In the Grammar section of Business Spotlight 1/20, we look at the use of modal auxiliaries for talking about probability. Here, you can do some exercises to practise the topic. Click the white box below, if you are looking for some short explanations about the forms of modal auxiliaries.
Past, present and future
To talk about the probability of something happening now or in the future, you can use certain modal auxiliaries followed by an infinitive:
- We may be late.
- I might join you later.
To talk about past situations that have an impact on the present, use the modal auxiliaries with “have” + past participle:
- She must have forgotten.
- He can’t have left yet.
Simple and continuous forms
A modal auxiliary can be followed by a simple infinitive or by the continuous infinitive (“be” + -ing):
- She’s a famous designer. She must have lots of money.
- She’s not at her desk. She must be having lunch.
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