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Conclusions: Must,

11 Have (got) to, May,


Might, Could, Can’t

A Visit to the
Doctor

Focus on Grammar 3
Part VIII, Unit 37
By Ruth Luman, Gabriele Steiner, and BJ Wells
Copyright © 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Am I OK?

So, what
There are
Well, I have seems to be
several
What could We’ll
the need to
problem?
possibilities.
terrible pain
the problem take some
in my
be? X-rays and
stomach.
do some
tests to find
out.
Meaning
We often make guesses and draw conclusions about
present situations using the information we have.

Positive 100% Certain Negative


must can’t, couldn’t
We use modals to show how
have (got) to
certain must not we are
or uncertain
may aboutmay
our conclusions.
not
might, could might not

0% Certain
Affirmative Conclusions
When we are almost 100% certain, we use must, have
to, or have got to to state affirmative conclusions.

Mr. Jones
I looked must
at all have
the test
anI ulcer.
results, and talked to the
patient. I believe that…
He has to be in pain.

He’s got to be very


uncomfortable.
Possibilities
When we are less certain about our conclusion, we use may,
might, or could to express that something is possible.

I see something Mr. Jones could have


unusual. an ulcer.

He may have an
infection.

He might be very
sick.
Look at each part of the photograph one

Practice 1 at a time. Try to guess what it is.


Increase the certainty of your guesses by
using the appropriate modals.

100% Certain
This might be …
must
have (got) to
may
might, could

0% Certain

An X-ray of the heart


and lungs.
Negative Conclusions 1
Use can’t and couldn’t when you are almost 100% certain
that something is impossible. Use must not when you are
slightly less certain.

It can’t be an
The X-rays
infection.
look good.
The patient couldn’t
have heartburn.

It must not be
serious.
Negative Conclusions 2
Use may not and might not when you are
even less certain.

Your illness might not


be serious.

You may not need to


stay in the hospital.
Questions

Use can and could in questions.

What can the


The test results
problem be?
are not clear.

Could the patient


need surgery?
Look at the objects under a
microscope. Ask and answer
Practice 2 questions about possibility. Use
positive and negative modals.

Example:
1. 2.
5.
It may be a It can’t be
What could
skin.
Itfeather.
must be
it be?
cotton fibers.
3. 4.

stomach of a spider (#5) eye of an insect (#2) a feather (#3)


cotton fibers (Example) tongue of a snail (#4) skin (#1)
Short Answers

In short answers, use a modal alone.

Does
Does the
he
He may not. patient
need a
The surgeon have
He has to. cast?a
might broken
He was in a
operate first. bone?
serious
accident.
Be Careful!

Use be in short answers to questions that


include be.

Could that Ohnot


wait. It
I’m sure.
be an image has to be.
It might be.
of my brain? I see the
brain stem.
Ask and answer questions
Practice 3 about the X-rays. Use
short answers.
Possible Questions Possible Answers
Could that X-ray
Could X-ray # ___ be a ___? It has to be./It’s got tobe.
be.
be a knee? It might
Can X-ray #___ be a ___? It may/might/could be.

1. 2.

Example:

knee shoulder brain


References

Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education and


its licensors. All rights reserved.