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Whilst they (o) ________ (play) outside, we somehow manage to start the


Actually, we (a) ________ (think) of moving. My wife (b) ________ (accept)

a new job, which she (c) ________ (start) next month. As soon as she (d) __

__ __ , she (e) ________ (have) a journey of fifty miles there and back,

and I (f) ________ (not think) that she (g) ________ (realise) just how

tiring this (h) ________ (be). I (i) ________ (go) away on business for a

few days next week, and while I (j) ________ (be) away, my sister (k)

________ (come) to stay, which she (l) __ __ __ quite often. Once I (m)

________ (be) back, I (n) ________ (decide) that I (o) ________ (get) in

touch with some estate agents. I (p) ________ (not feel) happy until we (q)

________ (find) a house closer to my wifeТs job. I wonder what the children

(r) ________ (say) when they (s) ________ (hear) that we (t) ________

(move). This is the first time they (u) ________ (live) in the country, and

they (v) ________ (hate) to move back to town.

5. Tense review (2)

Put the verb in brackets in an appropriate tense.

Junk story that beat the experts

The strangest story I (a) _____ ever _____ (report) began one Spring

morning in Hong Kong. I was born and brought up in Hong Kong and I (b)

_______ just _______ (start) working as a radio reporter there.

In March 1981, ninety-five fishing junks (c)_______ (spot) sailing over

the horizon. Immediately they (d) _______ (surround) by police launches who

thought they were trying (e) _______ (sneak) into Hong Kong against the


One of Hong KongТs greatest problems is trying to keep out thousands of

people who think life there (f) _______ (be) better than in China, and try

to smuggle themselves in. Hong Kong is already the most crowded place in

the world, and thereТs no room for more people.

But when the police asked the junk people why they (g) _______ (come)

they (h) _______ (get) a shock. They said they (i) _______ (stay) for a few

days (j) _______ (escape) the terrible calamity that was about (k) _______

(strike) their villages in China.

They said there was complete panic at home because everyone (l) _______

(believe) an earthquake (m) _______ (come).

Throughout its history China (n) _______ (suffer) terrible earthquakes,

cities (o) _______ (destroy) and thousands killed. Nowadays, all over the

country there are seismographic centres where earthquakes can easy (p)

_______ (predict).

The Hong Kong authorities phoned one of these centres in China to find

out whether they (q) _______ (warn) about a forthcoming earthquake, but the

answer was no. Experts in Hong Kong agreed that there was no reason for the

junk peopleТs fears.

Consequently the junk people (r) _______ (send) home. On their way back

an earthquake did indeed (s) _______ (strike) their village. No-one was

hurt but the mystery (t) _______ (remain). How did the junk people know,

when the scientists and experts with all their sophisticated machines


Unit 4 Modal verbs

Introduction to modals

can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, would

Main points

o Modals are always the first word in a verb group.

o All modals except for СoughtТ are followed by the base form of a verb.

o СOughtТ is followed by a СtoТ-infinitive.

o Modals have only one form.

Modals are always the first word in a verb group. All modals except

for'ought'are followed by the base form of a verb.

I must leave fairly soon.

I think it will look rather nice.

Things might have been so different.

People may be watching.

СOughtТ is always followed by a СtoТ-infinitive.

She ought to go straight back to England.

Sam ought to have realised how dangerous it was.

You ought to be doing this.

Modals have only one form, There is no С-sТ form for the third person

singular of the present tense, and there are no С-ingТ or С-edТ forms.

ThereТs nothing I can do about it.

IТm sure he can do it.

Modals do not normally indicate the time when something happens. There are,

however, a few exceptions.

СShallТ and СwillТ often indicate a future event or situation.

I shall do what you suggested. He will not return for many hours.

СCouldТ is used as the past form of СcanТ to express ability. СWouldТ is

used as the past form of СwillТ to express the future.

When I was young, I could run for miles.

He remembered that he would see his mother the next day.

In spoken English and informal written English, СshallТ and СwillТ are

shortened to С-ТllТ and СwouldТ to С-ТdТ, and added to a pronoun.

IТll see you tomorrow.

I hope youТll agree.

Posy said sheТd love to stay.

СShallТ, СwillТ, and СwouldТ are never shortened if they come at the end of

a sentence.

Paul said he would come, and I hope he will.

In spoken English, you can also add С-ТllТ and С-ТdТ to nouns.

My carТll be outside.

The headmasterТd be furious.

Warning: Remember that С-dТ is also the short form of the auxiliary СhadТ.

IТd heard it many times.


1. Your have to complete a sentence with could, was / were able to or


Example: My grandfather was very clever. He could (or was able to) speak

five languages.

1. He had hurt his leg, so he __________ walk very well.

2. She wasnТt at home when I phone but I __________ contact her at her


3. I look very carefully and I __________ see a figure in the distance.

4. They didnТt have any tomatoes in the first shop I went to, but I

__________ get some in the next shop.

5. My grandmother loved music. She __________ play the piano very well.

6. The boy fell into the river but fortunately we __________ rescue him.

2. In this exercise you have to write sentences with could or could have.

Example: She doesnТt want to stay with Linda. But she could stay with


1. He didnТt want to help us. But he

2. He doesnТt want to help us. But

3. They donТt want to lend us any money. But

4. She didnТt want to have anything to eat.

3. You have read a situation and write a sentence with must have or canТt

have. Use the words in brackets.

Example: The phone rang but I didnТt hear it. (I must / be / asleep)

I must have been asleep.

1. That dress you bought is very good quality. (It must / be / very


2. I havenТt seen Jim for ages. (He must / go / away)

3. I wonder where my umbrella is. (You must / leave / it on the train)

4. Don passed the examination. He didnТt study very much for it. (The exam

canТt / be / very difficult)

5. She knew everything about our plans. (She must / listen / to our


6. Denis did the opposite of what I asked him to do. (He canТt / understand

/ what I said)

7. When I woke up this morning, the light was on. (I must / forget / to

turn it off)

8. I donТt understand how the accident happened. (The driver canТt / see /

the red light)

4. Rewrite these sentences using the modals given.

Example: Perhaps he fell. (may have) (might have)

He may have fallen.

He could have fallen.

1. Perhaps they saw us. (could have) (might have)

2. Perhaps he said that. I donТt remember. (might have) (could have)

3. WeТre lost. I think weТve taken the wrong road. (must have)

4. I wish you had seen it. It was wonderful. (should have)

5. I ought to have known that would happen. (should have)

6. Perhaps when I am fifty I wonТt remember it. (will have forgotten)

7. It was possible for me to prevent that, but I didnТt. (could have)

8. You should have listened to her the first time. (ought to have)

5. Make suitable sentences from the table below using can.

|Learning English |can |Sometimes |be |exciting. |

|Watching | |Often | |boring. |

|television | |Occasional| |interesting. |

|Visiting | |ly | |painful. |

|relatives | | | |hard work. |

|Winter sports | | | |dangerous. |

|Going to the | | | |good fun. |

|dentist | | | | |

|Meeting new | | | | |

|people | | | | |

|Travelling | | | | |

Example: Travelling can often be boring.

6. Complete these sentences using can, canТt, could or couldnТt.

Example: There was a woman with a big hat right in front of me. I couldnТt

see a thing.

1. IТm sorry, youТre in my light. I __________ see what IТm doing.

2. It was a huge hall and we were at the back, so we __________ hear very


3. When she screams, you __________ hear her all over the house.

4. She was phoning all the way from Singapore, but I __________ hear her

very clearly.

5. __________ you hear me at the back?

6. Put your hands up if you __________ hear me.

7. Rewrite these suggestions starting with the words given.

Example: LetТs go to the theatre. / How about going to the theatre?

1. We should get started as soon as possible. / It might be a good idea

2. You could write and ask her yourself. / You might like to

3. Why donТt we take a winter holiday for a change? / What about

4. CouldnТt you just play at the end of the month? / You could

5. We could take a week off in July. / LetТs

6. You could ask Bill to help. / What

7. Why donТt you ring and tell them youТre coming? / You

8. We could borrow the equipment from Peter. / CouldnТt

9. Why donТt we keep quiet about that? / It might

8. Add comments to these sentences using I wish.

Example: IТm afraid your father canТt come. / I wish he could.

They always come late. / I wish they wouldnТt.

1. He always complains about everything. /

2. He never invites us round. /

3. We canТt go on holiday this year. /

4. She wonТt listen to anything you say. /

5. They canТt help out IТm afraid. /

6. She never comes home at weekends. /

9. Fill each gap with a correct modal verb.

1. I really think you __________ see a doctor.

2. Oh, look! Mr. Thomson __________ be here: thereТs his car.

3. Why did you carry that heavy box? You __________ hurt yourself!

4. - Where are my keys?

5. I suppose I __________ them in the car.

6. She had to wait 5 minutes for traffic to stop, but in the end __________

to cross the road.

7. I took my umbrella, but it didnТt rain, so I __________ taken it.

8. Everyone understood. The teacher __________ to explain it again.

9. He had an accident in his car. He __________ where he was going.

10. - Did she do the exercise?

11. No, she said she __________ understand it.

12. He is very rich. He __________ work for a living.

13. - Did you go to the concert?

14. No. We __________ have gone but decided not to.

15. - Did they find your house?

16. Yes, it took them a long time but they __________ to find it.

17. - Do you want me to wait for you?

18. No, itТs okay. You __________ wait.

19. His test is the best in class. He __________ (study) last night.

Unit 5 Gerunds and infinitives

The gerund

The gerund is used:

after prepositions.

After leaving school, I went to university.

The firemen rescued the lady by breaking down the door.

Is anyone here good at sewing?

She was accused of killing her husband.

Examples of prepositions frequently followed by the gerund are:

before after without by about at to of

after certain verbs.

I enjoy staying in hotels.

I avoid working at the weekend.

Some of the most common verbs which are followed by the gerund are:

admit avoid deny enjoy finish

as the subject or object of a sentence.

Swimming is my favourite sport.

Smoking is bad for your health.

I find working in the garden very relaxing.

after certain idiomatic expressions.

It's no use talking to him. He doesn't know anything.

This is an excellent book. It's worth buying.

Other idiomatic expressions are:

There's no point in (waiting all day).

It's no good (pretending that you understand).

after certain verbs which are followed by the preposition to.

I'm looking forward to visiting you in July.

The infinitive

The infinitive is used:

after certain verbs.

I can't afford to pay all my bills.

I hope to see you again soon.

Some of the most common verbs that are followed by the infinitive are:

agree appear attempt choose dare decide expect help learn

manage need offer promise refuse seem

You should consult a good dictionary, for example the Oxford Advanced

Learner's Dictionary of Current English, to see which structures are

possible after a particular verb.

after certain verbs followed by an object.

He advised me to listen carefully.

They invited her to have lunch with them.

Some of the most common verbs that are normally used with an object and

an infinitive are:

allow encourage force order persuade remind teach tell


after certain verbs which sometimes take an object and sometimes donТt.

I want to find out the answer, (no object Ц СI find out.Т)

I want you to find out the answer, (СyouТ as object Ц СYou find out.Т)

I'd like to help you.

I'd like you to give her a message.

NEVER I want that you . . .

I'd like that you . . .

Other common verbs are:

ask expect

after certain adjectives.

It's difficult to explain how to get there. It's possible to walk there.

after make and let.

She made me do the exercise again, (active Ц without СtoТ)

I was made to do the exercise again, (passive Ц with СtoТ)

He let me borrow the car. (active - without 'to')

I was allowed to borrow the car. (СLetТ, in the sense of СallowТ, is not

possible in the passive.)

to express purpose.

I came here to team English.

I need more money to buy the things I want.

after certain verbs followed by question words, e.g. what, where, who.

I didn't know what to do.

Can you tell me how to get there?

Show me where to put it.

Do you know where to buy it?

After these verbs and others with similar meanings, it is possible to use

how, what, where, when, whether etc.

ask consider explain wonder find out understand

Forms of the infinitive

The continuous infinitive

The continuous infinitive is formed with to be + present participle.

It expresses activities in progress.

I'd like to be lying in the sun right now.

He seemed to be having financial difficulties.

The perfect infinitive

The perfect infinitive is formed with to have + past participle.

I'd like to have seen his face when you told him.

He seems to have forgotten about the appointment.

The passive infinitive

The passive infinitive is formed with to be + past participle.

I'd like to be promoted to sales manager.

I asked to be informed as soon as there was any news.


The continuous, perfect, and passive infinitives can also be used with

modal auxiliary verbs, but with these verbs to is omitted.

You should be working, not watching television.

She must have gone home already.

This report must be finished tonight.

The gerund or the infinitive after verbs?

Continue, start, begin

Either the gerund or the infinitive can be used.

It started to snow


The infinitive is more common.

1. Love, like, prefer, hate

The meaning changes slightly, depending on whether the gerund or the

infinitive is used.

Followed by the gerund, the statement is general.

I like swimming.

I love going to parties.

I hate driving in the dark.

Followed by the infinitive, the statement is more specific.

I like to read a book before going to sleep at night.

I hate to tell you, but I've lost your coat.

Remember, forget, stop, try

The meaning changes greatly depending on whether the gerund or the

infinitive is used.

I remember being very unhappy as a teenager. (I know that I was very

unhappy as a teenager.)

I'll never forget meeting you. (The day I met you is

very clear in my memory.)

The gerund refers to actions and states in the past, i.e. before the

remembering, forgetting, etc. take place.

Remember to put some petrol in the car! (There isnТt much petrol in the car

and it is important that you buy some.)

Don't forget to post the letter! (The letter is important, so you must

remind yourself to post it.)

The infinitive refers to actions that must still be done, i.e. that happen

after the remembering, forgetting, etc.

I stopped smoking years ago. (previous activity)

I stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. (This tells us why I stopped.)

We tried to put out the fire, but it was impossible.

I tried pouring on water, my husband tried covering it with a blanket and

my son tried using the fire extinguisher, but in the end we had to call the

fire brigade.

Try + infinitive is your goal; it is what you want to do.

Try + gerund is the method you use to achieve that goal.


1. Open the brackets using a gerund.

1. The windows are very dirty; they need (clean).

2. It's very hot, so you don't need (bring) a coat.

3. The house is old, and it badly wants (paint).

4. The famous man didn't need (introduce) himself.

5. The floor is covered with dust; it needs (sweep).

6. The grass in the garden is very dry; it wants (water) badly.

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