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Know your modal verbs

[Part 1]

The modal verbs are a special group of auxiliary (helping) verbs. They are different from most other verbs in four ways.

After modal verbs, we use infinitives without ‘to.’ After other verbs, we use infinitives with ‘to.’

Can I use your computer?
Nethmi can’t swim.
Father may go out today.
Could you pass the salt, please?
Grandmother may be at home now.

We do not use ‘s’ after third person singular verbs.
Laksiri can speak French.
Amanda may come late.
This must be your umbrella.

She must pay the fees today,
Lionel can play cricket.
We do not use ‘do’ to make modal questions.
Can you type?

Must I stay here?
May I come with you?
Shall we play hide and seek?

Would you move a bit, please?
We do not use ‘do’ to make modal negatives.
You must not wait here after dark.
I cannot run fast.

She may not attend the party.
They wouldn’t mind your joining the club.
You mustn’t tell lies.
We use ‘must’ in affirmative sentences. It means, “This is necessary.”

I must go now.
She must stay with her family.

You must cut down on smoking.
We must be punctual.

You must tell me the truth.

Sometimes, we use ‘must’ to mean “This is a very good idea.” It is used in affirmative sentences.

We must meet again.
You must come to the class regularly.
I must see you again.

You’re so nice, we must become friends.
I must phone her again tonight.
We use ‘must’ to mean “Is this really necessary?”

Must I sign all the documents?
Must we wait here for two hours?
Must she learn French to visit Paris?
Must he memorise this poem?
Must I come with you?

[activity]

Underline the correct verb in the following sentences. Check your answers with the key.

1. Can you play / to play the violin?
2. She can’t play / to play the violin now.
3. She seems to be / be very angry.
4. The phone is ringing. He must be / to be away.
5. Could you pass / to pass the salt, please?

6. We can to move / move into a big house.
7. I must see / to see her tonight.
8. Must I / I Must bring all my certificates?
9. Can she speak / to speak Tamil?
10.I must to speak / speak to the principal.

Key:

1. play 2. can’t play
3. to be 4. must be
5. pass 6. move
7. must see 8. Must I
9. speak 10. speak


Form adverbs from nouns

Words often come in families. We can expand our vocabulary by becoming familiar with these word families. Today, let’s continue with the exercise of making adverbs from nouns. Write the relevant adverbs in Column “B” for the nouns in Column “A”. Check your answers with the key.

[Column A] [Column B]

1. embarrassment ...............
2. emotion ...............
3. emphasis ................
4. encouragement ................
5. end ................
6. energy ...............
7. enjoyment ...............
8. enormity ...............
9. entertainment ...............
10. enthusiasm ...............

11. environment ...............
12. equality ...............
13. escape . ..............
14. essence ...............
15. event ..............
16. excellence ...............
17. excitement ..............
18. excuse ..............
19. expectancy ..............
20. expense ..............

21. experiment ..............
22. expert ..............
23. explanation ...............
24. explosion ...............
25.expression ...............

Key:

embarrassingly 2. emotionally 3. emphatically 4. encouragingly 5. endlessly 6. energetically 7. enjoyably 8. enormously 9. entertainingly 10. enthusiastically 11. environmentally 12. equally 13. inescapably 14. essentially 15. eventually 16. excellently 17. excitedly 18. inexcusably 19. expectantly 20. expensively 21. experimentally 22. expertly 23. inexplicably 24. explosively 25. expressively


Starters:

Possessives and pronouns

The subject personal pronouns are “I, we, you, he, she, it” and “they.”
I can read and write English.
We live in the countryside.
You are a good teacher.
He is an eminent lawyer.

She is a nurse.
It wags its tail.
They have left the house.

The object personal pronouns are: “me, us, you, him, her, it” and “them.”
He gave me a bat.
Please give us a house.

The policeman called you, not me.
I don't know him.
Did you meet her?

Give it some meat.
We gave them dry rations.
One / ones

A: Do you know that tall boy?
B: No, I know only the short one.

A: Do you want big apples?
B: No, I want small ones.

She gave me an English novel and a French one.
Give me two small chairs and a big one.

A: Do you like to live in a big house?
B: No, I prefer to live in a small one.

Some / any

A: Have you got any brothers?
B: No, I haven't got any.

I like to have some snacks now.
Another / the other / others / the others
I have two pencils, give it to another boy.
One boy is tall, the other is short.
Some are ripe, others are raw.

Some boys are playing cricket, the others are watching them.
Each other / one another
The two sisters help each other.
The boys in this class help one another.
Everything / everybody / everyone

Everything is ready for the wedding.
Is everybody at home?

Everyone in the office knows how to use a personal computer.
Note: “Everything, everybody” and “everyone” take singular verbs.

Nobody / no one / nothing / no / none
There's nobody in the classroom.
I saw no one in the theatre.

Nothing happened to them in the accident.
I have nothing more to say.
They have no children.

A: How many apples are there?
B: There are none.

A: How much milk is there?
B: There is none.

Note: “No one” is written as two words.
Somebody / someone / anybody / anyone / nobody / no one

I saw somebody at the gate.
She saw someone at the door.

We use “anybody” in a statement with a negative word.
I didn't see anybody at the library.

“Anybody” and “anyone” have the same meaning.

“Someone” means a particular person. “Anyone” in an affirmative sentence means “any person.”

There's someone waiting for you at the gate.
Driving isn't a difficult job. Anyone can learn it.

[Activity]

Fill in the blanks with “somebody, anybody” or “nobody.” Check your answers with the key.

1. .......... from the railway station brought this for you.
2. .......... came to see me in hospital.
3. Do you know .......... who can speak Chinese?
4. .......... telephoned you this morning.
5. I want to talk to .............. about my passport.
6. It's strange that ........... wants to listen to me.

7. Don't tell ........... that I am leaving office early.
8. ............... is calling, but I don't know who it is.
9. ................ has come to office today.
10. ............ rang while you were out.

Key:

1.Somebody
2. Nobody
3. anybody
4. Somebody
5. somebody
6. nobody

7. anybody
8. Somebody
9. Nobody
10. Somebody


Match words and meanings

Here’s a novel way to enrich your vocabulary. Match the words in Column ‘A’ with the meanings in Column ‘B.’ Check your answers with the key. The first one has been done for you.

[Column A]

J 1. bait
... 2. baker
... 3. bald
... 4. bale
... 5. balk
... 6. ballad
... 7. ballast
... 8. ballcock
... 9. ballerina
... 10. balloonist

... 11. ballot
... 12. ballroom
... 13. balmy
... 14. baloney
... 15. balustrade
... 16. bamboo
... 17. bamboozle
... 18. ban
... 19. banal
... 20. bandit

... 21. bandy
... 22. bane
... 23. bang
... 24. bangle
... 25. banish

[Column B]

A. one who makes bread and cakes
B. a large amount of hay, paper, wool or cloth tied tightly together
C. a device in water tank to control the level of water
D. to forbid

E. boring, ordinary and not original
F. a railing to prevent people falling over the edge of stairs
G. a song or poem that tells a story
H. to trick somebody by confusing him

I. a female ballet dancer
J. a small amount of food on a hook to attract fish
K. to allow something to happen
L. a large room used for dancing
M. nonsense

N. with little or no hair on the head
O. to send somebody away from their country
P. a ring worn around the wrist
Q. very loud noise

R. a cause of continuous trouble
S. bending out at the knees

T. a thief with a weapon
U. a tall tropical grass with hard hollow stems
V. pleasantly warm

W. a system of secret voting
X. one who travels by balloon
Y. heavy matter used at the bottom of a ship to make it heavier

Key:

2. A 3. N 4. B 5. K 6. G 7. Y 8. C 9. I 10. X 11. W 12. L 13. V 14. M 15. F 16. U 17. H 18. D 19. E 20. T 21. S 22. R 23. Q 24. P 25. O

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