Modal Verbs

CHAPTER 10.  MODAL VERBS

There are nine modal verbs in English: can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would. Two of these, will and would, have already been discussed in detail.

1. Formation of the modal conjugations

All of the modal verbs are used as auxiliaries, and all of them form conjugations in the same way. Thus, the other modal auxiliaries form conjugations in the same way as will and would. For instance, the conjugation of the modal auxiliary could with the verb to work is formed as follows:

Conjugations of the modal auxiliary Could with the verb To Work

SimpleContinuous
  I could work  I could be working
  you could work  you could be working
  he could work  he could be working
  she could work  she could be working
  it could work  it could be working
  we could work  we could be working
  they could work  they could be working
PerfectPerfect Continuous
  I could have worked  I could have been working
  you could have worked  you could have been working
  he could have worked  he could have been working
  she could have worked  she could have been working
  it could have worked  it could have been working
  we could have worked  we could have been working
  they could have worked  they could have been working

The formation of conjugations using the modal auxiliaries can be summarized as follows:

ConjugationAuxiliaryVerb Form
  Simple  modal auxiliary  bare infinitive
  Continuous  modal auxiliary + be  present participle
  Perfect  modal auxiliary + have  past participle
  Perfect Continuous  modal auxiliary + have been  present participle

Verbs in the Simple conjugation with a modal auxiliary generally refer to present or future time; whereas verbs in the Perfect conjugation with a modal auxiliary generally refer to past time.

Verbs in the Continuous conjugation with a modal auxiliary generally refer to continuous, ongoing actions in present or future time; whereas verbs in the Perfect Continuous conjugation with a modal auxiliary generally refer to continuous, ongoing actions in past time.

The word order for questions and negative statements in the conjugations with the modal auxiliaries is similar to that in other English conjugations.

a. Questions

To form a question, the first auxiliary is placed before the subject. For example:

Affirmative StatementQuestion
  She can work.  Can she work?
  He would be working.  Would he be working?
  They should have worked.  Should they have worked?
  I could have been working.  Could I have been working?

See Exercise 1.

b. Negative statements

To form a negative statement, the word not is placed after the first auxiliary. It should be noted that the auxiliary can, followed by not, is written as a single word. For example:

Affirmative StatementNegative Statement
  She can work.  She cannot work.
  He would be working.  He would not be working.
  They should have worked.  They should not have worked.
  I could have been working.  I could not have been working.

See Exercise 2.

In spoken English, the following contractions may be used:

Without ContractionsWith Contractions
  cannot  can’t
  could not  couldn’t
  might not  mightn’t
  must not  mustn’t
  shall not  shan’t
  should not  shouldn’t
  will not  won’t
  would not  wouldn’t

However, it should be noted that the contractions mightn’t and shan’t are rarely used in modern American English.

c. Negative questions

To form a negative question, the first auxiliary is placed before the subject, and the word not is placed after the subject. However, when contractions are used, the contracted form of not follows immediately after the auxiliary. For example:

Without ContractionsWith Contractions
  Can she not work?  Can’t she work?
  Would he not be working?  Wouldn’t he be working?
  Should they not have worked?  Shouldn’t they have worked?
  Could I not have been working?  Couldn’t I have been working?

See Exercise 3.

d. Tag questions

Tag questions are formed using the first auxiliary. In the following examples, the negative tag questions are underlined.

Affirmative StatementAffirmative Statement with Tag Question
  She can work.  She can work, can’t she?
  He would be working.  He would be working, wouldn’t he?
  They should have worked.  They should have worked, shouldn’t they?
  I could have been working.  I could have been working, couldn’t I?

2. Relationships among the modal auxiliaries

Just as would can be used as the past of willcould can be used as the past of canmight can be used as the past of may; and should can be used as the past of shall. The auxiliary must can refer either to the present or to the past. These relationships among the modal auxiliaries can be summarized as follows:

PresentPast
  can  could
  may  might
  must  must
  shall  should
  will  would

The following examples illustrate these relationships:

Tense of Verb in Main ClauseComplete Sentence
  Simple Present  I think I can do it.
  Simple Past  I thought I could do it.
  Simple Present  He predicts it may rain.
  Simple Past  He predicted it might rain.
  Simple Present  She knows she must be there.
  Simple Past  She knew she must be there.
  Simple Present  I wonder what we shall do tomorrow.
  Simple Past  I wondered what we should do the next day.

See Exercises 4 and 5.

Each of the modal auxiliaries has more than one meaning. The meaning depends upon the context in which the auxiliary is used.

3. Can and Could

The modal auxiliary can is most often used in the Simple conjugation.

The most important meaning of can and could is to be able to.
e.g. He can walk thirty miles a day.
When she was young, she could swim across the lake.
The first example has the meaning, He is able to walk thirty miles a day. The second example has the meaning, When she was young, she was able to swim across the lake.

Like the auxiliary wouldcould can be used in polite requests and suggestions.
e.g. Could you please tell me how to get to Almond Street?
You could try asking the bus driver to help you.

As indicated in the previous chapter, could can be used in sentences expressing wishes.
e.g. He wished he could visit France.
I wish I could have helped you.

See Exercise 6.

It has also been pointed out that could can be used in either the main clause or the subordinate clause of a statement expressing a false or improbable condition.
e.g. If he were stronger, he could help us push the car out of the snow.
She could have caught the bus if she had left right away.
I would be glad if I could help you.
If he could have solved the problem, he would have felt happier.

See Exercises 7 and 8.

In informal English, can is often used with the meaning to be allowed to.
e.g. He says I can take the day off.
Can I have some more soup?

However, in formal English, it is considered more correct to use the auxiliary may in such situations.
He says I may take the day off.
May I have some more soup?

 4. May, Might and Must

One of the meanings of may and might is to be allowed to.
e.g. The members of the organization agree that I may join it.
The members of the organization agreed that I might join it.

The auxiliary must is a stronger form of may and might. One of the meanings of must is to be obliged to or to have to.
e.g. You must provide proper identification in order to cash a check.
They must work harder if they are to succeed.

It should be noted that the meaning of must not is to be obliged not to.
e.g. You must not leave.
He must not speak.
The first example has the meaning, You must stay. The second example has the meaning, He must be silent.

In order to express the idea of not being obliged to do something, an expression such as not to be obliged to or not to have to is generally used.
e.g. You do not have to leave.
He is not obliged to speak.
The first example has the meaning, You may stay, if you wish. The second example has the meaning, He may be silent, if he wishes.

Like could and wouldmight can be used in polite requests and suggestions. The auxiliaries couldwould and might can be used to express differing degrees of politeness:

Degree of PolitenessAuxiliary
  somewhat polite  could
  quite polite  would
  very polite  might

Thus, might expresses the highest degree of politeness.
e.g. Might I observe what you are doing?
Might I offer some advice?

See Exercise 9.

Maymight and must are also used to express differing degrees of probability:

Degree of ProbabilityAuxiliary
  somewhat probable  may, might
  highly probable  must

For instance, may and might are often used in the Simple conjugation to express the idea that an event is somewhat probable.
e.g. You might be right.
It may snow later this afternoon.

Similarly, must can be used in the Simple conjugation to express the idea that an event is highly probable.
e.g. He must be mistaken.

In the following examples, the Perfect conjugations with maymight and must are used to express differing degrees of probability relating to past events.
Rupert might have taken the money, but it seems unlikely.
It is possible he may have called while we were out.
It must have rained last night, because the streets are wet.

See Exercise 10.

 5. Should

In British English, the Simple conjugation with the auxiliary should is often used in subordinate clauses stating conditions. This construction is usually used to refer to events that may occur by chance.
e.g. If I should see him, I will tell him what I think.

Should is also used with the meaning ought to. This is the most common use of should in American English.
e.g. You should take an umbrella with you, in case it starts to rain.
should answer his letter as soon as possible.

Ought is said to be a defective verb, since it has no infinitive, or present or past participle. It does not modify, but has the same form, regardless of the subject. Ought can be used only in combination with other verbs. Unlike the modal auxiliaries, which are followed by the bare infinitive, ought is followed by the infinitive of whatever verb it accompanies.

In each of the following examples, ought is underlined, and the infinitive which follows it is printed in bold type.
e.g. You ought to take an umbrella with you.
He ought to stop smoking.
They ought to drive more carefully.

 6. Expressions which are synonymous with the modal auxiliaries

The modal verbs can be used only as auxiliaries; they cannot be used on their own. They are defective, since they have no infinitive, or present or past participle.

It should be noted that in addition to the modal auxiliaries will and can, there are two other English verbs, to will and to can, which are conjugated regularly. The verb to will has the meaning to direct one’s willpower toward something, or to bequeath by means of a will. The verb to can has the meaning to put into a can.

Because the modal auxiliaries are defective, they cannot be combined with one another. Thus, the fact that the English future tenses are formed with the modal auxiliaries will and shall means that the other modal auxiliaries cannot be put into the future.

When it is desired to put the ideas expressed by the modal auxiliaries into the future, synonymous expressions must be used. The following are the synonymous expressions most often used:

Modal AuxiliarySynonymous Expression
  can  be able to
  may  be allowed to
  must  have to

It should be noted that the expression be allowed to is synonymous with may only when may is used in the sense of permission being granted.

The following examples illustrate how synonymous expressions may be used when it is desired to put the modal auxiliaries canmay and must into the future.

PresentFuture
  I can work.  I will be able to work.
  You may work.  You will be allowed to work.
  He must work.  He will have to work.

See Exercise 11.

a. The pronunciation of Have To

The following table illustrates how the pronunciation of the words have and has in the expression have to differs from the usual pronunciation of the verb to have. In the expression have to, the consonant preceding the t of to is unvoiced. An imitated pronunciation of has and have is indicated in the right-hand column.

Usual pronunciation of Have

ExampleImitated Pronunciation
  She has two children.  “haz”
  We have two children.  “hav”

Pronunciation of Have in the expression Have To

ExampleImitated Pronunciation
  She has to leave.  “hass”
  We have to leave.  “haff”

7. The use of auxiliaries in tag questions, short answers and ellipsis

In English, the verbs used as auxiliaries are to beto doto have, and the modal auxiliaries. All of these auxiliaries can be used in tag questions and short answers.

a. Negative tag questions

Negative tag questions have already been discussed. An affirmative statement is often followed by a negative tag question, in order to ask for confirmation of the affirmative statement. In the following examples, the negative tag questions are underlined. Contractions are usually used in negative tag questions.
e.g. You are coming with me, aren’t you?
You like coffee, don’t you?

For the Simple Present and the Simple Past of the verb to be, tag questions are formed using the verb itself. For instance, in the following examples, the verbs is and were are used in negative tag questions.
e.g. She is very nice, isn’t she?
They were ready on time, weren’t they?

For the Simple Present and the Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do is used in tag questions. For instance, in the following examples, the auxiliaries does and did are used in negative tag questions.
e.g. He rides a bicycle, doesn’t he?
They ordered pizza, didn’t they?

For all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used in tag questions. For instance, in the following examples, the first auxiliaries havewouldshould and can are used in negative tag questions.
e.g. You have worked all night, haven’t you?
He would have helped us, wouldn’t he?
They should get more exercise, shouldn’t they?
She can speak five languages, can’t she?

See Exercise 12.

b. Affirmative tag questions

A negative statement is often followed by an affirmative tag question, in order to ask for confirmation of the negative statement, or in order to ask for more information. In the following examples, the affirmative tag questions are underlined.
e.g. He is not very tall, is he?
They don’t want to work, do they?

The rules for forming affirmative tag questions are similar to those for forming negative tag questions. In the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be, the verb itself is used; and in the case of all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used.
e.g. He wasn’t much help, was he?
They didn’t want to come with us, did they?
You hadn’t slept well, had you?
She can’t speak Greek, can she?
They wouldn’t mind helping us, would they?

See Exercise 13.

c. Short answers

Sometimes it is possible to reply to a question by means of a short answer, consisting of a subject, followed by the verb or first auxiliary used in the question. The rules for forming affirmative and negative short answers are similar to those for forming affirmative and negative tag questions. Thus, in the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be, the verb itself is used; and in the case of all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used.

The following are examples of questions with affirmative and negative short answers. The verbs and auxiliaries are underlined.

Contractions are usually used in negative short answers.

QuestionAffirmative Short AnswerNegative Short Answer
  Is he ready?  Yes, he is.  No, he isn’t.
  Were you finished?  Yes, I was.  No, I wasn’t.
  Do you know them?  Yes, I do.  No, I don’t.
  Did we win?  Yes, we did.  No, we didn’t.
  Has he left?  Yes, he has.  No, he hasn’t.
  Will they need help?  Yes, they will.  No, they won’t.
  Could you help me?  Yes, I could.  No, I couldn’t.

It should be noted that the form of the verb in a short answer is not always the same as the form of the verb in the question, since the verb of a short answer must agree with its subject. In the following examples, the verbs are underlined, and their subjects are printed in bold type.
e.g. Are you ready? Yes, I am.
Were you excited? Yes, I was.

See Exercises 14 and 15.

d. Ellipsis

In English, words can sometimes be omitted from a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. The words which are omitted are said to be “understood”. This type of short form is usually referred to as ellipsis.

Short answers are one kind of ellipsis. For instance, in the example:
Can you speak Spanish? Yes, I can.
the short answer Yes, I can, means Yes, I can speak Spanish. The words speak Spanish are understood.

Another kind of ellipsis uses the words and so, followed by the verb or first auxiliary, followed by the subject.

For instance, the sentence:
He can speak Spanish, and I can speak Spanish too.
would normally be shortened to:
He can speak Spanish, and so can I.

Other examples of this type of ellipsis are given below. The verbs and auxiliaries are underlined.

Without Ellipsis: She is tired, and I am tired too.
With Ellipsis: She is tired, and so am I.

Without Ellipsis: They like ice cream, and we like ice cream too.
With Ellipsis: They like ice cream, and so do we.

Without Ellipsis: He wrote a letter, and I wrote a letter too.
With Ellipsis: He wrote a letter, and so did I.

Without Ellipsis: You had worked all night, and I had worked all night too.
With Ellipsis: You had worked all night, and so had I.

Without Ellipsis: You should get more sleep, and we should get more sleep too.
With Ellipsis: You should get more sleep, and so should we.

As illustrated above, the rules for forming the construction with and so are similar to the rules for forming tag questions and short answers. Thus, in the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be, the verb itself is used; in the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do is used; and in the case of all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used.

See Exercise 16.

The construction using the words and so is used to express an affirmative idea, following an affirmative statement.

In contrast, a similar construction, using the words and neither, is used to express a negative idea, following a negative statement.

For instance, the sentence:
He cannot speak Danish, and I cannot speak Danish either.
would normally be shortened to:
He cannot speak Danish, and neither can I.

Other examples of this type of ellipsis are given below. The verbs and auxiliaries are underlined.

Without Ellipsis: She is not ready, and you are not ready either.
With Ellipsis: She is not ready, and neither are you.

Without Ellipsis: They do not own a car, and he does not own a car either.
With Ellipsis: They do not own a car, and neither does he.

Without Ellipsis: We have not forgotten, and she has not forgotten either.
With Ellipsis: We have not forgotten, and neither has she.

Without Ellipsis: They couldn’t find it, and we couldn’t find it either.
With Ellipsis: They couldn’t find it, and neither could we.

See Exercise 17.

EXERCISES for Chapter 10

  1. Change the following affirmative statements into questions. For example:
    I may go.
    May I go?

We could have found it.
Could we have found it?

  1. I must leave at four o’clock.
  2. He might be leaving for work now.
  3. We can solve the puzzle.
  4. You should have called him.
  5. They could have been waiting for the bus.
  6. I shall go out now.
  7. You will have finished the book.
  8. We should be making the arrangements.
  9. She would like to know the answer.
  10. They can explain what happened.

  11. Change the following affirmative statements into negative statements. For example:
    I can answer the question.
    I cannot answer the question.

He shall be sorry.
He shall not be sorry.

  1. You must come with us.
  2. It may be sunny tomorrow.
  3. She could have won the race.
  4. We might be right.
  5. You would have liked that movie.
  6. They can swim very well.
  7. She might be finishing school now.
  8. He should have been walking to work.
  9. I shall be happy to see him.
  10. You will have been working all night.
  11. Change the following affirmative statements into negative questions. Do not use contractions in this exercise. For example:
    He must be at work now.
    Must he not be at work now?

They might call us later.
Might they not call us later?

  1. You should be wearing a warm hat.
  2. He could have decided to stay at home.
  3. They might have forgotten the message.
  4. She will see you again next week.
  5. They would enjoy riding on the ferry.
  6. He may decide to go camping.
  7. They could have been playing football yesterday.
  8. We shall visit our friends.
  9. She must have wanted to join us.
  10. He should be getting more sleep.
  11. For each of the following sentences, change the verb in the main clause from the Simple Present to the Simple Past; and change the modal auxiliary from the present to the past. For example:
    He says he can do it.
    He said he could do it.

Do you think she will manage it?
Did you think she would manage it?

  1. She says he may go.
  2. I think we can finish on time.
  3. They know we will help them.
  4. He says he must leave.
  5. We believe she will be there.
  6. Do you hope they will reply soon?
  7. Does he not realize we may meet him there?
  8. You think we can reach our destination by nightfall.
  9. I suppose he must be at home.
  10. I predict I shall succeed.
  11. For each of the following sentences, change the verb in the main clause from the Simple Past to the Simple Present; and change the modal auxiliary from the past to the present. For example:
    They felt they could not win.
    They feel they cannot win.

He believed he would reach the Amazon River in a few days.
He believes he will reach the Amazon River in a few days.

  1. He thought he might arrive early.
  2. She felt she must make a phone call.
  3. I maintained they would not have any difficulty.
  4. They realized they could not do all the work in one day.
  5. We knew we should not be able to return home for Christmas.
  6. They hoped they could find their way.
  7. He imagined he would be able to convince us.
  8. She suspected they must be living nearby.
  9. I hoped you would enjoy the play.
  10. We thought you might know him.
  11. Complete the following sentences, using the indicated verbs in the Simple conjugation with the auxiliary could. For example:
    I wish I ___________ Portuguese. (to speak)
    I wish I could speak Portuguese.

They will wish they ____________ the questions. (to answer)
They will wish they could answer the questions.

You wished you _________ some chocolate. (to buy)
You wished you could buy some chocolate.

  1. He wishes he ______________ them. (to call)
  2. We wish we _______________ more time sightseeing. (to spend)
  3. She wished she _______________ you. (to visit)
  4. They will wish they _______________ to the concert. (to go)
  5. I wished I _______________ my way home. (to find)
  6. He wishes he _______________ famous. (to become)
  7. I wish I _______________ it to you. (to describe)
  8. Complete the following sentences, using the indicated verbs in the Simple conjugation with the auxiliary could. For example:
    If he wanted to, he ___________ how to sail a boat. (to learn)
    If he wanted to, he could learn how to sail a boat.

If we ____________ anywhere, we would visit Greece. (to travel)
If we could travel anywhere, we would visit Greece.

  1. If I _____________ you, I would be glad to do it. (to help)
  2. If she played the piano, she ______________ your singing. (to accompany)
  3. We _____________ before dawn if we made all our preparations tonight. (to depart)
  4. He would be thrilled if he ___________ to ride a horse. (to learn)
  5. If she came with us, we ______________ her all the sights. (to show)
  6. If they gave us their address, we ______________ them a card. (to send)
  7. He would move at once if he _____________ a better place to live. (to find)
  8. Complete the following sentences, using the indicated verbs in the Perfect conjugation with the auxiliary could. For example:
    Had I studied harder, I ___________________ every question. (to answer)
    Had I studied harder, I could have answered every question.

_____ she ________ you earlier, she would have spoken to you. (to see)
Could she have seen you earlier, she would have spoken to you.

  1. If you ___________________ him trying to skate, you would have laughed. (to see)
  2. If I had experienced difficulties, I __________________ him for help. (to ask)
  3. It would have been better if we __________________ everything to her. (to explain)
  4. Had they had permission, they ______________ the arrangements themselves. (to make)
  5. We _______ easily our way if we had not brought a compass with us. (to lose)
  6. ______ they _____________ what he had in mind, they would not have been so complacent. (to know)
  7. Had a flying saucer landed on the roof, he _______ not ___________ more surprised. (to be)
  8. If only I __________________ them of the truth, much time and trouble would have been saved. (to convince)
  9. If you ____________________ what might happen, would you have acted differently? (to guess)
  10. Had I realized he was in town, I __________________ him. (to contact)
  11. Fill in the blanks, indicating whether each of the following sentences is somewhat polite (S), quite polite (Q), or very polite (V). Notice the indirect phrasing of the most polite requests and suggestions. For example:
    Could you pass the butter? S
    Would you please pass the butter? Q
    Might I trouble you to pass the butter? V

  12. Could you help me? ___

  13. Would you like some help? ___
  14. Might I be of assistance? ___
  15. You could come with us. ___
  16. You might wish to accompany us. ___
  17. Would you like to come with us? ___
  18. Might I trouble you for two pounds of fish? ___
  19. I would like to buy two pounds of fish, please. ___
  20. Could you give me two pounds of fish? ___
  21. Could I have your opinion on this? ___
  22. Would you please tell me what you think? ___
  23. Might I know your feelings on the matter? ___

  24. Complete each of the following sentences with the auxiliary maymight or must. Use may or might when the event described seems somewhat probable, and use must when the event described seems very probable. For example:
    You ___ be right; we shall have to wait and see.
    You may be right; we shall have to wait and see. or You might be right; we shall have to wait and see.

That ____ be our landlord; I would recognize him anywhere.
That must be our landlord; I would recognize him anywhere.

  1. Although it _________ be true, it seems unlikely.
  2. That _________ have been the number 10 bus, because no other bus runs on this street.
  3. We __________ have to wait a long time for a bus, because they do not run very frequently.
  4. That ________ be the right answer; there is no other possibility.
  5. Tell me your problem; I _________ be able to help you.
  6. It _________ have been he who answered the phone, because no one else was at home.
  7. Since we have never been to this store before, we _________ have difficulty finding what we want.
  8. You _________ be pleased that you are doing so well in your new job.
  9. I _________ go downtown tomorrow; it depends on the weather.
  10. Although he is a very careful worker, it is possible that he _________ have made a mistake.
  11. Rewrite the following sentences, putting the underlined verbs into the future. For example:
    They can explain the situation to us.
    They will be able to explain the situation to us.

May they leave whenever they wish?
Will they be allowed to leave whenever they wish?

She must obtain a license.
She will have to obtain a license.

  1. She can describe it to you.
  2. You must lock the doors when you leave.
  3. He can follow the instructions.
    4. May they stay overnight?
  4. We must remember to buy groceries.
  5. She can finish the work on time.
  6. Must he take his glasses with him?
  7. Can they buy the tickets in advance?
  8. She must learn to be more careful.
  9. You may choose your own seat.
  10. Add negative tag questions to the following affirmative statements. For example:
    They are lucky.
    They are lucky, aren’t they?

You know what I mean.
You know what I mean, don’t you?

We will tell him the truth.
We will tell him the truth, won’t we?

She could try harder.
She could try harder, couldn’t she?

  1. You are cold.
  2. They passed the test.
  3. I can do this well.
  4. You live near the school.
  5. He went downtown.
  6. We should call them.
  7. She likes toffee.
  8. They could help us.
  9. I won the race.
  10. You were reading.
  11. He rides a bicycle.
  12. We would need more time.
  13. Add affirmative tag questions to the following negative statements. For example:
    She isn’t well.
    She isn’t well, is she?

You don’t eat fish.
You don’t eat fish, do you?

He hadn’t found it.
He hadn’t found it, had he?

They won’t mind.
They won’t mind, will they?

  1. They won’t reach their destination before five o’clock.
  2. He doesn’t want to come with us.
  3. She hasn’t eaten breakfast yet.
  4. They aren’t very clever.
  5. I couldn’t have persuaded you.
  6. You won’t forget to come.
  7. We weren’t expecting company.
  8. They wouldn’t like that.
  9. Write affirmative short answers to the following questions. For example:
    Is he thirsty?
    Yes, he is.

Haven’t they read the book?
Yes, they have.

Can they finish the work by themselves?
Yes, they can.

Should she leave now?
Yes, she should.

  1. Do we need any butter?
  2. May they send for you?
  3. Is she sure she is right?
  4. Does he enjoy studying?
  5. Had they been meaning to call us?
  6. Couldn’t he send us the information?
  7. Would she like to listen to the radio?
  8. Had he been wanting to travel?
  9. Write negative short answers to the following questions. For example:
    Wasn’t he thirsty?
    No, he wasn’t.

Were they watching television?
No, they weren’t.

Should we turn left here?
No, we shouldn’t.

Will they want some coffee?
No, they won’t.

  1. Isn’t she driving her own car?
  2. Will he be visiting Denmark?
  3. Would she mind?
  4. Could they understand everything?
  5. Will she have to get up early?
  6. Should he warn them?
  7. Didn’t we sell all the chocolate bars?
  8. Couldn’t they find any evidence?
  9. Add the short form construction using the words and so to each of the following affirmative statements. Use the subjects shown in brackets. For example:
    He is lucky. (I)
    He is lucky, and so am I.

She likes chocolate. (you)
She likes chocolate, and so do you.

They can swim well. (we)
They can swim well, and so can we.

  1. We are thirsty. (they)
  2. You have been helpful. (she)
  3. I swam to the island. (he)
  4. He was riding a horse. (you)
  5. They can understand Dutch. (we)
  6. She enjoyed the trip. (I)
  7. You should study hard. (they)
  8. He reads a great deal. (she)
  9. Add the short form construction using the words and neither to each of the following negative statements. Use the subjects shown in brackets. For example:
    He is not angry. (we)
    He is not angry, and neither are we.

They didn’t visit you. (I)
They didn’t visit you, and neither did I.

I couldn’t understand it. (she)
I couldn’t understand it, and neither could she.

  1. You haven’t finished supper. (she)
  2. He couldn’t tell the time. (they)
  3. She is not planning to go. (we)
  4. We didn’t wait long. (he)
  5. He has not been feeling well. (I)
  6. She cannot run fast. (they)
  7. We do not own a canary. (he)
  8. You won’t be needing an umbrella. (we)

ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISES for Chapter 10

Answers to Exercise 1:
1. Must I leave at four o’clock? 2. Might he be leaving for work now? 3. Can we solve the puzzle? 4. Should you have called him? 5. Could they have been waiting for the bus? 6. Shall I go out now? 7. Will you have finished the book? 8. Should we be making the arrangements? 9. Would she like to know the answer? 10. Can they explain what happened?

Answers to Exercise 2:
1. You must not come with us. 2. It may not be sunny tomorrow. 3. She could not have won the race. 4. We might not be right. 5. You would not have liked that movie. 6. They cannot swim very well. 7. She might not be finishing school now. 8. He should not have been walking to work. 9. I shall not be happy to see him. 10. You will not have been working all night.

Answers to Exercise 3:
1. Should you not be wearing a warm hat? 2. Could he not have decided to stay at home? 3. Might they not have forgotten the message? 4. Will she not see you again next week? 5. Would they not enjoy riding on the ferry? 6. May he not decide to go camping? 7. Could they not have been playing football yesterday? 8. Shall we not visit our friends? 9. Must she not have wanted to join us? 10. Should he not be getting more sleep?

Answers to Exercise 4:
1. She said he might go. 2. I thought we could finish on time. 3. They knew we would help them. 4. He said he must leave. 5. We believed she would be there. 6. Did you hope they would reply soon? 7. Did he not realize we might meet him there? 8. You thought we could reach our destination by nightfall. 9. I supposed he must be at home. 10. I predicted I should succeed.

Answers to Exercise 5:
1. He thinks he may arrive early. 2. She feels she must make a phone call. 3. I maintain they will not have any difficulty. 4. They realize they cannot do all the work in one day. 5. We know we shall not be able to return home for Christmas. 6. They hope they can find their way. 7. He imagines he will be able to convince us. 8. She suspects they must be living nearby. 9. I hope you will enjoy the play. 10. We think you may know him.

Answers to Exercise 6:
1. could call 2. could spend 3. could visit 4. could go 5. could find 6. could become 7. could describe

Answers to Exercise 7:
1. could help 2. could accompany 3. could depart 4. could learn 5. could show 6. could send 7. could find

Answers to Exercise 8:
1. could have seen 2. could have asked 3. could have explained 4. could have made 5. could, have lost 6. Could, have known 7. could, have been 8. could have convinced 9. could have guessed 10. could have contacted

Answers to Exercise 9:
1. S 2. Q 3. V 4. S 5. V 6. Q 7. V 8. Q 9. S 10. S 11. Q 12. V

Answers to Exercise 10:
1. may or might 2. must 3. may or might 4. must 5. may or might 6. must 7. may or might 8. must 9. may or might 10. may or might

Answers to Exercise 11:
1. She will be able to describe it to you. 2. You will have to lock the doors when you leave. 3. He will be able to follow the instructions. 4. Will they be allowed to stay overnight? 5. We will have to remember to buy groceries. 6. She will be able to finish the work on time. 7. Will he have to take his glasses with him? 8. Will they be able to buy the tickets in advance? 9. She will have to learn to be more careful. 10. You will be allowed to choose your own seat.

Answers to Exercise 12:
1. You are cold, aren’t you? 2. They passed the test, didn’t they? 3. I can do this well, can’t I? 4. You live near the school, don’t you? 5. He went downtown, didn’t he? 6. We should call them, shouldn’t we? 7. She likes toffee, doesn’t she? 8. They could help us, couldn’t they? 9. I won the race, didn’t I? 10. You were reading, weren’t you? 11. He rides a bicycle, doesn’t he? 12. We would need more time, wouldn’t we?

Answers to Exercise 13:
1. They won’t reach their destination before five o’clock, will they? 2. He doesn’t want to come with us, does he? 3. She hasn’t eaten breakfast yet, has she? 4. They aren’t very clever, are they? 5. I couldn’t have persuaded you, could I? 6. You won’t forget to come, will you? 7. We weren’t expecting company, were we? 8. They wouldn’t like that, would they?

Answers to Exercise 14:
1. Yes, we do. 2. Yes, they may. 3. Yes, she is. 4. Yes, he does. 5. Yes, they had. 6. Yes, he could. 7. Yes, she would. 8. Yes, he had.

Answers to Exercise 15:
1. No, she isn’t. 2. No, he won’t. 3. No, she wouldn’t. 4. No, they couldn’t. 5. No, she won’t. 6. No, he shouldn’t. 7. No, we didn’t. 8. No, they couldn’t.

Answers to Exercise 16:
1. We are thirsty, and so are they. 2. You have been helpful, and so has she. 3. I swam to the island, and so did he. 4. He was riding a horse, and so were you. 5. They can understand Dutch, and so can we. 6. She enjoyed the trip, and so did I. 7. You should study hard, and so should they. 8. He reads a great deal, and so does she.

Answers to Exercise 17:
1. You haven’t finished supper, and neither has she. 2. He couldn’t tell the time, and neither could they. 3. She is not planning to go, and neither are we. 4. We didn’t wait long, and neither did he. 5. He has not been feeling well, and neither have I. 6. She cannot run fast, and neither can they. 7. We do not own a canary, and neither does he. 8. You won’t be needing an umbrella, and neither will we.

English Grammar Lessons
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