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Thread: modals

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    modals

    Dear teachers,

    1) If you were to turn the following text into an exercise for students would you give only the verb between parentheses or (modal + verb) in cases 10, 12, 15, 16 and 17?

    2) How do you justify the use of “will” in case 1 ?

    3) How do you justify the use of “could, should and would” instead of “can, shall and will” in cases 9, 12, 15, 16 and 17?

    4) Do you agree with the different possibilities I have proposed in cases 2, 3, 7, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18?

    Peter: Well, if you (modal + eat) 1 will eat chocolate, you are making things difficult for yourself. You (modal + give up) 2 should / ought to / have to / must / need to give up all sweets and chocolate for a start, and you (modal + cut down) 3 must / should / ought to / have to / need to cut down on sugar. And you (modal + eat) 4 must not eat between meals.

    Ellen: Surely I (modal + cut down) 5 need not cut down all sweets, (modal) 6 need I ?

    Peter: Well, I think you (modal + know) 7 ought to / should, you know.

    Ellen: But I get so hungry. (modal + eat) 8 Can’t I eat anything between meals ?

    Peter: Well, perhaps you (modal + eat) 9 could / can eat an apple if you are desperate.

    Ellen: An apple! I (starve) 10 will starve! You are saying that I (modal + starve) 11 have to starve.

    Peter: No rubbish! You (not + starve) 12 would / will not starve if you eat sensibly. But you (modal + try) 13 may / might / can / could try eating less. That (modal + get) 14 should get your weight down.

    Ellen: (be) 15 Would it be a good idea to take vitamin tablets, do you think?

    Peter: No, that (not + be) 16 should / would / will not be necessary if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    Ellen: And what else (do) 17 shall I do? (or can I do?)

    Peter: (modal + tell) 18 May / Can I tell you something to give up? Stop thinking so much about food.

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Best regards,
    Héla

    PS: What is meant by "poll" in the notice below? (sorry, I made a typing mistake in my first message).

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'll start- sorry, I'm a bit pushed for time. I'll be back later:
    2) How do you justify the use of “will” in case 1 ?

    'Will'can be used to show insistence- here menaing, that the eater ignores good advice.

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by hela
    Dear teachers,

    1) If you were to turn the following text into an exercise for students would you give only the verb between parentheses or (modal + verb) in cases 10, 12, 15, 16 and 17?
    I have see it done both ways, but I think you have to be consistent or at least be very clear in the instructions.

    2) How do you justify the use of “will” in case 1 ?
    TDOL who speaks BE seems to find acceptable. As an AE speaker, I do not. I would not use "will" there.

    3) How do you justify the use of “could, should and would” instead of “can, shall and will” in cases 9, 12, 15, 16 and 17?
    9. I would use "could" because of the "perhaps". It is a hypothetical.
    12. This is connected to the prior ones. If one starts with "could" in 9, then 10 should be "would starve". If 9 is "can", then 10 should be "will starve". It depends on whether the action is seen as hypothetical or real.
    15, 16, 17 can be non-modal, hypothetical, or future, but the statements should be consistent.

    non-modal:

    Ellen: (be) 15 Is it a good idea to take vitamin tablets? (I don't like the "do you think" as a tag question with any of them.)

    Peter: No, that (not + be) 16 is not necessary if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    Ellen: And what else (do) 17 shall/should/can I do?

    hypothetical:

    Ellen: (be) 15 Would it be a good idea to take vitamin tablets?

    Peter: No, that (not + be) 16 should/would not be necessary if you ate plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    Ellen: And what else (do) 17 should/could I do?

    future:

    Ellen: (be) 15 Will it be a good idea to take vitamin tablets?

    Peter: No, that (not + be) 16 will not be necessary if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    Ellen: And what else (do) 17 shall/can I do?

    4) Do you agree with the different possibilities I have proposed in cases 2, 3, 7, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18?
    2, 3: I agree with all of them.
    4: I would add should, ought.
    7: I agree.
    9. I prefer "could".
    12: see above
    13: I prefer could or might.
    18: May or can is OK.



    Peter: Well, if you (modal + eat) 1 will eat chocolate, you are making things difficult for yourself. You (modal + give up) 2 should / ought to / have to / must / need to give up all sweets and chocolate for a start, and you (modal + cut down) 3 must / should / ought to / have to / need to cut down on sugar. And you (modal + eat) 4 must not eat between meals.

    Ellen: Surely I (modal + cut down) 5 need not cut down all sweets, (modal) 6 need I ?

    Peter: Well, I think you (modal + know) 7 ought to / should, you know.

    Ellen: But I get so hungry. (modal + eat) 8 Can’t I eat anything between meals ?

    Peter: Well, perhaps you (modal + eat) 9 could / can eat an apple if you are desperate.

    Ellen: An apple! I (starve) 10 will starve! You are saying that I (modal + starve) 11 have to starve.

    Peter: No rubbish! You (not + starve) 12 would / will not starve if you eat sensibly. But you (modal + try) 13 may / might / can / could try eating less. That (modal + get) 14 should get your weight down.

    Ellen: (be) 15 Would it be a good idea to take vitamin tablets, do you think?

    Peter: No, that (not + be) 16 should / would / will not be necessary if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    Ellen: And what else (do) 17 shall I do? (or can I do?)

    Peter: (modal + tell) 18 May / Can I tell you something to give up? Stop thinking so much about food.

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Best regards,
    Héla
    You're welcome. I hope that helps. :wink:

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