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    #1

    Questions about modal verbs

    Here are two of China's college entrance examination questions I have some doubt about:

    1. --Will you stay for lunch? --Sorry, I ____. My brother is coming to see me.
    A. mustn't B. can't C. needn't D. won't (The GIVEN answer is B.)

    My question is: Why can't we choose A or D?

    2. --When can I come for the photos? I need them tomorrow afternoon.
    --They ____ be ready by 12.00.
    A. can B. should C. might D. need (The given answer is B)

    My question is: Why can't we choose A? Would "will" be a better bet?

    Could you please help me? Thank you in advance.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #2

    Re: Questions about modal verbs

    NOT A TEACHER:

    1. mustn't means also I'm not allowed ---> in this case the subject has to see his brother, but still he has free rein.
    If the subject says I won't , he implies he doesn't want to stay ---> again, not true

    2. You always have to choose the most suitable answer. A,B,C are all Ok, BUT as far as the context is concerned, B is the right fit

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    #3

    Re: Questions about modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by besthost View Post
    NOT A TEACHER:

    1. mustn't means also I'm not allowed ---> in this case the subject has to see his brother, but still he has free rein.
    If the subject says I won't , he implies he doesn't want to stay ---> again, not true

    2. You always have to choose the most suitable answer. A,B,C are all Ok, BUT as far as the context is concerned, B is the right fit
    I'd like to know why should is better than can in this sentence. Could anyone tell me?

  1. beascarpetta's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Questions about modal verbs

    (teacher , but not native speaker)

    Because you need to express a) that they are likely to be ready as well as b) your promise that you'll see to it that they are ready,neither of which is conveyed when using "CAN".
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 04-Nov-2007 at 18:37.

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