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Modals C – should/ought to (Obligation and Probability)

Average: 3.5 (37 votes)

In this lesson we are looking at the use of ‘should’ and ‘ought to’ for obligation and probability. As with other modals the meaning given to the verb depends on the context it is used in.

Modals B – must/have to (Necessity – Deduction)

Average: 3.3 (13 votes)

In this series of lessons on modals we are dividing the meanings of modals into intrinsic and extrinsic meanings. In this lesson we are looking at the intrinsic and extrinsic meanings of ‘must’ and ‘have to/have got to’.

Look at these sentences:
My neighbours must control or discipline their children. They’re too noisy.
You’ve been working all week. You must be tired.

Modals A – may/might (Permission, Possibility)

Average: 3.6 (42 votes)

The authorities must do something about the traffic congestion.
John’s not here yet. He must be stuck in traffic.

To understand the difference in meaning of these two examples it’s best to look at modal verbs using the words intrinsic and extrinsic which are often used to describe modal verbs.

Go and Do

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Go and do can be used as verbs that are not as important as the nouns they are used with. We call these verbs delexical verbs.

Do you want to go swimming tomorrow?
We went for a long walk in the park yesterday

I have to do the shopping this morning.
She does the cooking, she’s a better chef than me.

Reflexive Pronouns

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When the subject of a verb is also the object we use a reflexive pronoun.
She looked at herself in the mirror.
‘She’ is the subject and also the object in this sentence so ‘herself’ is used.

The reflexive pronouns are:
Singular – myself, yourself, himself, herself and itself
Plural – ourselves, yourselves, themselves

In Spite of, Despite and Although

Average: 3.7 (337 votes)

‘in spite of’, ‘despite’ and ‘although’ are all used to show contrast and are used for the same meaning. The only difference is the way they are used; the structure in which they are used.

Modals of Deduction (Present)

Average: 3.7 (73 votes)

We use modal verbs in a situation where we need some level of deduction which means we say how sure we are about something.


We use 'must' when we feel sure that something is true because we have some information about the situation, we have strong evidence.
She must live close to where she works because she walks to work. (the speaker doesn’t know where but is sure it is not far away)
You’ve been working in the garden all day. You must be tired.
Being a sky diving instructor must be very exciting.


Have, Take, Make and Give

Average: 3.8 (43 votes)

We use verbs like have, take, make and give with nouns like a shower, a drink, a mistake, advice:
I took a shower.
I had a drink.
I made a mistake.
He gave me some advice.

Phrasal Verbs for Family

Average: 3.8 (53 votes)

Look at the context of each sentence and choose the correct definition. Good luck!

Get along/get on have a good relationship.

Take after resemble someone in your family.

Fall out argue with someone and never speak to him/her again.

Run in the family a genetic characteristic that’s common in a family.

Modals Deduction Past

Average: 3.9 (110 votes)

We can use modal verbs to talk about how sure or unsure we are about something in the past just as we use modals in the present with a slight change in the form.
He must be really happy about his promotion. (present deduction)
He must have been very happy when he was told about his promotion. (past deduction)