Modals

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We use can to say that someone has the ability or opportunity to do something. The negative of can is cannot (contraction: can't). Can you swim? He can play the guitar. It's nice today. We can sit in the garden. I can't open this bottle. could for the italicized verbs if possible. 1. We had a good time yesterday. We went to the zoo. The children enjoyed themselves very much. They saw polar bears and elephants. (No substitution of 'could' is possible.) 2. When I lived in St. Louis, I went to the zoo whenever I wanted to, but now I live in a small town...

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  1.  Modals
  2. §1. Ability: can, could, be able to Can We use can to say that someone has the ability or opportunity to do something. The negative of can is cannot (contraction: can't). Can you swim? He can play the guitar. It's nice today. We can sit in the garden. I can't open this bottle. Can usually expresses the idea that something is possible because certain characteristics or conditions exist. Can combines the ideas of possibility and ability. Tom is strong. He can lift that heavy box. (It is possible for Tom to lift that box because he is strong.) I can play the piano. I've taken lessons for many years. (It is possible for me to play the piano because I have acquired that ability.) That race car can go very fast. (It is possible for that car to go fast because of its special characteristics.) Can you meet me tomorrow evening? (Is it possible for you to meet me? Will you be free?) We can use be able to instead of can eg Are you able to swim? but can is more common. Could and was/were able to We can use could to say that someone had the general ability to do something in the past. I could swim when I was 4 years old. My sister could talk when she was 15 months old. We also use was/were able to with this meaning. I was able to swim when I was 4 years old. But when we want to say that someone had the ability to do something, and that they did it in a particular situation, we must use was/were able to (could is not possible). Even though I'd hurt my leg, I was able to swim back to the boat. (Not: ... I could swim back ...) The manager wasn't in the office for very long, but we were able to speak to him for a few minutes. (Not: we could ayeak to him ...) We can use managed to (+ infinitive) or succeeded in (+ -ing form) instead of was/were able to in this meaning. Even though I'd hurt my leg, I managed to swim back to the boat/I succeeded in swimming back to the boat. We normally use managed to or succeeded in when the action was difficult to do. There is an exception with the verbs of perception see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and some verbs of thinking eg understand, remember. We use could with these verbs when we actually did these things in particular situations. We could see a man in the garden. I could hear a noise outside my bedroom door. We use could not (contraction: couldn't) for both general ability and particular situations. My grandmother couldn't dance. He tried very hard, but he couldn't swim back to the boat. Could have ... We use could have + past participle to say that someone had the ability or the opportunity to do something in the past but did not do it. You could have helped me. Why didn't you? I could have gone to China on holiday last year, but I decided not to. Expressing ability in other forms: be able to Can has no infinitive, -ing form or participles. So, when necessary, we make these forms with be able to. I'd like to be able to play the piano. (We cannot say I'd like to can play ... ) In the future, people will be able to live on other planets. (We cannot say ... people will can live ... ) She enjoys being able to speak foreign languages. (We cannot say Ghe enjoys canning ...) I've been able to drive since I was 18. (We cannot say I've could ...) Possibility: can We use can to talk about 'theoretical possibility'. You can ski on the hills. (= It is possible to ski, i.e. circumstances permit: there is enough snow. ) Anyone can learn to swim. (= It is possible for anyone to learn to swim.) We can't bathe here on account of the sharks. (It isn't safe.) Can you get to the top of the mountain in one day? (Is it possible?) In this use, can often has a similar meaning to 'sometimes'.
  3. My brother can be very nice. (= My brother is sometimes very nice.) The Straits of Dover can be very rough. (= It is possible for the Straits to be rough; this sometimes happens.) We use could to talk about theoretical possibility in the past. My brother could be really horrible when he was a child. Activities /. Supply can, can't, could, couldn't, was/were able to, managed to. Alternatives are possible. I. A good 1500-metre runner ... run the race in under four minutes. 2. Bill is so unfit he ... run at all."3. Our baby is - only nine months and he ... already stand up. 4. When I was younger, I... speak Italian much better than I... now. 5. He ... draw or paint at all when he was a boy, but now he's a famous artist. 6. ... she speak German very well? — No, she ... speak German at all. 7. After weeks of training, I ... swim a length of the baths underwater. 8. It took a long time, but in the end Tony ... save enough to buy his own hi-fi. 9. Did you buy any fresh fish in the market? — No, I ... get any. 10. For days the rescuers looked for the lost climbers in the snow. On the fourth day they saw them and ... reach them without too much trouble.. II. Rewrite these sentences using can, can't, could or couldn't. 1. Do you see that man over there? 2. I smell something burning. 3.1 understood what he said. 4. Did you understand what he said? 5. I don't see anyone. 6. I didn't understand what he said. 7. I don't remember his name. 8. Did you hear any noise at night? 9. Do you see a bird in that tree? III. Supply suitable forms of be able to in these sentences. 1. Our teacher says we ... speak English fluently in a few months. 2. I've been trying for hours, but so far I (not) ... get through on the phone. 3. If he had asked me earlier, I ... help him. 4. I'm sure she would have helped you if she ... 5. I think I ... play tennis better after a bit of practice. 6. You ... ski when you go to Geneva. 7. It's nice ... go to the opera. 8. He has managed to live in England for years without ... speak English. 9. I'm practising hard because I want to ... pass my driving test first time. 10. If I ... sing, I would have loved to be an opera singer. 11. It's been a quiet day, I ... get some work done. IV. Fill the following spaces, using can for present, could for past and shall/will be able for future. There is no need to use other able forms in this section. Put to where necessary before the infinitives. 1. ... you stand on your head? — I ... when I was at school but I (not) ... now. 2. When I've passed my driving test I ... hire a car from our local garage. 3. At the end of the month the Post Office will send him an enormous telephone bill which he (not) ... pay. 4. I (not) ... remember the address. — ... (not) you even remember the street? 5. When the fog lifts we ... see where we are. 6. You've put too much in your rucksack; you never ... carry all that. 7. When I was a child I (not) ... understand adults, and now that I am an adult I (not)... understand children. 8. When you have taken your degree you ... work as an interpreter? 9. Don't try to look at all the pictures in the gallery. Otherwise when you get home you (not) ... remember any of them. 10. When I first went to Spain I... read Spanish but I (not) ... speak it. 11. ... you type? — Yes, I... type but I (not)... do shorthand. 12. I'm locked in. I (not) ... get out! — ... you (not) squeeze between the bars? - No! I ... ; I'm too fat. V. Complete the sentences using could or was/were able to. Sometimes either form is possible, 1. He was very strong; he ... ski all day and dance all night. 2. The car plunged into the river. The driver ... get out but the passengers were drowned. 3. I was a long way from the stage. I ... see all right but I (not) ... hear very well. 4. We ... borrow umbrellas, so we didn't get wet. 5. ... you walk or did they have to carry you? 6. I had no key so I (not) ... lock the door. 7. I knew the town so I ... advise him where to go. 8. When the garage had repaired our car we ... continue our journey. 9. At five years old he ... read quite well. 10. When I arrived everyone was asleep. Fortunately I ... wake my sister and she let me in. 11. The swimmer was very tired but he ... reach the shore before he collapsed. 12. The police were suspicious at first but I... convince them that we were innocent. 13. We ... put out the fire before much damage was done. 14. My daughter ... walk when she was only 11 months old. 15.1 ... finish all the work you wanted me to do yesterday. 16. ... you speak French before you went to live in Paris? — I (not) ... speak it very well. 17. They were talking quite loudly. I ... hear everything they said. 18. I looked everywhere for the book but I (not) ... find it. 19. He had hurt his leg, so he (not) ... walk very well. 20. She wasn't at home when I phoned but I ... contact her at the office. 21.1 looked very carefully and I... see a figure in the distance. 22. They didn't have any tomatoes in the first shop I went to, but I... get some in the next shop. 23. The boy fell into the river but fortunately we ... rescue him. 24. Did you persuade them? — Yes. It was difficult but we ... persuade them. 25. Did they find your house? — Yes. It took them a long time but they ... find it. 26. He (not) ... come to the meeting last week. He was sick. VI. Complete the sentences using can or could where possible. If can or could is not possible, use a form of be able to. 1. When Robert was younger he ... run quite fast. 2. Look! You ... see the mountains from this window. 3. How long ... you ... play the guitar? 4. Look! I ... lift this chair with one hand. 5. I'm sorry but I (not) ... come to the party on Saturday. 6. I (not) ... sleep very well recently. 7. Tom ... drive but he hasn't got a car. 8. I can't understand Martin. I ... never... understand him. 9. I used ... stand on my head but I can't do it now. 10. Ask Ann about your problem. I think she ... help you. 11. Did you win the match? — Yes. It wasn't easy but I ... win it. 12. I (not) ... swim very far these days but ten years ago I ... swim from one side of the lake to the other. 13. I ... read a book by moonlight but I (not) ... read in sunlight. 14. Where are the keys? I (not) ... find them last night. 15. The theatre seats were awful. We (not) ... see the stage. 16. The show is very popular but luckily I ... get two seats for Saturday. 17. My car broke down and I (not) ... drive it for a week. 18. The exam was easy. I ... do all the questions. 19. It's nice ... sleep on Sundays. 20. After
  4. the accident he (not) ... smell or taste anything. 21.1 lost all my money but fortunately I... borrow some from my friends. 22. When Lynn was younger she (not) ... afford to buy a camera, but she has a good job now, and she ... afford several cameras. 23. By the way, ... you ... find that tie you borrowed last night? — Uh ... no. If I (not) ... find it, I'll buy you a new one. OK? — It was my favourite tie. — I know, Dad. I've looked everywhere, and I (not) ... find it. But I'll keep looking. 24. If they (not) ... fix the car today, they can fix it tomorrow. 25. Mr Wilson is taking a course in Computer Programming. At the moment he (not) ... write complicated programs, but soon he ... write them quite well. 26. Julie is taking a typing course. She knows she ... pass her secretarial exams next year unless she improves her typing speed. She's doing well, and soon she ... type 60 words a minute. VII. Substitute could for the italicized verbs if possible. 1. We had a good time yesterday. We went to the zoo. The children enjoyed themselves very much. They saw polar bears and elephants. (No substitution of 'could' is possible.) 2. When I lived in St. Louis, I went to the zoo whenever I wanted to, but now I live in a small town and the nearest zoo is a long way away. ('/ could go' can be used instead of 'I went' to give the idea of 'used to be able to.') 3. Usually I don't have much time to watch TV, but last night I watched the news while I was eating dinner. I heard the news about the political situation in my country. 4. When I lived at home with my parents, I watched TV every day if I wanted to, but now while I'm going to school, I live in a small apartment and don't have a television set. 5. When I worked as a secretary, I was able to type 60 words a minute without making a mistake. My typing skills aren't nearly as good now. 6. Yesterday I typed these reports for my boss. I don't type very well, but I was able to finish the reports without making too many mistakes. 7. When I went to my favourite fishing hole last Saturday, I caught two fish. I brought them home and cooked them for dinner. 8. When I was a child, the river that flows through our town had plenty of fish. My mother used to go fishing two or three times a week. Usually she caught enough for our dinner within an hour or so. 9. Last night Mark and I had an argument about politics. Finally, I managed to convince him that I was right. 10. My grandfather was a merchant all his life. He knew how to make a sale by using psychology. He was able to convince anyone to buy anything whether they needed it or not. 11. The game we went to yesterday was exciting. The other team played good defence, but my favourite player managed to score two goals. 12. When I ran into Mrs Forks yesterday, I recognized her even though I hadn't seen her for years. VIII. Complete the sentences with could and the verb in parentheses if possible. If the use of could is not possible, provide any other appropriate completion. 1. When I was younger, I ... up late without getting sleepy, but now I always go to bed early, (stay) 2. Last night we ... to a restaurant. The food was delicious, (go) 3. The teacher gave the students plenty of time for the test yesterday. All of them ... it before the time was up. (complete) 4. I was tired, but I ... my work before I went to bed last night, (finish) 5. Last night I ... TV for a couple of hours. Then I studied, (watch) 6. I like to ride my bicycle. I ... it to work when we lived on First Street but now I can't. Now I have to drive because we live too far away, (ride) 7. Susan ... her bicycle to work yesterday instead of walking, (ride) 8. The picnic yesterday was a lot of fun. All of us ... it a lot. (enjoy) 9. After years of devoted work, Mr Bailey finally ... a raise in salary last April, (get) 10. I ... long distances when I was a teenager, (swim) 11. I had to put together my daughter's tricycle. It came from the factory unassembled. It was a struggle and took me a long time, but in the end I ... it together, (get). IX. Respond using can or can't. Example Is it possible to buy sweets at Buckingham Palace? No, you can't buy sweets at Buckingham Palace. Example. Is it possible to go to the top of the Post Office Tower? Yes, you can go to the top of the Post Office Tower. 1. Is it possible to buy sweets at Buckingham Palace? 2. Is it possible to go to the top of the Post Office Tower? 3. Is it possible to have clothes washed at the hairdresser's? 4. Is it possible to put all your clothes in a handbag? 5. Is it possible to go by train from London to Bristol? 6. Is it possible to swim in a boat? 7. Is it possible to swim when the tide is in? 8. Is it possible to book seats at the theatre? 9. Is it possible to have clothes made at the launderette? 10. Is it possible to get medicine at the newsagent's? X. Complete the sentences using can or could and the verbs in the box. Use each verb only once. grow be make reach live survive cross Example Tigers can be dangerous. 1. Elephants ... for up to 70 years. 2. Temperatures near the South Pole ... minus 43 degrees centigrade. 3. A hundred years ago ships ... the Atlantic in 10 days. 4. Camels ... for up to 17 weeks in the desert without water. 5. Dinosaurs ... up to 5 meters long.
  5. 6. Anyone ... mistakes. XI. Rewrite these sentences with can or could be. 1. The sea is often rough in the harbour. 2. She is bad tempered at times. 3. She was often rude when she was a girl. 4. It is often cold here in winter. 5. He was often helpful when he wanted to be. 6. He was often naughty when he was a boy. 7. Winter here is often really cold. XII. After their climb, Stephen and his friends were all very hungry, hot, tired, thirsty, and happy. Use could with items in the box to complete their exclamations: drink 8 bottles of lemonade sleep for 24 eat a kilo of rice melt hours look at them all day Stephen: I'm so hungry I could eat a kilo of rice! Julie: I'm not hungry, but I'm so thirsty ... John: I didn't sleep well last night. I'm so tired ... Anne: Me too. And the weather needs to be cooler to climb mountains — I'm so hot ... Julie: The mountains are so beautiful, though. I ... Later, Julie wrote a postcard to her parents, and described how everyone had felt: Stephen was so hungry he could have eaten a kilo of rice. Continue her letter, writing the other sentences in the same way: I wasn't hungry, but I was so thirsty I .... John and Anne were so tired they ... , and Anne was so hot she ... . The mountains were so beautiful, though. I .... XIII. Write the most appropriate 'wish' for the people in the sentences below, using the words in the table: eat the instructions get my key use a new car I wish I/ we could... understand cakes find dictionaries afford a job 1. Someone on a diet: 'I wish I could eat cakes.' 2. Someone locked out of their house:'_________________' 3. Students taking an English exam:'__________________' 4. Someone whose car won't start:'____________________' 5. An unemployed person:'___________________________' 6. Some people who have just bought a new computer:'____' XIV. Paraphrase using 'be able to' instead of 'can'. Example-. If I hadn't done well at school, I couldn't have gone to university. If I hadn't done well at school, I wouldn't have been able to go to university. 1. If I hadn't done well at school, I couldn't have gone to university. 2. Even if I hadn't gone to university, I could have worked for this firm. 3. If I hadn't won a scholarship, my parents couldn't have afforded to send me. 4. If my parents had had more money, I could have stayed for three more years. 5. If my brother had worked harder, he could have gone to university too. 6. If John hadn't given Mary so many presents, he could have bought a car. 7. If he had bought a car, he could have taken his friends to Italy in it. 8. If I hadn't studied hard, I couldn't have passed my exams. XV. Robert Wells is 52 years old. Sometimes he feels that he has wasted his life. Read about Robert. Replace the words in italics with could have ... , as in the example. Example: When Robert was 26 he had the chance to get married, but he decided not to. When Robert was 26 he could have got married, but he decided not to. 1. Robert had the ability to go to university, but he didn't want to go. 2. He had the intelligence to pass his final exams at school, but he didn't take them. 3. A lot of people thought he had the ability to be a professional footballer when he was younger, but he didn't try. 4. He had the opportunity to start his own business once, but he didn't want to. 5. He had the chance to emigrate to Australia a few years ago, but he decided not to. XVI. Write could (have), managed to or an appropriate form of able to in each gap. 1. What's forty-eight divided by eight? I ... never ... to do sums in my head. 2. ... drive has changed my whole life. Now I can go wherever I want without having to worry about public transport. 3. I had a row with Sheila last night about nuclear arms. I... understand the point she was trying to make, but I still didn't agree. 4. A girl was drowning, but I jumped in and ... save her. I ... swim since I was six. 5. The view was breathtaking. You ... see right across the valley
  6. to the hills in the distance. 6. Why don't you stop smoking? You ... do it if you tried. 7. Anna's operation was very successful. The doctors say she ... walk again in a few weeks. 8. I'm learning Russian because I want ... talk to people when I go there next year. 9. We didn't go out last night. We ... (go) to the cinema but we decided to stay at home. 10. If I ... sing as well as you, I would join the opera. 11. I had my last vacation in July. If I'd had enough money, I ... (go) to Florida. XVII. Complete these sentences using an appropriate form of could or be able to (sometimes both are possible). When I was at school I ... (speak) German quite well, but last week I met a German at a party and I ... (not understand) a word he said. He spoke a little English and he ... (tell) me that he was staying in England only for a few days. He was a nice man and I would have invited him home if I ... (understand) him better. He didn't look German, in fact he ... (be) English from his appearance. He invited me to Germany next summer and I would go if I ... (afford) it. Mary speaks German and she ... (come) with me if I went. My boss said that I ... (take) my holiday in June if I wanted to. After the party my car wouldn't start, but the German gentleman was staying near where I live so he ... (take) me home in his car. Then, when I got home, I found I didn't have a key, but the kitchen window was open so I ... (climb) in. XVIII. Translate from Russian into English. 1. Я думаю, что вы смогли бы уговорить его, если бы попытались. — Я попытаюсь. 2. Несмотря на шторм, он смог доплыть до берега. 3. Он сможет свободно говорить по-французски, если проведет пару лет в Париже. 4. Когда я был молодым, я мог пройти 30 километров в день. 5. Почему ты не сказал мне раньше? — Я бы мог купить эту книгу в Лондоне. 6. Хорошо, если бы ты мог пойти с нами. — К сожалению, не могу. 7. Вы сможете отвезти меня завтра в аэропорт? — Конечно. 8. Эту книгу можно купить в любом магазине. 9. Я смогу перевести эту статью, если ты дашь мне хороший словарь. 10. Погода была хорошая, и мы могли гулять в парке каждое утро. 11. Погода сегодня хорошая, и мы могли бы погулять. 12. Жаль, что брата нет дома. Он бы смог помочь тебе. 13. Она много занималась, и ей удалось сдать экзамен. 14. Ты смог починить телевизор вчера? — Нет, я попытаюсь сделать это сегодня. 15. Если бы ты попросил меня, я бы смог помочь тебе. Я был тогда свободен. 16. Мы смогли перевезти все товары в течение десяти дней. 17. Когда он приехал в Лондон, он мог вести переговоры с фирмами без переводчика. 18. Он сказал, что не сможет дать ответ, пока не обдумает вопрос как следует. 19. Я мог бы прийти пораньше, если нужно. 20. Было так темно, что мы ничего не видели. 21. Ты не сможешь ,, перевести название, не прочитав всей статьи. 22. Хотя пилот был тяжело ранен, он смог объяснить, что произошло. 23. Ребенок сможет ходить через несколько недель. 24. Я не могу заплатить вам сегодня. Вы можете подождать до завтра? 25. С тех пор, как произошел несчастный случай, он не выходит из дома. 26. Вы могли бы вести дела само- стоятельно? 27. Он сказал, что потерял паспорт и не мог выехать из страны. 28. Я бы мог одолжить тебе денег. Почему ты не попросил у меня? 29. Зима здесь бывает очень холодной. 30. Мы смогли достать билеты на матч вчера. 31. Мы не смогли вчера достать билеты на матч. 32. Он бывал очень капризным, когда был ребенком. 33. Он смог вас встретить? — Да, но он не смог отвезти нас в гостиницу. 34. Это можно и нужно сделать. 35. Боже мой! Тебя могли убить. XIX. Study and practise the following texts. Report the conversations. Speak about your skills and achievements. 1. Sarah: Well, there are a lot of things I can't do! I can't draw and I can't drive a car, but I want to have lessons. I can ... I can type and I can use a word processor, because I have one at work and I use it all the time. What about sports? Mm. Well, I certainly can't ski, but I'm quite good at tennis, yes, I can play tennis. Well, I usually win when I play with my friends. And I can swim, of course. And I can cook. I think I'm a very good, well, no, just good ... a good cook! Now, then ... languages. I can speak French and German, I don't know any Italian at all, and I know about five words in Spanish — adios, manana, paella — no, I can't speak Spanish! And I can't play any musical instruments, not the piano, the guitar, or anything. 2. Miss Conrad, the new music teacher, wants to start a school orchestra. Miss Conrad: Well now ... what instruments can you play? Kevin, can you play the piano? Kevin: No, I can't. Miss Conrad: Well, what about the recorder? Kevin: Yes, I can play the recorder. Mark: I can play the recorder too, Miss Conrad. Miss Conrad: Good! Kevin: My friend Barbara's away today, but she's very good at music. Miss Conrad: Oh! Can she play the piano? Kevin: Yes she can. Miss Conrad: That's great! Now we need a guitar and a trumpet! 3. Mr Horn: Miss Abe? Keiko: Yes. Mr Horn: Please come in. I'm Bruce Horn, Director of Personnel. Keiko: I'm pleased to meet you. Mr Horn: Please sit down. Keiko: Thank you. Mr Horn: So, you want to be a secretary at United Bank. Can you tell me a little about yourself? Keiko: Well, I'm 19 years old. I was born in Japan, and I came here about a year ago. And I'm studying English and Business at school. Mr Horn: You can speak English very well.
  7. Keiko: Thank you. Mr Horn: Do you have any hobbies or special skills? Keiko: I like to read, and I like to swim. Mr Horn: Can you use a computer? Keiko: No, I can't, but I'd like to learn about computers. Mr Horn: But you can type, can't you? Keiko: Oh, yes. I can type about sixty words a minute. 4. Susan: It's really great here in this lake. The water's so warm. And it's so clean. I can see the bottom. It's quite deep. David: Susan! Be careful. I know you can swim but you shouldn't swim out too far in such cold water. Susan: Don't worry about me. I can swim for miles without getting tired. David: All right then, but I'm getting out. I can't swim as fast as you and I can't stand being beaten by a girl! 5. Olga: Were you able to fix the lawn mower? Eddie: No, so I couldn't mow the lawn. Olga: Ouch! Eddie: What's the matter? Did you hurt yourself? Olga: I cut myself. Eddie: Do you want some help? Olga: No, I'm all right. I can finish it myself. Why don't you help your sister clean the living room? There are records and books everywhere. Eddie: Those are all Isabel's things. Anyway, she doesn't want help. Olga: Well, check with your father. I think he's rea- dy to paint the kitchen, and it's too big for him to paint alone. Eddie: Do I have to? Olga: Yes, you have to. He won't be able to do it by himself. It'll take too long. 6. Mrs Jones: I hear your grandchildren and Mrs Tailor's boys had a narrow escape* at the beach last Sunday, Mrs Smith. Mrs Smith: Yes, those little bays are so dangerous. They could easily have been drowned. Mrs Jones: You only have to take your eyes off children for a moment, don't you? Mrs Smith: That's right... We never dreamed anything like that could happen. Mrs Jones: It was lucky you were able to find that man with the motor-boat, wasn't it? Mrs Smith: Yes, and it was lucky that young Tommy is such a good swimmer for his age too. Mrs Jones: Just think! If anything ever happened, one would never be able to forgive oneself. One would have it on one's conscience for the rest of one's life, wouldn't one? Mrs Smith: Yes, but you can't watch them every single minute of the day, can you? Mrs Jones: But one has to try, if one takes one's responsibilities as a parent seriously, don't you think? * Note-, to have a narrow escape — едва избежать опасности, быть на волосок (от смерти и т.п.) XX. Complete the sentences with couldn't or was able to. Retell the text. Petra was flying a helicopter over the Peruvian jungle when suddenly there was a huge storm. She ... bring the helicopter under control and seconds later the helicopter crashed to the ground. Petra fell 5,000 metres. Luckily she was strapped to her seat. That is how she ... survive the fall. Rescue parties searched the jungle for several days, but they ... find either Petra or the helicopter. Even radar equipment... find her. The jungle was so dense that the rescuers ... see through the trees. Petra knew that she ... survive for long without water. She ... find a river because she had been on a survival training course. She realized that she ... defend herself against wild animals, so she built a shelter. At first Petra ... find any food that was safe to eat. She had studied botany at University, so she ... to recognize the poisonous plants. She ... to find enough to eat for several days at a time. A. Work with a partner. In a short paragraph, write what you think happened to Petra next. Use couldn't, was able to and managed to, like this: Petra was bitten by a dangerous insect. She was very ill and she couldn't move for two days. She was hungry and exhausted. Luckily she managed to find some plants and some fruit to eat. When she felt better she decided to light a large fire. Petra was able to send smoke signals and finally ... B. Take turns to read your paragraph to the class. XXI. Complete the account of the climb with could/couldn't wherever possible — otherwise use was/were able to. Retell the text. Stephen and Julie were spending a few days camping with some friends in Snowdonia. On a climb, there was a difficult section. Stephen has long arms and ... climb this easily, but Julie is not so tall and ... reach the hold. In the end, she ... reach it by standing on her friend's shoulders. 'Never mind,' he said. 'I ... get up this bit the first time I tried.' The rest of the climb was easier, and they ... reach the top by 12 o'clock. It was warm and sunny, and they ... see the
  8. whole of Snowdonia. A. Have you ever had any experience of this sort? Could you tell about it? XXII. Put in suitable forms which express ability. Retell the text. The journey to Western Papua had been very hard. We ... make much progress in the heavy rain. After two months' journey, we ... see smoke in the distance and knew we must be near a village. There was a boiling river in front of us, but we ... cross it by using a rope bridge we had brought with us. At last we approached the village and wondered how we ... communicate with the chief. None of us ... speak the local language. Soon, a young, dignified and smiling man approached us.'... you speak English?' I asked hopefully. 'Of course,' the young man replied. 'I was educated at Oxford University. I'm Chief Naga. Welcome to my village!' §2. Permission: can, could, may, might, be allowed to Asking for permission We use can, could, may and might to ask for permission, depending on the situation. 1. Can is the commonest and most informal: Can I borrow your umbrella (please)? 2. Could is more polite than can: Could I borrow your umbrella (please)? 3. May is more formal, more respectful than can and could: May I borrow your umbrella (please)? 4. Might is the most polite but the least common: Might I borrow your umbrella (please)? 5. We can add possibly and use the expressions like Do you think and I wonder if to make requests even more polite: Can/Could/May/Might I possibly borrow your umbrella? Do you think I could/Do you think I might (possibly) borrow your umbrella? I wonder if I could/I wonder if I might (possibly) borrow your umbrella? Giving and refusing permission We use can or may to give permission (but not could or might). May is formal and not often used in speech. You can wait in my office if you like. Could I borrow your calculator? — Of course you can. You may watch TV for as long as you like. To refuse permission we use the negative forms. I'm sorry, but you can't picnic here. Members may not bring more than two visitors into the club. We can also use must not. Bicycles may not (OR must not) be left here. Talking about permission We sometimes talk about rules made by someone else. To do this we use can, could and be allowed to. We use can to talk about the present or the future, and we use could for the past: Present: Each passenger can take one bag onto the plane. Future: I can't have another day off tomorrow. Past: Years ago you could park your car any- where. We can also use be allowed to: Present: Passengers are allowed to take one bag onto the plane. Future: Will I be allowed to record the interview on tape? Past: We weren't allowed to feed the animals at the zoo yesterday. For a general permission in the past we use either could or was/were allowed to: I could always stay (OR I was allowed to stay) up late as a child. But we cannot use could when we mean that an action really happened at a time in the past. I was allowed to leave work early yesterday. (Not: I could leave ...) This is like the difference between could and was/ were able to. Compare questions with may and be allowed to: May I take a photo of you? (Asking for permission: 'Will you allow it?') Are we allowed to take photos? (Asking about permission: 'What is the rule?') Activities I. Study and practise the following dialogues. 1. — Could I go home early, Steve? I don't feel very well. — Yes, of course. What's the matter? — I feel dizzy. 2. — Can I see my sister, doctor? — I'm afraid you can't. She's being examined by the professor now. 3. — Could I borrow your car tonight?
  9. — Actually, I need it myself. Sorry. 4. — May I take this book? — No, please don't. I haven't finished it yet. 5. — Might I use your bicycle? — No, I'm afraid not. Sorry. 6. — Could I possibly use your phone? — Sure. 7. — Can (May) I come in for a moment? — Please do. 8. — I wonder if I might take the day off? — No, sorry. You ought to finish the report. 9. — Could I have a look at your magazine? — Yes, of course. 10. — Do you think I could close the window? — Please do, 11. — Could I possibly borrow your bike for half an hour? — Of course you can. 12. — Can I go swimming now? — Please don't. 13. — May I bring a friend with me this afternoon? — Sure. 14. — Can I stay here for a while? — Certainly. 15. — Can I speak to Emily? — I'm afraid you can't. She's out. II. Ask for permission using the words in the box. May I sit Do you think I could in? a look at your magazine? this close Could I have Can I try May on? here? your bike for half an I come Can I borrow hour? the window? III. Rephrase these notices to give or refuse permission. Begin each sentence with 'You ...' 1. Thank you for not smoking. You may not smoke. 2. No camping or picnicking_________________________ 3. Fishing strictly forbidden__________________________ 4. Campers welcome________________________________ 5. Private-Keep Out________________________________ 6. No parking_____________________________________ 7. Do not lean out of the window_____________________ 8. Leave your litter here____________________________ 9. No stopping____________________________________ 10. Do not walk on the grass___________________________ 11. Do not feed the animals__________________________ IV. Write formal versions, with may (not), of: 1. You can't take dogs into this restaurant. Dogs may not be taken into this restaurant. 2. Children under 12 can't enter unless they're with a grownup. Children under 12________________enter unless accompanied by an adult. 3. Sorry, we can't sell alcoholic drinks to anyone under 18. We regret that alcoholic drinks______________sold to anyone under 18. 4. You can only book a court if you're a member of the tennis club. Courts__________only____________by members of the tennis club. 5. Don't smoke in the classrooms! Students________________. VI. Ask a classmate a polite question. Use may I, could I, or can I. Example. (...) has a book. You want to see it for a minute. STUDENT A: May/Could/Can I (please) see your book for a minute? STUDENT B: Of course./Sure./ etc. STUDENT A: Thank you./Thanks. 1. (...) has a dictionary. You want to see it for a minute.
  10. 2. (...) has a pen. You want to use it for a minute. 3. (...) has a calculator. You want to borrow it. 4. (...) has a camera. You want to see it for a minute. 5. You want to see something that a classmate has. 6. You want to use something that a classmate has. 7. You want to borrow something that a classmate has. 8. You are at a restaurant. (...) is your waiter/waitress. You have finished your meal. You want the check. 9. You are at (...)'s house. You want to use the phone. 10. You are speaking to one of your teachers. You want to leave class early today. 11. You are visiting a friend and you want to make yourself some coffee. 12. You are visiting an acquaintance and want to use the lavatory. 13. You are visiting a friend and want to borrow his new car. VII. Put an appropriate verb in its correct form into each gap. The verbs are can, could, to be able. The forms are positive and negative. 1. In my country you ... get married when you are 16. 2. Women ... vote in England until 1922. 3. Last night I... get into my house because I had forgotten my key. 4. I phoned the Gas Board because I thought I ... smell gas, which is very dangerous. 5. 'Hello. Is that the dentist? ... I make an appointment to see you, please?' 6. I'm learning car mechanics because I want... to service my own car. It costs a fortune if you send it to the garage. 7. Many night animals ... see very well, but they have a highly developed sense of smell. 8. If you ... do this exercise, you're very clever! VIII. Read the instructions below. Say what they mean, using not allowed to or allowed to. You're not allowed to take more than one piece of hand luggage. IN THE AIRPORT HALL 1. No more than one piece of hand luggage. 2. Passengers may check in at any British Airways desk. 2. No passengers beyond this point without a boarding card. ON THE PLANE 4. No smoking in the toilets. 5. Passengers may smoke in rows 16—20. 6. No pipes or cigars. IX. Read about legal ages in Britain. ABOUT LEGAL AGES IN BRITAIN These are the legal ages when you are allowed to do things' in Britain. drive a car 17 ride a moped 16 buy cigarettes ; 16 vote in elections 18 join the army 16 get married with your parents' permission 16 get married without your parents' permission 18 In pairs, ask and answer about Britain. A: When are you allowed to drive a car? B: (You're allowed to drive a car) when you're seventeen. A: What about a moped? B: You're not allowed to ride a moped until you are sixteen. Now ask and answer about your country. X. Make rules for the places or situations. Example I. In a library (X) eat or drink 1. You're not allowed to eat or drink in a library. 2. In a restaurant (X) wear beach clothes 3. In a petrol station (X) light a cigarette 4. In a theatre (X) smoke 5. On a motorway (X) cycle 6. On a motorway (X) drive over 120 kmph XL Read about Ranjit, a sixteen-year-old Indian girl, who talks about growing up in England. 'My parents are devoted Sikhs. They are very strict. I am not allowed to go out at night with either a boy or a girlfriend. That's not because I'm not old enough, it's because of our religion. Eventually my parents will choose a husband for me. My parents don't mind if I wear English clothes but I am not allowed to cut my hair short, or wear it loose. And of course I'm not allowed either to smoke cigarettes or to drink alcohol. So I can't go into pubs or anything like that.' A. About you
  11. Were your parents very strict when you were younger or were you allowed to do what you wanted? What things were you not allowed to do? XII. Complete the sentences using could or was/were allowed to. Sometimes either form is possible. 1. Andrew ... leave school early yesterday because he wasn't feeling well. 2. Until the 19th century, people ... travel freely between most countries without a passport. 3. Sue's children ... watch the film on TV last night. 4. Her son has to wear a uniform in his new school, but in his old school he ... wear whatever he liked. 5.1... see him for a few moments yesterday. 6. I ... borrow my parents' car last night. 7. When I was 18, I ... borrow my parents' car whenever I wanted to. XIII. Translate from Russian into English. 1. Вчера детям разрешили не идти в школу из-за погоды. 2. Вы можете пользоваться моей библиотекой. 3. Доктор, мне можно купаться в море? — Да, но только не купайтесь слишком долго. 4. Вы можете взять любую из этих книг. 5. Здесь нельзя переходить улицу. Это очень опасно. 6. Можно мне задать вопрос? — Конечно, только не знаю, смогу ли я на него ответить. 7. Врач сказал, что я могу позвонить ему после 5.00. 8. Скажите ей, что она может прислать мне телеграмму, если понадобится моя помощь. 9. Можно мне взять ваш словарь? — Боюсь, что нет. Он мне нужен самой. 10. Я думаю, что вам разрешат пользоваться лабораторией. 11. Вам разрешается пользоваться словарем? 12. Ему только что разрешили пойти домой после того как он провел три часа в полицейском участке. 13. Можно ли детям пойти на каток? — Нет, уже слишком поздно. 14. Спроси тренера, можно ли нам осмотреть спортивный зал. 15. Можно мне уйти с урока пораньше? — А в чем дело? — У меня болеет мать. — Конечно, можешь уйти прямо сейчас. 16. Могу я взглянуть на твое сочинение? — Боюсь, что нет. Я еще не закончил его. 17. Он спросил, можно ли ему оставить у вас книгу. 18. После аварии ему не разрешается водить машину. 19. Босс сказал, что я могу пользоваться его телефоном. 20. У меня была виза, и мне разрешили пересечь границу. 21. Когда он был ребенком, ему разрешалось делать все, что ему захочется. 22. Можно им прийти навестить вас? 23. Здесь курить не разрешается. 24. Нельзя переговариваться во время контрольной работы. XIV. Study and practise. 1. Driver: Excuse me. Can I park here for five minutes while I wait for a friend? Traffic warden: No, I'm afraid you can't. These double yellow lines mean that no parking is allowed. But if you drive round the corner you can park there for thirty minutes without any problems. 2. Customer: I'd like to join the library. Librarian: Could you fill this form in, please? Customer: All right. How many books may I take out? Librarian: You can have up to five books for two weeks. You may keep them longer but you must renew them first. Customer: May I take five books with me today, straight away? Librarian: Yes, of course. 3. Enrico: May I leave early this afternoon, please? Jill: Yes, you may leave now, in fact. We've almost finished our work for today. Maria: Can I leave now, too, please? I want to go with Enrico. We're are going to a lecture at the University. Jill: Yes, of course you can. Juan: Can we all leave early? Jill: No, I'm afraid you can't. 4. Kevin: Dad! Mr Wilkins: Yes, Kevin? Kevin: Dad ... Can I go to Henley Youth Hostel this weekend? Mr Wilkins: Who with? Kevin: Mark and Barbara. Mr Wilkins: Mmm... Kevin: Well? Can I? Mr Wilkins: No you can't. Kevin: Oh, Dad! Why not? Mr Wilkins: Because you can't! Kevin: Mum, can I go to Henley Youth Hostel with Barbara and Mark? Mrs Wilkins: When? Kevin: This weekend. Mrs Wilkins: What do you think, Stan? Mr Wilkins: Well, Liz, there's a lot of work to do in the garden. Mrs Wilkins: But we can do it, Stan. Mr Wilkins: Oh, all right then. Kevin: Thanks, Dad. 5. Johnny: Excuse me, sir. It's cold in this classroom. Could I close the window? Teacher: OK, Johnny. Close it quickly and then sit down and get on with the test. Johnny: Sir, could I have another sheet of paper? I've spoiled this one. Teacher: Here's another sheet. Now, please get on with your work. Johnny: Sir! Sir! Could I just leave the room for a few minutes? Teacher: Why didn't you go before you began the exam? Johnny: I didn't want to go then, sir. 6. Mr Thomas: Mr Roberts? Could I have a word with you? Mr Roberts: Yes, what is it? Mr Thomas: Well, as you know, my father can't walk very well, and he needs to go into hospital. I was wondering if I could have a day off work?
  12. Mr Roberts: It's not a very convenient time at the moment. Mr Thomas: I'd be terribly grateful. He wouldn't be able to go if I wasn't there to help him. Mr Roberts: Well, if that's the case I suppose you should. Mr Thomas: That's very kind. I'll make up the time, I promise. 7. Son: Dad, can I have the car tonight? Father: No, you can't. I need it. Son: But I'm taking Dave to see his girlfriend in hospital. Father: I told you. I need it. Son: Oh, please. He won't be able to go if I don't give him a lift. Father: All right. I suppose I can walk. The exercise will do me good. Son: Thanks a lot, Dad. I won't be home late. 8. Mrs Wilkins is on a strict diet. 'Am I allowed to eat toast and butter for breakfast?' she asked the doctor. 'I'm afraid not, Mrs Wilkins. You can only have half a grapefruit and a glass of water. You can't eat any kind of fat and you are not allowed to eat biscuits or sweets. But don't worry, you will be able to eat what you like after two months of this diet.' Mrs Wilkins was very determined and took a lot of exercise as well. After two months' diet and exercise she said to her husband, 'I still can't touch my toes as I could before we were married.' 'Don't worry, my love,' he said kindly. 'Perhaps your fingernails were longer in those days!' 9. One day, while they were playing in the sand near their home in New Zealand, nine-year-old Patrick and two friends found a giant egg. It was over a hundred times bigger than a chicken's egg. 'Can we keep it?' Patrick asked. 'Of course you can,' said his father. Patrick's friend added, 'I once found some old coins and I was allowed to keep them.' The children wanted to know all about their egg, so they wrote a letter to a scientific laboratory. This is what they said: 'Could you please help us to find out about our egg? May we bring it to show you? Would you please do some tests and tell us what's inside it? Are children allowed to visit your laboratory? If they are, could we please come soon?' Patrick and his friends were allowed to take their egg for laboratory tests. The tests showed that it was an egg of the extinct elephant bird and that it was at least two thousand years old. What a surprise! 'We will be allowed to keep it, won't we, Dad?' Patrick asked. The children and their egg soon became famous. They appeared on television and someone offered them 75,000 dollars for it. They began to plan how they would spend the money. But it was all too good to be true. One day, a government letter arrived which said: 'The egg is public property. You are not allowed to keep things which belong to the State. We are sorry but you will have to give the egg to us. We will pay you some money, but only a small amount.' 'They can't have it!' said Patrick, 'If we can't have it, nobody can.' Patrick was very angry. He buried the egg in the sand again and he still refuses to tell anyone where it is. A. When Patrick and his friends took their egg to the laboratory, they asked a scientist to find out lots of things. Make their requests with 'Could you ...?' Say your answers. They asked the scientist to tell them how old the egg was. Could you please tell us how old the egg is? 1. They asked the scientist to find out what was inside. 2. They wanted the scientist to explain the tests to them. 3. They wanted the scientist to tell them what kind of egg it was. 4. They asked the scientist to find out what the eggshell was made of. 5. They wanted the scientist to tell them all about the elephant bird. B. Patrick and his friends asked for permission to do the following things in the laboratory. Ask their questions using can or may. They wanted to look through the microscopes. Can/May we look through the microscopes? 1. They wanted to look at the equipment. 2. Patrick wanted to help with the tests. 3. They wanted to stay until the tests were over. 4. Patrick wanted to see the results on the computer screen. 5. They wanted to take the results home. C. Work with a partner. One partner is Patrick, the other partner is the scientist. Ask for permission to do the things in (B). Give or refuse permission with can, can't or be allowed to. Patrick: Can/May I look through the microscopes? Scientist: Yes, you can. or No, I'm sorry you can't. Children aren't allowed to use the equipment. What are you allowed to do where? Say what you think. in a cinema stand up during the film/eat and drink/smoke? You aren't allowed to stand up during the film. You are allowed to eat and drink if you don't make a noise. You aren't allowed to smoke. 1. in a library talk loudly/run about/ sit and read? 2. on a plane play a radio/open the door/talk to the pilot? 3. in a museum take photographs/touch things/talk to the museum attendants?
  13. 4. in a public park pick the flowers/play football/ drop litter? 5. at school eat during lessons/listen to music/shout? §3. Requests: can, could, will, would, may, might Polite requests with 'I' as the subject MAY I (a) May I (please) borrow May I and could I are COULD I your pen? used to request permission. (b) Could I borrow They are equally polite.* your pen (please)? Note in {b}: In a polite re- quest, could has a present or future meaning, not a past meaning. CAN I (c) Can I borrow your pen? Can I is used informally to request permission, es- pecially if the speaker is talking to someone s/he knows fairy well. Can I is usually not considered as polite as may I or could I. TYPICAL RESPONSES: Certainly. Often the response to a polite Yes, certainly. Of course. Yes, of course. request consists of an action, Sure, (informal) a nod or shake of the head, or a simple 'uh-huh.' Polite requests with 'You' as the subject WOULD YOU (a) Would you pass The meaning of would you WILL YOU the salt (please)? (b) and will you in a polite Will you (please) pass request is the same. Would the salt? you is more common and is often considered more polite. The degree of politeness, however, is often determined by the speaker's tone of voice. COULD YOU (c) Could you pass Basically, could you and the salt? would you have the same meaning. The difference is slight: would you = Do you want to do this please? could you = Do you want to do this please, and is it possible for you to do this? Could you and would you are equally polite. CAN YOU (d) Can you pass Can you is often used the salt? informally. It usually sounds less polite than could you or would you.
  14. TYPICAL RESPON- A person usually responds SES: Yes, I'd (I would) in the affirmative to a polite be happy to. Yes, I'd be request. If a negative glad to. Certainly. Sure, response is necessary, a (informal) person might begin by saying, I'd like to, but...', (eg, 'I'd like to pass the salt, but I can't reach it. I'll ask Tom to pass it to you.'). Polite requests with would you, mind ASKING PERMISSION Notice in (a): would you mind if I (a) Would you mind if I closed is followed by the simple past.* the window? (b) Would you mind The meaning in (a): May I close if I used the phone? the window? Is it all right if I close the window? Will it cause you any trouble or discomfort if I close the window? TYPICAL RESPONSES No. Not Another typical response might be at all. No, of course not. No, that 'unh-unh,' meaning no. would be fine. ASKING SOMEONE ELSE TO Notice in (c): would you mind is DO SOMETHING followed Ъу-ing (a gerund). The (c) Would you mind closing the meaning in (c): I don't want to window? (d) Excuse me? Would cause you any trouble, but would you mind repeating that? you please close the window? Would that cause you any incon- venience? TYPICAL RESPONSES No, I'd be happy to. Not at all. I'd be glad to. Activities /. Study and practise. 1. — Will/Would you be able to fix my brakes today? — I'm sorry. I won't be able to do it until tomorrow. 2. — Can/Could you possibly check my oil today? — Sure. I can do it right away. 3. — I'm dying of thirst. Would you make a cup of tea? — OK. I'll put the kettle on. — And could you bring me some biscuits? — Yes, I'll open the new packet. 4. — Excuse me. Could you open the door for me, please? — Yes, of course. — Thank you very much. 5. — Could I have the bill, please? — Certainly, sir. I'll bring it straight away. 6. — It's a present. Do you think you could gift-wrap it for me? — Yes, indeed. I'll just take the price off. 7. — Would you mind opening the window? — Not at all. It's very stuffy in here. 8. —I'll give you a lift if you like. — That's great. Would you drop me at the station? 9. — Yes, madam. Can I help you?
  15. —Yes, I bought these here two days ago and the heel's broken. Can you change them? — Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. I'll just see if we've got another pair for you. 10. — Turn that wretched music down, will you? Or better still, turn it off! — Oh, all right. 11. — Anita, will you come here a minute? Could you get me the file on sales in France? I just need to check something. Oh, and Anita, I'd love a cup of coffee, if that's at all possible. — Yes, Mr Parkinson. 12. — Would you mind mailing these letters for me? — All right. I'll do it when I go downtown this afternoon. 13. — Would you mind not smoking here? — OK. I'll go outside. 14. — Excuse me. Could you move your bag, please? — I'm sorry, but it's not mine. 15. — I wonder if you could tell me where the library is. — Certainly. It's just round the corner. 16. — Would you mind if I borrowed your paper? — Actually, I'm just going to read it myself. Sorry. — Never mind. It doesn't matter. 17. — Do you mind if I open the window? It's a bit stuffy in here. — No, not at all. Please do. — Thank you. 18. — Excuse me. Is that your motorcycle outside? — Yes, it is. — I wonder if you'd mind moving it. It's blocking my car. — OK. I'll park it across the street. 19. — You know, this book is difficult to read! — Oh, really? — Yes. Can I borrow your dictionary? I'll only need it for about an hour. — Sorry, I'm using it. 20. — Mom! — Yes, honey. — Can you help me with my homework? I really can't understand these history questions. — Yes, in a minute. 21. — Is that the six o'clock news? — Yes, it is. — Would you mind turning up the TV? I can't hear it. I want to hear the weather report. — All right. 22. — Uh, are you going to the cafeteria? — Yes, I am. — Could you get me a soda from the machine? I'm really thirsty. — Sure. 23. — Excuse me? — Yes? — Would you mind if I went before you? I have to make a very quick call, but it's really urgent. — Er ... er ... No, go on, that's fine. — Oh, that's very kind. Thank you. 24. — Megan. — Mmm. — Could you do something for me? Can you see the paper over there? Could you get it for me? — Sorry, where is it? — On the television. — OK. 25. — Is it all right if I leave my bags here for a moment? — Of course, go ahead, (informal) 26. — May I come in? — By all means. 27. — Hello. — Hello. I wonder if you could help me? Would you mind if I left my bags here just for one minute. I have to make a phone call. — No, I'm sorry, sir. It's not allowed.
  16. — It's only for a short time. — It's against the rules. No luggage can be left in reception for security reasons. //. Change the following sentences into polite requests using the words in parentheses. 1. I want you to hand me that book, (would) Would you please hand me that book? 2.1 want you to give me some advice about buying a computer. (could) 3. I want to borrow your wheelbarrow, (could) 4.1 want to have a cup of coffee, (may) 5. I want to use your bicycle tomorrow, (can) 6.1 want you to read over my composition for spelling errors. (would) 7. I want you to open the door for me. (would you mind) 8. I want to leave early, (would you mind) ///. Student A Make a polite request for the given situation. Student В Give a typical response. 1. You and (...) are sitting at the dinner table. You want the butter. Student A: (Anna), would/could/will/can you please pass me the butter? Student B: Certainly. /Sure./ I'd be glad to. Here you are. 2. You want to ask your teacher a question. 3. You're at your friend's apartment. You want to use the phone. 4. You're speaking on the phone to your brother. You want him to pick you up at the airport when you arrive home. 5. You want to leave class early. You're speaking to your instructor. 6. You want (...) to meet you in front of the library at three this afternoon. 7. You knock on your professor's half-open door. He's sitting at his desk. You want to go in. 8. You want to make an appointment to see Dr North.; You're speaking to her secretary. 9. You are at a gas station. You want the attendant to check the oil. 10. You are in your chemistry class. You're looking at your textbook. On page 100 there is a formula which you do not understand. You want your professor to explain this formula to you. 11. You call your friend. Her name is (...). Someone else answers the phone. 12. You want to see (...)'s dictionary for a minute. 13. You want a stranger in an airport to keep her eye on your luggage while you get a drink of water. 14. You want (...) to tape something on the VCR tonight while you're away at a meeting. 15. You want a stranger to tell you the time. 16. You want your friend to hand you (something). 17. You wrote a letter to a university. You want your teacher to read it and correct the mistakes. 18. (•••) is going to the library. You want him/her to return a book for you. 19. You and (...) are on vacation together. You'd like to have a picture of the two of you together. You see a stranger who looks friendly. You want her to take a picture of you. IV. Using the verb in parentheses, fill in the blank either with if 1+ the past tense or with the -ing form of the verb. In some of the sentences, either response is possible but the meaning is different. 1. A: It's hot in here. Would you mind (open) opening the window? B: Not at all. I'd be glad to. 2. A: It's hot in here. Would you mind (open) if I opened the window? B: Not at all. Go right ahead. I think it's hot in here, too. 3. A: Would you mind (take)_________the took back to the library for me? B: Not at all. 4. A: This story you wrote is really good. Would you mind (show)________it to my English teacher? B: Go right ahead. That'd be fine. 5. A: I'll wash the dishes. Would you mind (dry) ____________them. That would help me a lot. B: I'd be happy to. 6. A: I'm feeling kind of tired and worn out. This heavy work in the hot sun is hard on me. Would you mind (finish)____________the work by yourself? B: No problem, Grandpa. Why don't you go and rest? I'll finish it up. 7. A: Would you mind (use)___________your name as a reference on this job application? B: Not at all. In fact, ask them to call me. 8. A: Would you mind (wait)____________here for just a minute? I need to run back to the classroom. I forgot my notebook. В: Sure. Go ahead. I'll wait right here. 9. A: You have an atlas, don't you? Would you mind (bor- row) ___________it for a minute? I need to settle an argument. My friend says Timbuktu is in Asia, and I say it's in Australia.
  17. B: You're both wrong. It's in Africa. Here's the atlas. Look it up for yourself. 10. A: Since this is the first time you've owned a computer, would you mind (give)___________you some advice? B: Not at all. I'd appreciate it. 11. A: Are you going to the post office? B: Yes. A: Would you mind (mail)__________this letter for me? B: Not at all. 12. A: Are you coming with us? B: I know I promised to go with you, but I'm not feeling very good. Would you mind (stay)___________home? A: Of course not. 13. A: I still don't understand how to work this algebra problem. Would you mind (explain)__________it again? B: Not at all. I'd be happy to. 14. A: It's getting hot in here. Would you mind (open) ______the window? B: No. 15. A: This is probably none of my business, but would you mind (ask)___________you a personal question? B: It depends. 16. A: Would you mind (smoke)________? B: I'd really rather you didn't. 17. A: Excuse me. Would you mind (speak)__________a lit- • tie more slowly? I didn't catch what you said. B: I'd be happy to. 18. A: I don't like this TV program. Would you mind (change) __________the channel? B: Unh-unh. 19. A: I'm getting tired, I'd like to go home and go to bed. Would you mind (leave)_____________early? B: Not at all. V. Change these sentences into polite requests beginning with Would you mind ... ?' or 'Do you mind?'. 1. You would like your English teacher to speak more slowly. Would you mind speaking a little more slowly? 2. The music is a bit soft and you would like to turn the volume up. Do___________________________________________? 3. You would like your landlady to take any messages for you while you are out. 4. The room is cold and you would like to turn the heating on. 5. You are in a friend's house and you would like to make yourself a cup of tea. 6. You would like the telephone company to send you another bill. (You have lost the original one.) 7. You would like your friend to type a letter for you. VI. Study very polite ways of asking permission and requesting: Could you possibly do me a favour? Do you think you could help me with a problem I've got? I was wondering if you could lend me some money for a. few days. You couldn't possibly lend me £20, could you? Use each form once in the following situations. Use a more direct form in two of them. 1. Mr Wilson asks his boss if he can leave the office an hour earlier than usual. 2. Stephen asks his guitar teacher to lend him his guitar for the evening. 3. Mr Wilson wants his neighbour to help him carry a cupboard upstairs. 4. You ask someone to move his car, as it's blocking the entrance to your garage. 5. Julie and two of her friends ask their typing teacher for permission to leave early. 6. Mrs Wilson would like Julie to do some shopping for her, if she has time. 7. You ask a stranger next to you in a train if you can look at his newspaper. 8. You ask your host for permission to use his phone. 9. You ask someone you hardly know for a lift into town. 10. You are checking out of a hotel, and want to pay your bill.
  18. Less formal Can you please lend me $ 100? Could you let me use your car? Would you be able to mail this letter? Would you mind letting me use your Walkman? Would it be OK if I borrowed your car? Would you mind if I used it? I wonder if you'd mind lending me your cassette player. Most formal VII. Pair work. Make requests with modals or if-clauses using the cues below. Then practise them. a) You want to borrow someone's A: Would you mind ... B: Sorry. It's typewriter. not working right. A: ... B: OK. What b) You want someone to drive you time? to the airport. A: ... B: Sure, that'll be fine, but I'm c) You want someone to help you only free in the afternoon. move on Saturday. A: ... B: Gee, I'm sorry, I'm going to d) You want someone to lend you use it later. a camera. e) You want to use someone's A: ... B: All right. Go ahead! telephone. Class activity. Go round the class and make your requests. How many people accepted and how many refused? Accepting a request Refusing a request Oh, sure. I'd be glad to! OK. Oh, sorry, I can't right now. I'm sorry, I'll do that. All right. Sure! No but I'm busy. I'd rather not. What? problem! By all means. Of You must be kidding! Please don't. course, go ahead. VIII. Ask polite questions in the following situations. Use any appropriate modal (may, could, would, etc.). 1. Your train leaves at 6 p.m. tomorrow. You want your friend to take you to the station. 2. You're sitting at your friend's house. A bowl of fruit is sitting on the table. You want an apple. 3. You're in class. You're hot. The window is closed. 4. You're in a car. Your friend is driving. You want her to stop at the next mailbox so you can mail a letter. 5. You're trying to study. Your roommate is playing his music tapes very loudly, and this is bothering you. 6. You call your friend. Someone else answers and tells you that he's out. You want to leave a message. 7. You want your pen. You can't reach it, but your friend can. You want her to hand it to you. 8. You're at a restaurant. You want some more coffee. 9. You're at your friend's house. You want to help her set the dinner table. 10. You're the teacher. You want a student to shut the door. 11. You want to make a telephone call. You're in a store and have to use a pay phone, but you don't have any change. All you have is (a one-dollar bill). You ask a clerk for change. 12. You're at a restaurant. You've finished your meal and are ready to leave. You ask the waiter for the check. 13. You call your boss's house. His name is Mr Smith. You want to talk to him. His wife answers the phone. 14. You're walking down the hall of the classroom building. You need to know what time it is. You ask a student you've never met. 15. You're in the middle of the city. You're lost. You're trying to find the bus station. You stop someone on the street to ask for directions. 17. You call the airport. You want to know what time Flight 62 arrives. 18. You're in a department store. You find a sweater that you like, but you can't find the price tag. You ask the clerk to tell you how much it costs. IX. Translate from Russian into English.
  19. 1. He могли бы вы дать мне консультацию сегодня? 2. Не принесете ли вы мне стакан воды? 3. Пожалуйста, брось письмо в почтовый ящик по дороге на работу. 4. Ты не поможешь мне перевести эту статью? 5. Вы не возражаете, если я приглашу своих друзей? — Конечно нет. Я буду рад. 6. Можно мне включить телевизор? — Боюсь, что нет. Уже поздно и пора ложиться спать. 7. Пожалуйста, скажите мне, где я должен выйти, чтобы попасть на стадион. 8. Ты не можешь зайти ко мне сегодня вечером? 9. Можно мне взять на минуту ваш бинокль? Я хочу рассмотреть лицо певца. 10. Вы не поможете мне с чемоданами? — Конечно. 11. Пожалуйста, подожди меня немного. — Хорошо. 12. Вы не могли бы подвезти меня на вокзал? — С удовольствием. 13. Вы не могли бы помочь мне при переезде на новую квартиру? — Боюсь, что не смогу. Я уезжаю в командировку. 14. Приходите после обеда, хорошо? 15. Вы не возражаете, если я открою окно? Здесь очень душно. 16. Можно мне сесть рядом с вами? — Да, пожалуйста. 17. Не мог бы ты помочь мне упаковать вещи? — С удовольствием. 18. Будьте добры, помогите мне выбрать подарок жене. 19. Вы не против, если я возьму ваш зонтик? — Нет конечно. 20. Не могли бы вы показать нам свой город? — С удовольствием. 21. Вы не передадите мне соль? — Вот, пожалуйста. 22. Можно мне оставить свой портфель в гардеробе? — Да. 23. Вы не будете возражать, если я оставлю свои вещи до возращения? — Нисколько. 24. Вы ничего не имеете против того, чтобы мы пообедали в кухне? В столовой слишком холодно. 25. Пожалуйста, позвони в кассу и закажи билеты на самолет. 26. Покажите мне расписание поездов, пожалуйста. 27. Вы не возражаете > если я верну вам остальные деньги через неделю? — Хорошо. 28. Вы ничего не имеете против того, чтобы я пользовался вашим компьютером? 29. Не могли бы вы одолжить мне немного денег? 30. Вы не могли бы отнести мою книгу в библиотеку? X. Study and practise the following conversations. 1. Isabel is at Sandy's house. Sandy: Are you hungry? Isabel: Yeah. I haven't had lunch yet. Could you make me a sandwich? Sandy: Sure. I'll make it for you in a minute. Isabel: And could you get me something to drink, too? Sandy: Yeah. Could you show me your English homework while you're eating? Isabel: Sure. Let me get it. Sandy: Oh, could you lend me a pen? I can't find mine. Isabel: Here. The sandwich is delicious. Sandy: Thanks. Isabel: Could you pass the salt and pepper? Thanks. 2. Mr Adams: Bob, would you please get me the report that's in my outbox? Bob: Of course, Mr Adams. Mr Adams: Bob, could you bring me the stapler that's on my desk? Bob: Of course, Mr Adams. Bob: Maria, could you help me fix the typewriter that's on Mr Adams' desk? Woman: No, not at all. It is rather hot. Man: Tickets, please. Liz: Excuse me, but do you know what time this train gets to Paddington? Man: 10.35, madam. Liz: Thank you. Er, could I possibly borrow your newspaper for a moment? Woman: Yes, certainly. By all means. I've finished with it. Liz: Thanks. I just wanted to check the times of a film I'm going to see this afternoon. Woman: Are you going to see anything interesting? Liz: Well, actually, I'm taking my four-year-old niece to see Bambi! (Some time later) Man: Any more tickets? Liz: Oh, excuse me, but do you think you could help me with my case? Man: Certainly, madam. There you are! Liz: Thanks very much. A. Ask polite requests beginning with 'Do you think you could ...?'. 1. You want your teacher to check a letter you have written in English. 2. You want your friend to lend you his camera for the weekend. 3. You want a shop-assistant to change a £5 note for you. 4. You want your landlady to forward your post when you leave. 5. You want a friend to answer the phone while you are out. B. Ask for permission in different situations beginning with 'Excuse me. Do you mind if I ... ?' 1. You are in a cafe. You want to borrow the salt and pepper from another table. 2. You are in a hospital waiting room where there is a TV. You would like to change the channel.
  20. 3. You are in the reception area of a hotel. You would like to use the phone. 4. You are on an aeroplane. You would prefer to sit in the aisle seat. 5. You are in a dentist's waiting room. You would like to turn the radio on. C. Make polite requests. You are making a train journey. You want to buy a newspaper and you ask another passenger to look after your bag. A: Would you mind looking after my bag? B: I'm sorry? A: Could you possibly look after my bag? B: Oh yes, of course. No problem. 1. You want to buy a newspaper and you ask another passenger to look after your bag. 2. You ask the assistant at the newspaper kiosk to give you a fifty pence in the change. 3. On the train you want to do the crossword in your newspaper. You wonder if your neighbour could lend you a pencil. 4. You feel a little chilly. You would like the person next to the window to close it a little. 5. Your suitcase is on the rack and you would like the person opposite to lift it down. 6. A woman in the corner has got her walkman on very loud. You would like her to turn it down a little. D. Write a dialogue for the following situation. — You are in the departure area at a ferry terminal after your ferry has been delayed. You notice a place next to a woman and ask if you can sit there. — You then notice that a woman has a magazine on the seat beside her and you ask politely if she could lend it to you. — The woman doesn't realize that you are talking to her and you repeat your request. — You have a portable radio with you which you and your friends would like to play. You feel it polite to ask permission to do this. Tell her you won't play it very loud. XI. A. Write a note to a friend or classmate asking for several favours and explain why you need help. Bob, I'm taking my boss and her husband out to dinner on Saturday, and I want to make a good impression. Would you mind if I borrowed your car? I promise to drive very carefully. And I wonder if you'd mind lending me that red bow tie of yours. Could you let me know as soon as possible? Thanks! Henry B. Pair work. Exchange notes and write a reply accepting or declining the requests. Henry, Of course you can borrow my car on Saturday. You can pick it up at ... About my red bow tie, I'd like to lend it to you but ... Bob §4. Obligation and necessity (1): must, have to, have got to Must and have to We use both must and have to to express obligation or necessity, but there is sometimes a difference between them: We normally use must when We normally use have to when the the authority comes from the authority comes from outside speaker. the speaker. Mother: You must be home Daughter: I have to be home by 10 o'clock. (I insist.) by 10 o'clock. (My parents insist.) I've got a terrible pain in my I have to go and see the doctor back. I must go and see the at 9.00 tomorrow morning. (I have doctor. (I think it is neces- got an appointment.) sary.) You must drive care- You have to drive on the left fully. (I insist.) in Britain. (That is the law.) We tend to prefer must: — when we refer to ourselves (with I/we): I really must weed this garden. — With you to express urgency: You must phone home at once. — in public notices, etc.: Cyclists must dismount. — (= Can't you stop yourself?): Must you interrupt? — pressing invitations or advice: You must come and see us. You must repair that fence. We only use must (+infinitive) to talk about the present and the future. When we talk about past obligation or necessity, we use had to. I had to work late yesterday. Must has no infinitive, -ing form or participles. So, when necessary, we make these forms with have to. I'll have to work late tomorrow. He hates having to get up early. She's had to work hard all her life.
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