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Look at the Grammar box. Then compare the first sentences in 1-5, which contain a modal verb, with the changes in the second sentences. What are the differences in meaning?

1 You might stop weak species going extinct, which could be a bad thing.

You will stop weak species going extinct, which is a bad thing.

2 Maybe we shouldn't interfere.

We mustn't interfere.

3 The survival of the fittest' can suggest evolution is a kind of competition.

'The survival of the fittest' suggests evolution is a kind of competition.

4 If that habitat disappeared for whatever reason, they'd easily die out.

When the habitat disappears, the animals die out. 

5 Shall we leave it there?

Could we leave it there?


Modal verbs and meaning

A modal verb (would, will, may, might, could, can, should, shall, must) adds a general meaning to another verb to show a speaker's attitude or intention.

The first thing that will strike people is ...

= I am certain it strikes people.

The first thing that should strike people is ...

= I believe it strikes people, but I'm not certain. Modal verbs can also be used to express: certainty, uncertainty, obligation, permission, suggestion, possibility and frequency (habit).


My Perspectives 4. Student's Book Zadanie strona 1

In the sentences provided, the meanings differ as follows:1. You
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My Perspectives 4. Student's Book rozwi─ůzania

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Nowa Era


Hugh Dellar, Andrew Walkley