

I may/might as well + infinitive — is a very mild and unemphatic way of expressing an intention.


I may as well take you with me.


It can be used with other persons to suggest or recommend an action.


You may as well give him the letter.


Might just as well means “it would be equally good to” and is used to suggest alternative actions. Though the meaning is basically the same as in three previous sentences, “just” makes the sentence more emphatic.


- I’ll go on Monday by a slow train.

- You might just as well wait till Tuesday and go by the fast one.


- I’ll do it at six.

- That’s far too late. You might just as well not do it at all.




§ 156. The modal verb must has only one form for the present tense. It may also be used in reported speech, after the verb in the past tense in the principal clause.


I knew I must go there too.


I. Must followed by the non-perfect common infinitive may express:


1. Immediate obligation or necessity, or an obligation referring to the future. This meaning occurs in positive statements and questions.


We must begin before five, or we shan’t finish in time for our supper.

He must move the furniture himself. I can’t help him.

Must you really go so soon?


In this sense the verb must corresponds to the Russian надо, нужно, должен.


Do it if you must (если нужно, делайте).

I must go now (мне нужно идти).


Must expresses obligation or compulsion from the speaker’s viewpoint (unlike ‘have to’, which involves some other authority than the speaker, such as official regulations, etc.).


You must be back at 2 o’clock. I want you to do some cooking.

You must call me Sir (I like it that way).


Obligations expressed by must refer to the present or future, in reported speech they may refer to the past.


James said we must invite the Stewarts to dinner.


Future obligations can be made more precise with the future indefinite of the verb have to.


I’ll have to read it again.

We shall have to give you a new copy of the book.


Since the negative form of must denotes a negative obligation or sometimes prohibition (sec item 2), it cannot express absence of necessity which is expressed by needn’t.


- Must I go? - No, you needn’t, if you don’t want to.


Must is used interchangeably with to be to for instructions, notices, or orders.


Passangers must cross the lines by the footbridge (the railway company instructs them to).

Applications for admission to the Students’ Room of the Department of Manuscripts must be

accompanied by a letter of recommendation.

This card must be surrendered with your room key on vacating Astor College.

All rooms must be vacated by 11 a.m. and the keys handed to the porter on the day of departure.

Guests must be out of the building by midnight.


In all the above cases must is preferable.


With a 2nd person subject must expresses an obligation which has the same effect as a command.


You must do as you are told.

You must be careful.

You must go now. I want to go to bed.

You must change your shoes, I won’t have you in here with muddy feet.


2. Prohibition. Such sentences are sometimes negative commands, corresponding to the Russian sentences with нельзя, не разрешается.


The girl mustn’t go home alone. It’s very late. Cars must not be parked in front of this gate. You mustn’t do that! You mustn’t come into the ward, it’s against the rules. - Девочке нельзя идти домой одной.   - He разрешается оставлять машины перед воротами. - He делайте этого! - Нельзя заходить в палату, это запрещено.  


3. Invitations.


You must come and see me sometime. - Вы обязательно должны навестить меня как-нибудь.

You must come and have dinner with us.

You must come and see our picture gallery.


This use of must renders emphasis to the sentence.


II. When combined with any form of the infinitive must expresses probability, near certainty. It has the same meaning as the modal words probably, evidently. In this sense must occurs only in positive statements and corresponds to the Russian modal words вероятно, должно быть.


He must be mad (it seems certain that he is mad).

He must be lonely (probably he is lonely).


With verbs which admit of the continuous aspect, the continuous infinitive should be used for reference to the present.


Where’s Nell? She must be sightseeing now (she is probably sightseeing).

John isn’t here. He must be working in the garden.

Jane is busy. She must be packing for the trip.


The perfect infinitive indicates a past action.

Did you always live with your father? You must have led quite a busy social life (evidently you led...).


The perfect continuous infinitive indicates the duration of the past action, a process in the past.


It must have been raining when you left (evidently it was raining when you left).

They must have been working all the lime. They look very tired (evidently they have been working all the



Must expressing probability is not used:


a) with reference to the future. Instead of the modal verb the adverbs probably and evidently are used.


He will probably feel lonely.


b) in negative and interrogative forms. There are several ways of expressing the negative meaning of probability in such sentences: by negative affixes, or negative pronouns, or lexically.


1. You must have misunderstood me.

2. They must have been inattentive.

3. She must have failed to recognize you.

4. He must have had no chance to warn you.

5. The letter must have never reached them.

6. The letter must have been left unanswered.

7. No one must have seen him there.

8 . He must be quite unaware of the circumstances.


Besides the above mentioned shades of meaning, sometimes accompanied by emphasis, the modal verb must may be used solely for the sake of emphasis. In this case must is not translated into Russian, it merely emphasises some action or idea.


Just when we were ready to go away for the holidays, the baby must catch measles (ребенок вдруг

заболел корью, ребенок возьми и заболей корью).

Of course after I gave her my advice she must go and do the opposites (... она вдруг пойди и сделай


As we were starting what must he do but cut his finger (... он возьми да и порежь себе палец).

At a time when everybody is in bed he must turn on the wireless (... он вдруг включает приемник).


To have to, have got to


§ 157.As a modal verb to have to differs from the others in that it is not defective. It can have the category of person and number and all tense-aspect forms, as well as verbals. It is followed by a to-infinitive and combines only with the non-perfect form of it.


As there is no through train to our town we have to change in Moscow.

We had to look all over town before we found what we wanted.

She won’t have to walk the whole way, will she?

Having to go so soon we were afraid of missing the man.


Have to builds up its interrogative and negative forms with the help of the auxiliary verb to do.


Do you have to work so hard?

Do you have to leave already?

He doesn’t have to be here before Friday.

You don’t have to do what your sister tells you.

Why does he have to go there?


The modal verb to have to expresses:


I. Obligation or necessity arising out of circumstances. It is similar in its meaning to must (1). It corresponds to the Russian приходится, вынужден.


She is usually short of time so she has to go by air (ей приходится лететь, она вынуждена лететь).

My sister has a lot of friends in different parts of the country, so she has to write lots of letters (ей



In the past tense have to indicates a fulfilled obligation.


We had to do a lot of things during the week we stayed in the country (were obliged and did it).

They made such a noise that I had to send one of the boys to make inquiries (it was necessary and I did



Have to replaces must where must cannot be used: a) to express past necessity or obligation, b) to express absence of necessity (in the sense of needn’t), since must not means prohibition, and c) to express a future obligation, since the future tense of the verb have to makes the obligation more precise.


a) We had to do it again.

They had to do what they were told.


b) You don’t have to make another copy of the document, Miss Black; this copy will be quite satisfactory.


c) You’ll have to take a taxi if you mean to catch the train.


Have to as a modal verb can be used together with the modal verb may:


We may have to wait long here. - Нам возможно придется долго здесь ждать.


Have got to has the same basic meaning as have to. The difference lies in that have to usually denotes a habitual action and have got to denotes a particular action.

Do you have to get up early every morning?

Have you got to get up early tomorrow morning?

To be to

§ 158. To be toas a modal verb is used in the present and past indefinite tenses.

To be to expresses:


1. An obligation arising out of an arrangement or plan. It is found in statements and questions.


We are to complete this work by tomorrow. (Somebody expects it.)

I am to go down in my car and pick up the parcels.

When is the wedding to be?

When am I to come?

Who is to be the first?

The ship was to dock on Sunday.

I was to meet Mother at the dentist’s at 11.


The last two sentences in which to be is in the past indefinite do not indicate whether the action did or did not take place.

On the other hand this form is the only way to indicate a fulfilled action in the past.


I was to meet Mother at 11 (and I did).

The prize was to honour him for his great discoveries.


To emphasize that the action did not take place the perfect infinitive is used after the past indefinite of the verb to be to.


She was to have graduated in June, but unfortunately fell ill.


The present indefinite may signify an arrangement (especially official) for the future, or referring to no particular time.


The German Chancellor is to visit France.

A knife is to cut with.

2.A strict order or an instruction given either by the speaker or (more usually) by some official authority.


He is to return to Liverpool tomorrow (he has been given orders to return to Liverpool).

You are to stay here until I return (I tell you to ...).

You are to do it exactly the way you are told.


Note the difference betweento be to andto have to:


Soldiers have to salute their officers (such is customary obligation, the general rule).

All junior officers are to report to the colonel at once (an order).

3.Strict prohibition (only in the negative form).


You are not to do that.

You are not to tell anybody about it.

We are not to leave the place until we are told to.

You are not to smoke in this room.

4.Something that is destined to happen or is unavoidable. It corresponds to the Russian суждено, предстоит.


I didn’t know at the time that she was to be my wife (что ей суждено было стать моей женой).

As a young man he didn’t know that he was to become a famous scientist (ему суждено было стать

знаменитым ученым).

If we are to be neighbours for life we should be on friendly terms (если нам предстоит всю жизнь быть


Не was never to see her again (ему больше никогда не суждено было ее увидеть).

It was not to be (этому не суждено было сбыться).


Sometimes it may be translated by the Russian verb хотеть, especially after the conjunction if.


If we are to get there on time, we must start at once (если мы хотим прийти вовремя, надо сразу


5.Impossibility. In negative sentences or in sentences containing words with negative meaning the verb to be to implies impossibility. In this case the passive form of the non-perfect infinitive is used, unless it is a question beginning with the interrogative adverbs how, where.


They are not to be trusted.

Nothing was to be done under the circumstances.

He was nowhere to be found.

Where is the man to be found?

How am I to repay you for your kindness?


This meaning is similar to the meaning of can and may.

Here are some set expressions with the verb to be to:

What am I to do? Что мне делать? Как мне быть?

What is to become of me? Что со мною станется (будет)?

Where am I to go? Куда же мне деваться?


§ 159. The modal verbneed may be either a defective or a regular verb. As a defective verb need has only one form and combines with a bare infinitive. In reported speech it remains unchanged. As a regular verb it has the past indefinite form needed and regular negative and interrogative forms.

There is a slight difference in the usage of regular and irregular forms. The regular form is used mainly when the following infinitive denotes habitual action. The defective form is more common when one particular occasion is referred to:

Need I do it?

You needn’t do it just now.

The teacher said that we needn’t come.

Do I need to show my pass every time?

You don’t need to say it every time you see him.

Need I show you my pass now?


The defective form is mainly restricted to negative and interrogative sentences, whereas the regular verb can be used in all types of sentences and is therefore more common.

Need expressesnecessity. It is mainly used in questions and negative statements, where it is a replacement for must or for have (got) to.

Do you need to work so hard (do you have to work so hard? Have you got to...).


It corresponds to the Russian нужно.


You needn’t do it now. Сейчас не нужно этого делать.

Need she come tomorrow? Ей нужно завтра приходить?


The negation is not always combined with the verb, but may be expressed by other parts of the sentence.

I don't think we need mention him at all.

I needhardly say that you are to blame.


In questions need is used when there is a strong element of negation or doubt or when the speaker expects a negative answer.

Need she go there? (hoping for a negative answer)

I wonder if I need go there, (statement of doubt)


In negative statements need followed by aperfect infinitive indicates that the action expressed by the infinitive was performed but was not necessary. It implies a waste of time or effort, and is therefore translated by зря, незачем, не к чему было.


You needn’t have spent all the money. Now we've got nothing left.

Зря ты потратил все деньги, не к чему было тратить ... .

We needn’t have waited for her because she never came at all.

Нечего было ее ждать. Она все равно не пришла.


The difference between the two forms of need in negative sentences is as follows: the regular verb indicates that the action was not done because it was unnecessary, whereas the defective verb shows that the action, although unnecessary, was carried out. Compare the following examples:

Didn’t need to do smth = It wasn’t necessary, so probably not done.

We didn’t need to say anything at all, which was a great comfort.

She didn’t need to open the drawer because it was already open.

Needn’t have done smth. = It was not necessary, but done nonetheless.

You needn’t have said anything. Then he would never have known about it.

She needn’t have opened the drawer. She found it empty when she did.

Ought to

§ 160. The modal verbought has only one form. It is not changed in reported speech.

Ought combines with the to-infinitive. When followed by the non-perfect or continuous infinitive it indicates reference to the present or future. In indirect speech it may also refer the action to the past.


You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

I told him that he ought to do it, so he didit.

She told him he ought not to go away.

Ought expresses:

1. Moral duty, moral obligation (which is not always fulfilled). It corresponds to the Russian следует.


You ought to look after your children better (you don’t always do it).

Вам следует больше заботиться о детях.

I wonder whether I oughtn’t to speak to him.

He ought to be punished, oughtn’t he?


When used withthe perfect infinitive ought means that something right has not been done, a desirable action has not been carried out, and it, therefore, implies reproach.


You ought to have helped him (but you didn’t).

Вам следовало бы ему помочь.

Не ought to have been more careful (he was not careful enough).

Ему следовало бы быть более осторожным.

Ought not + perfect infinitive means that something wrong has been done and it is now too late to change it. It may also be viewed as a reproach.


She told him he ought not to have done it (but he had done it).

You oughtn’t to have laughed at his mistakes.


The opposite to ought to is needn’t used to mean that the action is unnecessary.


We ought to wash the dishes, but we needn’t dry them, because they will dry themselves.

2.Advisability (which is sometimes understood as desirability).


You ought to see a doctor.

We really ought to buy a new car, oughtn’t we?


3.Probability, something that can be naturally expected. It corresponds to the Russian должно быть, наверное.


You ought to be hungry by now (you probably are, but I’m not certain).

Вы, наверное, уже проголодались.

Apples ought to grow well here.

Здесь должны хорошо расти яблоки.

If he started at nine he ought to be here by four (he will probably be here by four).

There oughtn’t to be any difficulty (it’s unlikely that there will be).

Black Beauty is the horse that ought to win the race(... is likely to win ...).


In this sense ought is a weaker equivalent of must when the latter denotes near certainty.

Ought to + infinitive is used whendescribing something exciting, funny or beautiful in the meaning of I wish you could.

You ought to hear the way he plays the piano!


§ 161. Historicallyshould was the past form of shall and both the forms expressed obligation. But in present-day English they have developed different meanings and are treated as two different verbs.

Should followed by the non-perfect infinitive may be used with reference to the present and future and is not changed in reported speech.


You should be more careful.

Вам следует быть внимательнее.

I told him he should be more careful.

Should is nearly always interchangeable with ought to, as their meanings coincide.

It expresses:

1.Moral obligation, moral duty, which may not be fulfilled. Should is found in this sense in all kinds of sentences. However ought to is preferable in this sense:


All students should submit their work by present date (but some of them don’t).

Студенты должны сдать работу к сегодняшнему дню.

Private firearms should be banned. Личное оружие следует запретить.

Не should phone his parents tonight, but lie probably won’t have time.

Он должен позвонить, но, вероятно, у него не будет времени на это.

If you see anything strange you should call the police.

Если ты увидишь что-то странное, ты должен вызвать полицию.


When used in the negativeform should denotes aweakened prohibition,more likenegative advice.


He shouldn’t be so impatient.

When combined withthe perfect infinitive should denotescriticism, faultfinding; the statement indicates that something desirable has not been done.


Your shoes are wet. You should have stayed at home.

You should have put more sugar in the pie. It isn’t sweet enough.

He hasn’t brought the book back, though he should have brought it last week.


A negative statement indicates that something wrong has been done.


You shouldn’t have done that. It was stupid.

(Вам не следовало это делать).


They should never have married. They are so unhappy.

Им вообще не следовало (не нужно было) жениться.


Не shouldn’t have taken the corner at such speed.

Ему не следовало поворачивать за угол на такой скорости.

2.Advice, desirability. This meaning is more common with ought to than with should.


You should stay in bed.

Вам нужно (следует) лежать в постели.


I think you should read this book.

Думаю, что тебе следует (стоит) прочесть эту книгу.


You should consult a doctor.

Показался бы ты врачу. (Тебе следует показаться врачу.)


As is seen from the above examples, it is sometimes difficultto discriminate between the first and the second meaning.


3.Probability, something naturally expected (only with reference to the present or future).


The effect of the tax should be felt in high prices (will probably be felt).

We needn’t get ready yet. The guests shouldn’t come for another hour.

Гости вряд ли придут раньше, чем через час.


§ 162. In present-day English shall is not a purely modal verb. It always combines its modal meaning of obligation with the function of an auxiliary verb in the future tense.

As a modal verb shall is not translated into Russian, usually its meaning is rendered by emphatic intonation.

Shall combined with only anon-perfect infinitive expresses:


1.Promise, oath, or strong intention. In this meaning shall is used with the 2nd or 3rd person with a weak stress.

It shall be done as you wish.

You shall never know a sad moment, Lenny, if I can help it.

He shall get his money.


“I want this luggage taken to my room”.

“It shall be taken up at once, sir.” - Его сейчас же отнесут наверх, сэр.


In the 1st person shall in this sense acquires a strong stress.


I want that prize and I ‘shall win it.


2.Threat or warning (shall is used in this meaningin the 2nd and 3rdperson).


That day shall come.

She shall pay for it, she shall.

The child shall be punished for it. I won’t allow it.

Anyone found guilty shall be shot at once.

In the first two senses shall is used in affirmative and negative sentences.

3.A suggestion or offer


It is used in questions (and offers) in the 1st person singular and plural. Such sentences are translated into Russian by the infinitive.

“Shall I get you a chair?” – “Yes, please.” Принести вам стул? - Пожалуйста.

Shall we begin? - Yes, let’s. (Нам) начинать? - Давайте.

Shall I read? - Please, do. Мне читать? - Читайте, пожалуйста.


The above three meanings are closely connected with the old meaning of obligation which is at present not common in spoken English and which is normally confined to formal or archaic style (official regulations or other documents).


The Society’s nominating committee shall nominate the person for the office of president (...должны выставить кандидата...).


This meaning is found in subordinate clauses.


It has been decided that the nomination shall not he opposed.


§ 163. Like shall,will is not a purely modal verb. It almost always combines its modal meaning with its functioning as an auxiliary verb expressing futurity. Will has two forms: will for the present tense and would for the past tense. Thus will and would are looked upon as forms of the same verb, although in a few cases their meanings differ.


I. Will combined withthe non-perfect infinitive expresses:

1.Willingness, intention, determination. It is often rendered into Rus­sian by непременно, обязательно, охотно.Would in this meaning shows reference to the past.


I will write as soon as I can. (Я непременно напишу, как только смогу.)

I will be there to help. (Я обязательно там буду и помогу.)

I can and will learn it. (Я могу выучить и обязательно это выучу.)

When he was young, he was so poor that he would do anything to earn some money. (... он согласен был

на любую работу, чтоб подзаработать.)


This meaning is often found in conditional sentences.


If you will help me we can finish by six.

Если вы согласитесь мне помочь, мы можем кончить к 6 часам.

If you will wait for me I’ll be very grateful.


When usedin the negative it denotes a refusal to do something.


I won’t accept your offer (I refuse to ...).

They wouldn’t listen to me (they refused to listen to me).

He wouldn’t answer my question (he refused to answer ...).

2.A polite request or an offer. This meaning occurs only in questions.

Will you pass the salt, please?

Will you haw some tea?


In comparison with will the form would renders a greater degree of politeness.

Would you please pass the salt?

Would you please lend me your pencil?


It is still more polite to use the combinations: Would you mind (+ -ing form), Would you be so kind as to...

Would you be so kind as to lend me your book?

3. A command (in military contexts it is a strict command).


Officers will report for duty at 06.00.

You will do exactly as I say.

You will go in there and tell him that the game is up.


An impatient command can begin with will you.

Will you be quiet! - Замолчишь, ли ты наконец?

Will you in the tag after a negative command can tone down the command (and is pronounced with the falling tone).


Don’t be late, will you?


But after a positive command will you has a rising intonation and expresses impatience.


Sit down, will you?

Shut the door, will you?

Shut the door, won’t you?

Would is never used in this meaning.

4.Insistence, resistence. Will and would are stressed when used in this sense.


He will try to mend it himself (he insists on mending it himself).


With reference to inanimate objects will and would show that a thing fails to perform its function. It occurs in negative statements and corresponds to the Russian никак не.


The door will not open. The orange won’t peel. The engine wouldn’t start. The wound wouldn’t heal. - Дверь никак не открывается. - Апельсин никак не очистить. - Мотор никак не заводился - Рана никак не заживала.


5.Inevitability, characteristic behaviour, quality, or something naturally expected.


What will be will be. Accidents will happen.   Boys will be boys. Truth will out. - Чему быть, того не миновать. - Несчастные случаи неизбежны (не­счастный случай может произойти с каждым). - Мальчишки всегда остаются мальчиш­ками. - Истины не утаишь.


This sort of inevitability or prediction often occurs in sentences with conditional clauses.


If people study they will learn. (If people study they learn)

If litmus paper is dipped in acid, it will turn red (it turns red).


This meaning cannot be rendered in Russian by any analogous modal verb.


Oil will float on water.

Children will often be full of life when their parents are tired.

This car will hold six people comfortably.

That’s exactly like Jocelyn - she would lose the key.

6.Disapproval of something expected. In this meaning only would is used. It is found mainly in responses. It corresponds to the Russian этого и следовало ожидать, на него похоже.


“I know she attended the place.”

“Oh, yes, she would.” - Конечно, что еще можно ожидать.

“Hе refused to interfere.” “He would.” — На него похоже.

“I don’t like it and I don’t visit the place.” “No, you wouldn’t.” (I didn’t expect you would.)

You would be late! - Конечно, ты опять опоздал.

You would forget. - Конечно же, вы забыли.


II. Will/would combined withdifferent forms of the infinitive can expressprediction, a certainty about the present or the future (in a similar way as must).


This will be just what she wants. That will be my wife. This will be our train. That would be he! John will have arrived by now (by tomorrow). - Это, очевидно, то, чего она хочет. - Это, конечно, моя жена. - Это, наверное, наш поезд. - Это, наверное, он. - Джон наверняка уже приедет к этому времени (к завтрашнему дню).


In the latter case must is impossible as with a perfect infinitive it has a reference to the past.


That would be in 1910, I think. Why are you asking him? Не wouldn’t know anything about it. Who is the man? You wouldn’t know him. - Я думаю, это, наверное, было в 1910 году. - Зачем вы его спрашиваете? - Вряд ли он что-либо об этом знает. - Вряд ли вы его знаете.


Note the expression:

You would, would you? - Ax, ты так!


§ 164. The modal verbdare may be defective or regular.

As a defective verb dare has two forms: dare for the present tense and dared for the past tense. It is used chiefly in interrogative and negative sentences. It has the meaning - to have the courage or independence to do something, to venture.


How dare he speak to you like that? (I wonder at such impudence.)

How dare you sneak into my room like this?

He daren’t write anything in case it isn't good (he hasn’t got the courage).

Dare you ask him? (Are you brave enough to ask him?)

That’s as much as I dare spend on it.


As a regular verb dare has a limited paradigm of finite forms and no verbals. It may have two meanings:

1.To venture, to have the courage or impudence (like the defective dare). In this sense it is used mainly in negative statements.


He didn’t dare to stop me (he didn’t have the courage).

She doesn’t dare to answer.

Don’t you dare to touch me.

2.To challenge, to defy.


I dared him to jump (I challenged him to do it).

I dare you to say this straight to her face. - Попробуй, скажи ей это прямо в лицо.

Note the following combinations with the modal verb dare.

I dare say— I suppose, no doubt.

I dare say you are right. - Очень возможно, что вы правы.

I dare sayhe will come later. - Полагаю (пожалуй), он придет позже.


§ 165. The noun denotes thingness in a general sense. Thus nouns name things (book, table), living beings (man, tiger), places (valley, London, England), materials (iron, oil), processes (life, laughter), states (sleep, consciousness), abstract notions (socialism, joy) and qualities (kindness, courage).

Semantic characteristics

§ 166. Semantically all nouns fall into proper nouns and common nouns.

§ 167. Proper nouns are geographical names (New York, the Thames, Asia, the Alps), names of individual (unique) persons (John, Byron, Brown), names of the months and the days of the week (January, Sunday), names of planets (t

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