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    #1

    Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please correct these sentences?

    I'm trying to rewrite the following sentences using the appropriate modals..

    1. I had the habit to play tennis when I was a boy.
    I would play tennis when I was a boy.

    2. It is preferable for her to go to Wales than to Scotland.
    She had better go to Wales than to Scotland.

    3.She was addicted to nicotine, but she stopped three years ago.
    She used to be addicted to nicotine, but she stopped three years ago.

    4.I urge you to be quick.
    You ought to be quick.

    5. I warn him not to make a mistake.
    He oughtn't make a mistake.

    Thanks a lot.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Before starting on the modals, I think the errors in the original sentences should be corrected:

    1 - I was in the habit of playing tennis when I was a boy. (Not a very natural English sentence.)
    2 - OK
    3 - She was addicted to nicotine, but she stopped smoking three years ago.
    4 - OK
    5 - OK, although the present tense sounds a little unnatural here.

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    #3

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Thanks a lot for your help, but these sentences are from my professor.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Quote Originally Posted by pretty girl5 View Post
    Thanks a lot for your help, but these sentences are from my professor.
    Only #4 is a natural English sentence.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Only #4 is a natural English sentence.
    And even that is not something most of us would say.

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    #6

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Thanks a lot for your comments.

    QUOTE=5jj;890794]And even that is not something most of us would say.[/QUOTE]

    Could you please explain what do you mean?

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    #7

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Thanks a lot for your comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    And even that is not something most of us would say.
    Could you please explain what do you mean?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Quote Originally Posted by pretty girl5 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    And even that is not something most of us would say.
    Could you please explain what do you mean?
    I urge you to be quick.

    I mean that most of us, in normal life, would say something like, "Hurry up", "Do it as quickly as you can", "Please treat this as urgent" or a number of other things, depending on the situation. The words "I urge you" seem to me to be the words of a person making a speech, and they do not sit well with the not very formal "be quick". If someone were to start with "I urge you", I would expect "to make haste" to follow - if that were the message.

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    #9

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Thanks a lot. These sentences belong to my professor who has a Ph.D. in linguistics.
    I think the emphasis of this exercise is on providing a sentence that conveys the same meaning as the original sentence using the appropriate modal.

    What do you think.
    The worst thing in the world is to find that your teacher is wrong.
    Last edited by pretty girl5; 10-Jun-2012 at 21:07.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Rewriting sentences using modals.

    Quote Originally Posted by pretty girl5 View Post
    The worst thing is to find that your teacher is wrong.
    Don't be too hard on your teacher. S/he was trying to elicit modals by, as you say, providing sentences that convey the same meaning - a task that would defeat many native speakers. Modals are, as FR Palmer once noted, a 'messy' part of English grammar. All of us who teach English, from beginners with just a CELTA/Trinity DipTESOL plus one week's teaching experience to academics with a doctorate or two and years of teaching experience, native and non-native speakers alike, have problems sometimes with eliciting modals.

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