Results 1 to 9 of 9

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #1

    modal verbs

    I'm making up a multiple choice test on modal verbs for my students. I need to be sure that only one of the suggested options is possible, otherwise the sentence would be invalid. Could you check these sentences for the possibility of more than one answers? (The right option is underlined)

    1. Look how proud she is that she ___ climb that ridge despite her fear of height.
    a) could
    b) might
    c) was able to

    2. After the suspect had told the police the whole story he ___ leave.
    a) could
    b) was allowed to
    c) might leave

    3. I can't say for sure but they ___ have done it on purpose, to avoid paying you the money.
    a) must
    b) might
    c) should

    4. You've got into a very difficult situation. But I'm sure there ___ be a way out.
    a) may
    b) could
    c) must


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #2

    Re: modal verbs

    But when we talk about one special occasion in the past, we use be able to (positive) and couldn't (negative).

    The first one is okay: only be able to works.

    Now I gotta go.

    Cheers


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #3

    Re: modal verbs

    2, 3,4 okay
    only the marked ones are the correct answers

  1. banderas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 1,512
    #4

    Re: modal verbs

    I can imagine a native speaker say "could" in the first example even though I agree with svartnik about the rule.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #5

    Re: modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    I can imagine a native speaker say "could" in the first example even though I agree with svartnik about the rule.
    This is exactly what I need to know - how rigid this rule is.

  2. banderas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 1,512
    #6

    Re: modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    This is exactly what I need to know - how rigid this rule is.
    If we are talking about tests every teacher will say that there is a difference between "could" and "was able" or "could and "was allowed".No doubt about it. What I hear, however, form average native speakers is a completely different story. They break rules but they are allowed to do so as native speakers of English.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #7

    Re: modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    If we are talking about tests every teacher will say that there is a difference between "could" and "was able" or "could and "was allowed".No doubt about it. What I hear, however, form average native speakers is a completely different story. They break rules but they are allowed to do so as native speakers of English.
    This is a scholarly test. In scholarly tests, only the scholarly answers are accepted. It is true, however, that you would see few if any raised eyebrows using "could" in place of "be able to" on the street.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,609
    #8

    Re: modal verbs

    2, 3, and 4 are good. With 1/, although c: is the only completely correct possiblity, 'could' would be widely used. Having said that, I agree with this quote from svartnik, This is a scholarly test. In scholarly tests, only the scholarly answers are accepted.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #9

    Re: modal verbs

    Thank you very much, guys. You've helped me a lot.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] modal verbs
    By udara sankalpa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Sep-2008, 12:38
  2. [Grammar] Few very confusing things about modal verbs
    By srubys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2008, 14:18
  3. Modal verbs and Modal auxiliary verbs
    By zoobinshid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 26-Sep-2005, 08:59
  4. modal verbs
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Oct-2003, 04:28

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •