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2. Complete these sentences using can or could. If two answers arc possible, write them both.

1 .Could.. n't you find John yesterday?

2 .Can/Could. I come and see you tomorrow?

3 … you pass me the salt, please?

4 … you play the guitar?

5 Why … 't the children go to the cinema tonight?

6 … you help me with my suitcase, please?

7 … you drive my car if you had to?

8 … you answer the phone for me?

9 Why … 't you come to the disco tomorrow?

10 It was very difficult to hear; I … n't understand what she was saying.

11 … I smoke in here?

12 We had an appointment yesterday afternoon, but he … n't see me.

13 I … do the job for you next year.

14 … you tell me the time, please?

15 I … n't find my front door key last night.

may, might

may and might indicate present or future possibility:

He might arrive soon.

He may arrive soon.

She might be angry if yon do that.

She may be angry if you do that.

May I? or May we? are used for polite requests, in the same way as Can I? or Can we?

It is a very polite form:

May I ask you a question?

May I have a glass of water, please?


may is occasionally used in formal English to mean to be allowed to:

Guests may bring husbands or wives if they wish.

may and might are usually used in question form only with / or we: other persons more

often use the positive with Do you think ...?:

He might be late. —> Do you think he. might be late?

• The negative of may is may not. (NOT mayn't).

The negative of might is might not or mightn't.

3. Rewrite these sentences using may or might. Where two answers are possible, write them both:

1 Maybe he'll get a new job.

He might/may get a new job.

2 Do you think I could have one of these cakes?

May I have one of these cakes?

3 Maybe there's some tea in the pot.

4 Would you mind if I asked you how old you are?

5 Visitors are not allowed to stay in the hospital after ten p.m.

6 Do you think I could have one of these sandwiches?

7 I think the car is in the station car park.

8 Is it all right if I use your phone?

9 Guests are allowed to wear casual dress.

10 Maybe she'll move to London.

11 There's a possibility that the show will be cancelled.

12 Maybe she'll be elected.

13 1 think that Andrew will collect the money.

14 Maybe Peter won't come to the cinema tomorrow.

15 Maybe it'll rain this afternoon.

4. Complete the telephone conversation using may {not) or might {not). Where two answers are possible, write them both.

RECEPTIONIST: Good morning, Bentley Supplies, how … I help you?

CALLER: … I speak to John Brown, please?

RECEPTIONIST: I'm afraid he isn't here this morning. Can I take

a message?

CALLER: No, I need to speak to him personally. Do you know what time he … be back?

RECEPTIONIST: He … be back for an hour after lunch but he … make it if the traffic is bad.

CALLER: I … be able to call this afternoon as I have a meeting. Could you tell John that I'll phone him this evening at home?

RECEPTIONIST: Certainly. … I have your name please?

CALLER: Yes, it's David Marks.

can, could, may, might, should, must

must/mustn't is stronger that should/shouldn't:

You must take your passport when you travel abroad, (obligation)

/ think it's going to rain. You should take an umbrella, (advice)

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