Student or Learner
-There is a lot of smoke coming out of the building there.
-Really? It ____ be a fire, most probably.
A. can B. ought to C. have to D. must
Which is the right answer? Could you tell me?
I think neither is right. Should or ought to is used to refer to something pleasing; must is used without @ most probably@ in this case. I doubt if this exercise is a good one.
Should we use may well (I think it unfit), will or simply we should not use a modal verb here, and just say @It is likely to be/ probably a fire?
Last edited by joham; 13-Mar-2009 at 03:04.
Given the possible answers, 'must' is the most likely of them.
However, might would be a more considered choice than those shown.
Should someone who has made an assumption make the statement, then 'must' is the proper choice.
Agreed, hence the qualifier, 'a more considered choice'.
Dialog can be such a tricky thing when writing.
To indicate that someone spoke in haste, or the speaker is uneducated, you often have to write 'outside the box'.
(I was once thoroughly thrashed by a friend in England for 'removing too much of the flavor', when I translated one her short stories into 'American'. I wrote them as ill mannered schoolboys who'd never grown up. You can't correct their grammar and still have them appear so.)
Once you know all the rules, then you have to learn when they don't apply.