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SIMPLE TENSES

The Simple Present Tense :

It is usually used to describe repeated, habitual or characteristic actions. The adverbs of


frequency will help by signaling the need for the simple present, but sometimes those adverbs
are not present, even though their meaning is there.

Examples:
• A band usually marches by playing a popular tune.
• Each night, the lonely old lady feeds the ducks.
• Each night he practices in front of the television.
• Cigarette smoke has an offensive odor.

Some verbs, sometimes called stative verbs, are almost always used in the simple present
form when they are not describing the past. These verbs describe states of being, not actions.
These verbs relate sensory perceptions, conditions, judgments, conclusions, emotional states,
or states of being.

Examples:
• David wants to be a sports announcer.
• There appears to be a good deal of excitement here.
• The crowd loves its team.
• His proposal sounds intriguing.
• I see the roses in the garden.
• You seem to be upset.
• I think that we ought to consider changing our position.
• This exercise is really easy.

A few verbs are used in the simple present tense though they describe future actions.
Fortunately not many verbs are in this group. These verbs generally describe acts of arriving
and departing, and beginning and ending.

Examples:
• The game begins in ten minutes.
• The plane leaves for Bermuda in the morning.
• The ship departs for Manila in two hours.
• The train arrives tomorrow morning.

Note: These types of verbs can also be used in the present progressive to convey future actions.

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The preceding three uses are the most common however, there are some less common uses of
the simple present to be aware of.

a- The simple present can be used to describe the steps in demonstrations, such as a
scientific experiment.
Example: We first put the solution in the flask, and then we place the flask in an
area where it will get lots of light. When the solution is settled, we add two more
ounces of soda.
b- The simple present is often used in commentaries on radio and television to describe
what is taking place. In this case, the simple present often conveys a rapid sequence
of events and provides a sense of drama/
Example: The referee tosses up the ball. Jones tips it to his teammate, who races
down the court.
c- The simple present is often used in announcements and in newspaper headlines.
Example: Flood destroys ten homes in the canyon.

The simple past tense:

The simple past tense in regular verbs is formed by adding ed to the infinitive.

Example: to work worked


Verbs ending in “e” add “d” only.
Example: to love loved
There are no inflections. The same form is used for al persons.
Example: I worked you worked he worked….
The negative of regular and irregular verbs is formed with did not and the infinitive without
“to”.
Example: I did not work you did not work……
The interrogative of regular and irregular verbs is formed with did + subject + infinitive
Example: Did you work?

Contractions:
Did not is normally contracted in the negative and negative interrogative
Example: I didn’t work Didn’t you work?

Irregular verbs:
These vary considerably in their simple past form:

Examples:
To speak spoke
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To eat ate
To see saw
To leave left

The simple past form of each irregular verb must therefore be learnt, but once this is done
there is no other difficulty, as irregular verbs, like regular verbs have no inflections in the past
tense
The simple past is the tense normally use for the relation of past events.
It is used for actions completed in the past at a definite time. It is therefore used:
For a past action when the time is given.
Example: I met him yesterday.
When the time is asked about:
Example: When did you meet him?
When the action clearly took place at a definite time even though this time is not mentioned:
Example: The train was ten minutes late.
Sometimes the time becomes definite as a result of a question and answer in the present
perfect:
Example: Where have you been? I’ve been to the opera. Did you enjoy it?
The simple past tense is used for an action whose time is not given but which occupied a
period of time now terminated, or occurred in a period of time now terminated
Examples:
• He worked in the bank for four years
• She lived in Rome for a long time
• My grandmother once saw Queen Victoria.
• Did you ever hear Madonna sing?
The simple past tense is also used for a past habit:
Example:
• He always carried an umbrella.
• He never drank wine.
The simple past is used in conditional sentences of type 2.
Example: If I met the queen, I would be very excited.

The simple future


The future tense is will/ shall + infinitive, but it is not used nearly as often as students
naturally expect. In fact, it is only one of a number ways of expressing the future. The future
is used to express the speaker’s opinions, assumptions, speculations about the future. These
may be introduced by verbs such as think, know, hope, know, believe, doubt, suppose,
assume, expect, be afraid, feel sure, wonder……..
The future tense can be used for future habitual actions which we assume will take place:

Example: Spring will come again.

The future tense is used with clauses of condition, time and sometimes purpose
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Example: If I drop this glass it will break

Verbs of the senses, of emotion, thinking, possessing…normally express the future by the
future tense
Example: He’ll be here at six.
The future tense is used chiefly in newspapers and news broadcasts, for formal
announcements of future plans:
Example: The president will open the new heliport tomorrow.

COMPLEX TENSES

The present progressive tense: The present progressive is used to describe a single action
that is in progress at a specific moment, usually the moment of speaking or writing.

Examples:
• Samson is studying the lesson right now.
• The people are cheering wildly.

The present progressive may also be used to describe an action in progress over a long period
of time, even though the action may not be taking place at the moment of speaking or writing.
This action, however, is perceived as temporary.

Examples:
• David is attending the University of California. (he may be on vacation at the
moment of speaking but he is still a registered student there).
• He is taking his first course in broadcasting this semester. (again he may not be
in class right now, but he is enrolled in it).
• She is writing her first novel . (the pen may not be in her hand at this precise
moment, but the activity is going on during the present time span and will end at
some time in the future).
The present progressive can be used to express a future action, especially when that action is
in the near future. Usually you need adverbials of time to clarify that the present progressive
is indicating future time.

Examples:
• Next week he is giving his first demonstration.
• Miss La Belle is appearing at the Orange Grove Theater tomorrow night.
• The ship is arriving this afternoon at three o’clock.
• We are taking the exam later this afternoon/
The present progressive can also express the beginning, progression, or end of an action in
the present time.
Examples:
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• It is beginning to get hot.
• It is starting to rain again.
• My writing is getting worse.
• I am becoming a little irritated with you.
• The movie is just beginning.
Note: The verb “be” is used in the progressive since it describes a general state of being. There are
instances , however when you do use the verb “be” in the progressive.

Example:
My child is being obnoxious right now. Please excuse him;
In this instance, the progressive is used because the meaning is “my child is acting
obnoxiously right now”. The child is not generally obnoxious.

2- The present perfect:


Form: Subject + have, has + past participle.
Uses:
-We use the present perfect simple when an action in the past has a result now.
Example: Tom is looking for his key. He can’t find it.
He has lost his key. (He lost it and still hasn’t got it).
- We often use the present perfect simple to give new information or to announce a recent
happening.
Example: The road is closed. There has been an accident.
- We can use the present perfect simple with just, already, yet, recently, so far, since
- We use the present perfect simple when we mention that it is the the first time something
has happened
Examples: Bob is having a driving lesson. He is very nervous and unsure, because it is his
first lesson.
- It’s the first time he has driven a car.
- He has never driven a car before.

3- The Present perfect continuous:


Form: Subject+ have, has + been + stem + ing
Example: It has been raining.
Uses:
- We use the present perfect continuous for an activity that has recently stopped or just
stopped. There is a connection with now.
Example: You are out of breath. Have you been running?
Paul is very tired. He has been working very hard.
- We use the present perfect continuous with “how long, for” and “since” when the action is
still happening or has just stopped.

Example: It is raining now. It began raining two hours ago and is still raining. How long
has it been raining? It has been raining for 2 hours.

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- We can use the present perfect continuous for an action repeated over a period of time.
Example: John is a very good tennis player. He has been playing since he was eight.

4- Past continuous:

Form: Subject + was, were + stem + ing.


Example: This time last year, I was living in Brazil.
Uses:
- We use the past continuous to say that somebody was in the middle of doing something at a
certain time. The action or situation had already started before this time but had not finished.
Example: Yesterday Karen and Jim played tennis, they began at 10 o’clock and finished at
11.30. So at 10.30, they were playing tennis.
- We often use the past simple and the past continuous together to say that something
happened in the middle of something else.
Example:
o Tom burnt his hand when he was cooking the dinner.
o While I was working in the garden, I hurt my finger.

5- The past perfect:

Form: Subject+ had+ past participle.


Example: John had gone to London.
Use:
We use the past perfect if we want to talk about things that happened before the starting point
of the story.
Example: Sarah went to a party last week. Paul went to the party too but they didn’t see
each other. Paul went home at 10.30 and Sarah arrived at 11 o’clock.
When Sarah arrived at the party, Paul wasn’t there. He had gone home.

6- Past perfect continuous:

Form: Subject+ had + been+ stem + ing.


Example: Yesterday morning I got up and looked out of the window. The sun was shining but
the ground was very wet. It had been raining.
Use: You can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something
else happened.
Example: Ken gave up smoking two years ago.
He had been smoking for 30 years.

7- The future perfect:


Form: Subject+ will+ have+ past participle.
Example: Tomorrow at 09.30, the match will have finished.

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Use: We use the future perfect to say that something will already be complete.
Example: Sally always leaves for work at 08.30 in the morning. So, she won’t be at home at
09 o’clock. She’ll have gone to work.

8- The future continuous:


Form: Subject+ will+ be + stem+ ing.
Example: After 3 years, I will be teaching English.
Uses:
- We use the future continuous when we will be in the middle of doing something.
Example: The football match begins at 07.30 and ends at 09.15. So during this time for
example at 08.30, Kevin will be watching the match.
- We also use the future continuous to talk about complete actions in the future
Example: If you see Sally, can you ask her to phone me?
- Sure, I’ll be seeing her this evening. So, I’ll tell her then.
- We can use the future continuous to ask about somebody’s plans, especially if we want him
to do something.
Example: Will you be passing the post office when you are out?

Exercise 01: Complete the sentences with one of the following verbs in the correct form:
Look, make, have, work, learn, try, see.
1-You ……hard today? Yes? I have a lot to do.
2-Would you like something to eat? No thanks, I …..just……lunch.
3- Maria…… English for two years.
4- You ……. A lot of noise. Could you be quieter? I …….to concentrate.
5- Is Ann coming to the cinema with us? No, she ……already……the film.
6- Hello Tom, I ……for you all morning. Where have you been?

Exercise 02: Read the situation and write sentences from the words:

1- I invited Rachel to the party, but she couldn’t come. (she arrange to do something else)
2- You went to the cinema last night. You arrived at the cinema late. (the film already begin)
3- I was very tires when I arrived at home. (I work hard all day).
4- I haven’t seen Alan for ages when (I last see him) (he try to find a job).
5- There was nobody in the room, but there was a small cigarette. (somebody smoke in the
room).
6- We were in a very difficult position (we not know what to do).

Exercise 03: Put the verbs into the correct form: “will be doing” or “will have done”.
1- Don’t phone me between 7 and 8 we (have) dinner then.
2- Phone me after 8 o’clock (we finish) by then.
3- Tomorrow afternoon we are going to play tennis from 3 o’clock until 4.30, so at 4 o’clock
(we play) tennis.
4- Do you think (you still do) the same job in ten years time?
56 If you need to contact me (I stay) at the Hilton hotel until Friday.

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Modal auxiliaries
General characteristics of modal auxiliaries

Verbs like can and may are called modal auxiliaries, though we often refer to them simply
as modals. We frequently use modals when we are concerned with our relationship with
someone else. We may, for example, ask for permission to do something; grant permission to
someone; give or receive advice; make or respond to requests and offers, etc. We can express
different levels of politeness by the forms we choose and the way we say things.
Modals sharing the same grammatical characteristics are:

Can - could
May - might
Will - would
Shall - should
Must -
Ought to -
Verbs which share some of the grammatical characteristics of modals are: need, dare, used
to.
By comparison, need to and dare to are full verbs.
Modals have two major functions which can be defined as primary and secondary.

Primary function of modal auxiliaries:


In their primary function modal verbs closely reflect the meaning given first in most
dictionaries, so that:
 Can / could relate mainly to ability: I can lift 25 kg / I can type.
 May / might relate mainly to permission: you may leave early.
 Will / would relate mainly to prediction: It will rain soon.
 Shall after I / we relates mainly to prediction: Can we find our way home? - I am sure we
shall.
 Should / ought to relate mainly to escapable obligation or duty: You should do (or ought
to do) as you are told.
 Must relates mainly to inescapable obligation: You must be quiet.
 Needn’t relates to absence of obligation: You needn’t wait.

Secondary function of modal auxiliaries:


In their secondary function, nine of the modal auxiliaries (not shall) can be used to express
the degree of certainty/uncertainty a speaker feels about a possibility. They can be arranged
on a scale from the greatest uncertainty (might) to the greatest certainty (must). The order
between might and must is not fixed absolutely. It varies according to situation. For example
one arrangement might be:
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might very
may uncertain
could
can be right
you should have been
ought to right
would
will
must
almost
certain

you are right certain

1. Use of ‘can’, ‘could’ and ‘(be) able to’ to express ability


We use can to say that something is possible or that somebody has the ability to do
something. We use can + infinitive (can do / can see etc).:
• We can see the lake from our bed window.
• Can you speak any foreign languages?
• I can come and see you tomorrow if you like.
The negative is can’t (= cannot):
• I’m afraid I can’t come to the party on Friday.
(Be) able to… is possible instead of can, but can is more usual.
• Are you able to speak any foreign languages?
But can has only two forms, can (present) and could (past). So sometimes it is necessary to
use (be) able to. … Compare:
• I can’t sleep.
but I haven’t been able to sleep recently. (can has no present perfect)
• Tom can come tomorrow.
but Tom might be able to come tomorrow. (can has no infinitive)
Could and was able to…
Sometimes could is the past of can. We use could especially with: see, hear, taste, feel,
remember, understand.
• When we went into the house, we could smell burning.
• She spoke in a very low voice, but I could understand what she said.
We also use could to say that somebody had the general ability or permission to do
something:
• My grandfather could speak five languages.
• We were completely free. We could do what we wanted. (= we were allowed to do…)
We use could for general ability. But if we are talking about what happened in a particular
situation, we use was/were able to… or managed to… (not could):
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• The fire spread through he fire quickly but everybody was able to escape.
or…. Everybody managed to escape. (but not ‘could escape’)
• They didn’t want to come with us at first but we managed to persuade them.
or… we were able to persuade them. (but not ‘could persuade’)

Compare:
• Jack was an excellent player. He could beat anybody. ( = he had the general ability to
beat anybody)
but
• Jack and Alf had a game of tennis yesterday. Alf played very well but in the end Jack
managed to beat him. or … was able to beat him. ( = he managed to beat him in this
particular game.

The negative couldn’t (could not) is possible in all situations:


• My grandfather couldn’t swim.
• We tired hard but we couldn’t persuade them to come with us.
• Alf played well but he couldn’t beat Jack.

2. Use of ‘Can/could’ to express capability/possibility:


Can + be + adjective or noun has the effect of ‘is sometimes’ or ‘is often’ and refers to
capability or possibility. It can be replaced by be capable of + -ing, but not by am/is/are
able to:
• It can be quite cold in Cairo in January. (= It is sometimes - or often –quite cold)
• He can be very naughty. (or a very naughty boy)
Could has the same effect in the past:
• It could be quite cold in Cairo in January when I lived there. ( = it was sometimes –
or often –quite cold)
• He could be very naughty when he was a little boy.
Could can also have a future reference in this kind of context.
• It could be quite cold when you get to Cairo.

3. Uses of modals to express permission and prohibition


Asking for permission /responding: ‘can/could/may/might’
Requests for permission can be graded from a blunt request to an extremely hesitant one.
Requests for permission can refer to the present or the future. The basic forms are:

Can
Could I borrow your umbrella,
May (please)?
Might

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Can is the commonest and most informal
• Can I borrow your umbrella, (please)?
Could is more ‘hesitant’ and polite than can. We often use it when we are not sure
permission will be granted:
• Could I borrow your umbrella, (please)?
May is more formal, polite and ‘respectful’ than can and could.:
• May I borrow your umbrella, (please)?
Might is the most hesitant, polite and ‘respectful’ and is rather less common than the other
three:
• Might I borrow your umbrella, (please)?
Permission to ask an indiscrete question may be requested with the formulas ‘if I may ask’
and (more polite) ‘if I might ask’.
How much did you pay for this house if I may/might ask?
Asking for permission with ‘can’t’ and ‘couldn’t’
Can’t and couldn’t are often used in place of can and could when we are pressing for an
affirmative answer:
Can’t / couldn’t I stay out till midnight (please)?

Granting and refusing permission


Permission can be granted or refused as follows:

You Can (not) (not Watch TV as


‘could’) long as you
May (not) (not like
‘might’)

You may/may not carry the authority of the speaker and is the equivalent of ‘I (personally)
give you permission’. You can/cannot is more general and does not necessarily imply
personal permission.

Granting /refusing permission is not confined to first and second persons:

Johnny/Frankie Can/can’t Stay up late


May/may not/mustn’t

This can be extended to:


- rule making e.g. for games: Each player may choose five cards.
- other contexts: Candidates may not attempt more than three questions.
Permission may also be denied with shan’t (in British English only)
• If you don’t behave yourself, you shan’t go out/be allowed out.
• If he doesn’t behave himself, he shan’t go out/be allowed out.

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4. Uses of modals to express certainty and possibility

If we are certain of our facts, we can make statements with be or any full verb:
• Jane is (or works) at home. (a certain fact)
If we are referring to possibility, we can use combinations of may, might or could + verb:
• Jane may/ might/ could be (or work) at home. (a possibility)
We use may or might to say that something is a possibility. Usually you can use may or
might, so you can say:
• It may be true. or It might be true. ( = perhaps it is true)
• She might know. or She may know.

The negative forms are may not and might not (or mightn’t):
• It might not be true. (perhaps it is not true)
• I’m not sure whether I can lend you any money. I may not have enough. (= perhaps I
don’t have enough)

For the past we use may have (done) or might have (done):
• A: I wonder why Kay didn’t answer the phone.
B: She may have been asleep. ( = perhaps she was asleep)
• A: I can’t find my bag anywhere.
B: You might have left it in the shop. ( perhaps you left it in the shop)
• A: I was surprised that Sarah wasn’t at the meeting.
B: She might not have known about it. ( = perhaps she didn’t know)
• A: I wonder why Colin was in such a bad mod yesterday.
B: He may not have been feeling well. ( = perhaps ha wasn’t feeling well).

Sometimes could has a similar meaning to may and might:


• The phone is ringing. It could be Tim. ( = it may / might be Tim)
• You could have left your bag in the shop. ( = you may / might have left it…)
But couldn’t (negative) is different from may not and might not. Compare:
• She was too far away, she couldn’t have seen you. (= it is not possible that she saw
you)
• A: I wonder why she didn’t say hello.
B: She might not have seen you. (perhaps she didn’t see you; perhaps she did)

We also use may and might to talk about possible actions or happenings in the future:
• I haven’t decided yet where to spend my holidays. I may go to Ireland. (= I will go to
Ireland)
• Take an umbrella with you when you go out. It might rain later. ( = perhaps it will
rain)
• The bus doesn’t always come on time. We might have to wait a few minutes. (=
perhaps we will have to wait)

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We may draw a distinction between the expression of possibility in this way (which allows
for speculation and guessing) and deduction based on evidence. Deduction, often expressed
with must be and can’t be, suggests near-certainty:
• Jane’s light is on. She must be at home. She can’t be out.
For the past we use must have (done) and can’t have (done). Study this example:
George is outside his friends’ house. He has rung the door bell three times but nobody has
answered. They must have gone out. (otherwise they would have answered).
• The phone rang but I didn’t hear it. I must have been asleep.
• I’ve lost one of my gloves. I must have dropped it somewhere.
• Jane walked past me without speaking. She can’t have seen me.
• Tom walked straight into a wall. Ha can’t have been looking where he was walking
Study the structure:

must been (asleep / at work etc.)


I/you/he can’t have been doing / working etc.)
(etc.) done / gone / known / had
etc.

5. The use of modals to express advisability, duty/obligation and necessity


Study these examples:

Present advisability Past advisability not acted upon


I should stop smoking I should have stopped smoking
I ought to stop smoking I ought to have stopped smoking
I would better stop smoking (I was advised to stop but I ignored the
(I still smoke) advice)

Present inescapable obligation Past inescapable obligation


I must stop smoking I had to stop smoking
(I am obliged to stop smoking and I shall: it (I was obliged to stop smoking and I did: it
is my duty) was my duty)

Advisability necessity: a scale of choice:


We can use modals and other verbs to express advisability on a scale which reflects a degree
of choice. This scale may vary according to the subjective point of view of the speaker.
Advisability should: Generally means ‘in my opinion, it is advisable to’ or ‘it is
(your)
duty’.
ought to: can be slightly stronger than should in that it is sometimes used
to refer to regulations or duties imposed from the outside: You
ought to vote (= it is your public duty). Should is more likely in
questions and negatives.
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had better: is stronger than should and ought to. It is used to recommend
future action on a particular occasion, not in general. It carries a
hint of threat, warning or urgency.
am/is/are to: can be used for instructions: You are to report for duty at 7.
need (to): ( = it is necessary)
have to: is an alternative to must.
have got to: like have to , but more informal.
necessity must: like have to and have got to, suggests inescapable
obligation. In the speaker’s opinion there is no choice at all.

The use of ‘must’ , ‘have to’ and ‘have got to’

We use must and have to to say that it is necessary to do something. Sometimes it doesn’t
matter which you use because as far as meaning is concerned these three forms are
interchangeable:
• Oh, it’s later than I thought. I must go. or I have to go. or I’ve got to go.

But there is a difference between must and have to /have got to and sometimes this is
important:

Must is personal. We use must when we Have to/have got to is impersonal. We use
give our personal feelings. have to/have got to for facts, not for our
‘You must do something’ = ‘I (the speaker) personal feelings.
say it is necessary’: ‘You have to/I’ve got to do something’
• She’s a really nice person. You must because of a rule or the situation:
meet her. (= I say this is necessary) • You can’t turn right here. You have
• I haven’t phoned Ann for ages. I must to/have got to turn left. (because of the
phone her tonight. traffic system)
• My eyesight isn’t very good. I have to
wear/have got to glasses for reading.
• George can’t come with us this evening.
He has to/has got to work.

Compare: I have to get/I’ve got to up early tomorrow.


• I must get up early tomorrow. There I’ going away and my train leaves at 7.30.
are a lot of things I want to do.

‘Need’ as a modal:
Need has only some of the characteristics of modal verbs in that it occurs in:
• Questions: Need you go? Need you leave so soon? (= surely not/ I hope not)
• Negatives: You needn’t go.

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In Yes/No question a negative answer is expected. Yes/No question with need? Can be
answered with must or needn’t:
• Need I type this letter again? – Yes, you must. /No, you needn’t.
Need + have + past participle behaves in the same way:
• Need you have told him about my plans?
• You needn’t have told him about my plans.
Yes/No question with Need … have …? can be answered: Yes, I had to. (no choice) No, I
needn’t have. (I had a choice)

6. The use of modals to express lack of necessity, inadvisability, prohibition


Examples of modal forms to express lack of necessity, inadvisability and prohibition:

Present lack of necessity Past lack of necessity


You needn’t go there You needn’t have gone there
Or: You don’t need to go there. (= you went there unnecessarily.
You don’t have to go there. You didn’t have to go there.
You haven’t got to go there. Or: You didn’t need to go there.
(= There was no necessity to go there,
whether you did go or not.)

Present inadvisability Past inadvisability, not acted upon


You shouldn’t start smoking. You shouldn’t have started smoking.
You ought not to start smoking You oughtn’t have started smoking. (
but you ignored this advice)

Present prohibition Failure to observe a prohibition


You can’t park here. You shouldn’t have parked here.
You mustn’t park here. You ought not to have parked here.

Lack of necessity can be expressed by needn’t, don’t have to and the more informal haven’t
got to (where got is often stressed)
‘You needn’t do something’ = it is not necessary that you do it, you don’t need to do it:
• You can come with me if you like but you needn’t come if you don’t want to. ( =it is
not necessary for you to come)
• We’ve got plenty of time. We needn’t hurry.
Needn’t and don’t need to are similar to don’t have to.
• We’ve got plenty of time. We don’t have to hurry.

Needn’t have done: George had to go out. He thought it was going to rain so he took the
umbrella. But it didn’t rain, so the umbrella was not necessary. So:
• He needn’t have taken the umbrella.
Compare needn’t (do) and needn’t have (done):

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• That shirt isn’t dirty. You needn’t wash it. (present lack of necessity)
• Why did you wash that shirt? It wasn’t dirty. You needn’t have washed it. (you
washed it unnecessarily)
inadvisability prohibition: a scale of choice:
We can use modals and other verbs to express inadvisability and prohibition on a scale
which reflects a degree of choice. This scale may vary according to the subjective point of
view of the speaker.

Inadvisability shouldn’t: Generally means ‘in my opinion, it is inadvisable to’ or ‘it


is
your duty not to’.
oughtn’t to: can be slightly stronger than shouldn’t. It is sometimes used
to refer to regulations and duties imposed from the outside: You
oughtn’t to park so near the crossing. (= it is your public duty
not to do this).
had better not: is stronger than shouldn’t and oughtn’t to. It is used to
recommend future action on a particular occasion, not in
general. It carries a hint of threat, warning or urgency. You’d
better not overtake here.
am/is/are not to: can be used for instructions: You are not to park here.
can’t is nearly as strong as mustn’t to suggest something is
prohibited. You can’t park here.
mustn’t: conveys absolute prohibition. In the opinion of the speaker,
there is no choice at all. This opinion may be subjective or may
be supported by some outside authority as in You must turn left.
(e.g. there is a road sign forbidding it) is an alternative to must.

prohibition

Don’t have to and haven’t got to can never replace mustn’t to convey prohibition . Like
needn’t, they convey lack of necessity.
Mustn’t conveys the strongest possible opinion of the speaker;
• You really mustn’t say things like that in front of your mother.
• Julian mustn’t hitchhike to Turkey on his own.

Prohibition reflecting external authority (in e.g. public notices , documents) is often
expressed as must not (in full):

• Life belts must not be removed.


• Candidates must not attempt more than four questions.
Inadvisability/prohibition can be expressed by: shouldn’t/oughtn’t to/ mustn’t, etc
• You shouldn’t / oughtn’t to / mustn’t / can’t be late for meetings (present)

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• You shouldn’t / oughtn’t to / mustn’t / can’t be / had better not be late tomorrow.
(future)
Shouldn’t , oughtn’t to , mustn’t , can’t be , had better not are used to refer to the future
although they do not have future forms.
‘Shouldn’t have’ and ‘oughtn’t to have’: Both these forms suggest a criticism of an action:
• You shouldn’t have / oughtn’t to have paid the plumber in advance.
or failure to observe a prohibition
• You shouldn’t have / oughtn’t to have stopped on the motorway.

Exercise 1: Complete the sentences using can or (be) able to. Use can if possible; otherwise
use (be) able to.

1. George has traveled a lot. He ………………..speak four languages.


2. I haven’t …………………….sleep very well recently.
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3. Sandra …………………drive but she hasn’t got a car.
4. I can’t understand Martin. I’ve never…………………..understand him.
5. I used to ……………………stand on my head but I can’t do it now.
6. I can’t see you on Friday but I …………………meet you on Saturday morning.
7. Ask Catherine about your problem. She might ………………..help you.

Exercise 2: Complete the sentences with can / can’t / could / couldn’t + one of these verbs:
Come eat hear run sleep wait

1. I’m afraid I ……………….to your party next week.


2. When Tim was 16, he was a first runner.. He ……………100 metres in 11 seconds.
3. ‘Are you in a hurry?’ ‘No, I’ve got plenty of time. I ………………..’
4. I was feeling sick yesterday. I ………………………anything.
5. Can you speak up a bit? I ………………….you very well.
6. ‘You look tired.’ ‘Yes, I ………………..last night’

Exercise 3: Complete the sentences using could, couldn’t or was / were able to.

1. My grandfather was a very clever man. He ……………….speak five languages.


2. I looked everywhere for the book but I ……………….find it.
3. They didn’t want to come with us at first but we……………… to persuade them.
4. Laura had hurt her leg and ………………….walk very well.
5. Sue wasn’t at home when I phoned but I ……………….contact her at office.
6. I looked very carefully and I …………………….see a figure in the distance.
7. I wanted to bye some tomatoes. The first shop I went to didn’t have any but I
………………….get some in the next shop.
8. My grandmother loved music. She …………………the piano very well.
9. A girl fell into the river but fortunately we………………….rescue her.
10. I had forgotten to bring my camera so I ………………….take any photographs.

Exercise 4: Put in must or can’t

1. You’ve been traveling all day. You ………………..be very tired.


2. That restaurant …………………..be very good. It’s always empty.
3. That restaurant …………………..be very good. It’s always full of people.
4. You’re going o holiday next week. You …………………..be looking forward to it.
5. It rained everyday during their holiday, so they ……………….have had a very good time.
6. Congratulations on passing your exam. You………………….be very happy.
7. You got here very quickly. You………………………….have walked very fast.
8. Bill and Sue go away on holiday very often, so they ………………….be short of money.

Exercise 5: Read the situations and use the words in brackets to write sentences with must
have and can’t have:

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1. The phone rang but I didn’t hear it. (I / asleep)
2. The jacket you bought is very good quality. (it / very expensive)
3. I haven’t seen the people next door for ages. (they / go away)
4. I can’t find my umbrella. ( I / leave / it in the restaurant last night)
5. Don passed the exam without studying for it. (the exam / very difficult)
6. She knew everything about our plans. (she listen / to our conversation)
7. Fiona did the opposite of I asked her to do. (she / understand / what I said)
8. When I woke up this morning, the light was on. (I forgot / to turn it off)
9. The lights were red but the car didn’t stop. (the driver / see / the red light)
10. I was woken up in the middle of the night by the noise next door. (the neighbours / have /
a party)

Exercise 6: Complete the sentences with a verb in the correct form:

1. ‘Where is Bob?’ ‘I’m not sure. He might…………….lunch.’


2. ‘Who is that man with Ann?’ ‘I’m not sure . It might ………………..her brother.’
3. ‘Who was the man we saw with Ann yesterday?’ ‘I’m not sure. It might ……………..her
brother.’
4. ‘Why are those people waiting in the street?’ ‘I don’t know. They might ……………for a
bus.’
5. ‘Shall I buy this book for Tim?’ ‘You’d better not. He might already …………………..it.’

Exercise 7: Complete the sentences using might not or couldn’t. Example:

1. A: Do you think she saw you?


B: No, she was too far away. She……………………………………………………………
2. A: I wonder why she didn’t say hello. Perhaps she didn’t see me.
B: That’s possible.
…………………………………………………………………………...
3. A: I wonder why Ann didn’t come to the party. Perhaps she wasn’t invited.
B: Yes, it’s possible. She…………………………………………………………………….
4. A: Tom loves parties. I’m sure he’d have come to the party if he’d been invited.
B: I agree. He………………………………………………………………………………...
5. A: I wonder how the fire started. Do you think it was an accident?
B: No, the police say it………………………………………………………………………
6. A: How did the fire start? I suppose it was an accident.
B: Well, the police aren’t sure. They say it …………………….
……………………………

Exercise 8: Write sentences with may or might.

1. Where are you going for your holidays? (to Ireland ???)
I haven’t decided yet. I
……………………………………………………………………....
2. What sort of car are you going to buy? (a Mercedes ???)
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I’m not sure yet. I
……………………………………………………………………………
3. What are you doing this weekend, (go to London ???)
I haven’t decided yet.
………………………………………………………………………..
4. Where are you going to hang that picture? (in the dining room ???)
I haven’t made up my mind yet. …………………………………………………………….
5. When is Tom coming to see us? (on Saturday ???)
I don’t know yet.
…………………………………………………………………………….
6. What is Julia going to do when she leaves school. (go to university ???)
She hasn’t decided yet.
………………………………………………………………………

Exercise 9: Complete these sentences with must or have to (in the correct form).
Sometimes it is possible to use either; sometimes only have to is possible:

1. It’s later than I thought. I ……………………………..go now.


2. Jack left before the end of the meting. He ……………………..go home early.
3. In Britain many children ………………………wear uniform when they go to school.
4. When you came to London again, you ……………………….come and see me.
5. Last night Don became ill suddenly. We …………………………call a doctor.
6. You really………………………..work harder if you want to pass the examination.
7. I’m afraid I can’t come tomorrow. I ………………………………..work late.
8. I’m sorry I couldn’t come yesterday. I …………………………………work late.
9. Paul doesn’t like his new job. Sometimes, he …………………………to work at
weekends.
10. Caroline may …………………………………..go away next week.
11. We couldn’t repair the car ourselves. We…………………………..take it to a garage.
12. Julia wears glasses. She……………………………wear glasses since she was very
young.

Exercise 10: Read the situations and write sentences with should/shouldn’t . Some of
these situations are past and some are present: (for example)

1. I’m feeling sick. I ate too much. I shouldn’t have eaten so much.
2. That man on the motorbike isn’t wearing a helmet. …………………………………
3. When we got to the restaurant, there were no free tables. We hadn’t reserved one.
We ……………………………………………………………………………………
4. the notice says the shop is open everyday from 8.30. It is 9 o’clock but the shop isn’t yet
open. ………………………………………………………………………………
5. The speed limit is 30 miles an hour, but Catherine is doing 50.
She…………………………………………………………………………………..
6. I went to Paris. A friend of mine lives in Paris but I didn’t go to see him wile I was there.
When I saw him later he said: You …………………………………………………
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7. I was driving behind another car. Suddenly the driver behind stopped without warning and
I drove into the back of his car. It wasn’t my fault. …………………………………..
8. I walked into a wall. I wasn’t looking were I was going.
……………………………………………………………………………………

Exercise11: Complete the sentences with must, mustn’t or needn’t .

1. We haven’t got much time. We ……………………..hurry.


2. We’ve got plenty of time. We ……………………… hurry.
3. We have enough food at home so we …………………………..go shopping today.
4. Jim gave a letter to post. I …………………………………remember to post it.
5. Jim gave me a letter to post. I …………………………forget to post it.
6. There is plenty of time for you to make up your mind. You ………………………..decide
now.
7. You ……………………….wash those tomatoes. They have already been washed.
8. This is a valuable book. You…………………….look after it carefully and you
…………………..lose it.
9. ‘What sort of house do you want to buy? Something big?’ ‘ Well, it ………………….be
big- that’s not important. But it …………………………..have a nice garden – that’s
essential.’

Exercise 12: Read the sentences and make sentences with needn’t have.

1. George went out. He took an umbrella because he thought it was going to rain. But it
didn’t rain. He
……………………………………………………………………………………..
2. Ann bought some eggs when she went shopping. When she got home, she found that she
already had plenty of eggs. She……………………………………………………………..
3. A friend got angry at you and shouted at you. You think this was unnecessary. Later you
say to him/her: You …………………………………………………………………………
4. Brian had no money, so he sold his car. A few days alter he won some money in a lottery.
He……………………………………………………………………………………………
5. When we went on holiday, we took the camera with us but we didn’t use it in the end
We…………………………………………………………………………………………..
6. I thought I was going to miss my train so I rushed to the station. But the train was late and
in the end I had to wait 20 minutes. I ……………………………………………………….

Exercise 13: Complete the sentences using “can”, “be able to”, “can’t”, “could”,
“couldn’t”.

1- George traveled a lot. He …..speak four languages.


2- I can’t understand Martin. I’ve never ……..understand him.
3- I used to …….stand on my head but I can’t do it now.
4- You look tired. Yes, I ……….sleep last night.
5- I was feeling sick yesterday. I …….eat anything.
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6- I’m afraid I ……… come to your party next week.

Exercise 14: Read the situations and use the words in brackets to write sentences with
“must have” and “can’t have”.

1- The phone rang but I didn’t hear it. (I /asleep).


2- Jane walked past me without speaking (she / see/ me).
3- The jacket you bought is very good quality (it / very / expensive).
4- I can’t find my umbrella. (I / leave/ it in my office/ yesterday).
5- Fionna did the opposite of what I asked her to do. (she/ understand/ what I said).

Exercise 15: Write these sentences in a different way using “may” or “might”.

1- Perhaps Margaret is in her office.


2- Perhaps she is busy.
3- Perhaps she is working.
4- Perhaps she wants to be alone.
5- Perhaps she was ill yesterday.
6- Perhaps she went home early.
7- Perhaps she was working yesterday.

Indirect Speech
Indirect speech (sometimes called reported speech) doesn’t use quotation marks to
enclose what the person said and it doesn’t have to be word for word.
When reporting speech, the tense usually changes. This is because when we use reported
speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past (because obviously the person who
spoke originally spoke in the past). The verbs usually have to be in the past too.
Example: Direct: “I am going to the cinema”, he said.
Indirect: He said that he was going to the cinema.

Tense change: As a rule, when you report something someone has said you go back a tense.

Direct Indirect

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Present simple Past simple
Present continuous Past continuous
Present perfect simple Past perfect simple
Present perfect continuous Past perfect continuous
Past simple Past perfect
Past perfect Past perfect (no change)
Past perfect continuous Past perfect continuous (no change)
Will Would
Can Could
Must Had to
Shall Should
May Might

Note: There is no change to : could, would, should, might, and ought to.
You can use the present tense in reported speech if you want to say that something is still
true.
Example: My name has always been and will always be Lynne so:
Direct: “My name is Lynne”, she said.
Indirect: She said that her name was Lynne. Or: She said her name is Lynne.
- You can also use the present tense if you are talking about a future event.
Direct: “Next week’s lesson is on reported speech”, she said.
Indirect: She said next week’s lesson is on reported speech.

Time change:
If the reported sentence contains an expression of time, you must change it to fit in with the
time of reporting. We need to change words like “here”, “yesterday” if they have different
meanings at the time and place of reporting.
Example: Direct: “Today’s lesson is on presentations”.
(+24 hours) Indirect: She said yesterday’s lesson was on presentations.

Expressions of time if reported on a different day:

Direct Indirect
This That
Today yesterday
These Those
Now Then
A week ago A week before
Last week end The week end
Here before
Next week There
Tomorrow The following

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week
The next day

In addition, if you report something said in a different place where you heard it, you must
change the place (here) to the place (there).

- Pronoun change:
In reported speech, the pronoun often changes.
Example: “I teach English”.
She said that she teaches English.

- Reporting verbs:
“Said”, “told”, and “asked” are the most common verbs used in indirect speech.
We use “asked” to report questions.
We use “told” with an object.
We usually use “said” without an object.

- Use of “that” in reported speech:


In reported speech, the word “that” is often used, However, that is optional.
In questions “that” is not used. We often use “

Exercise: Write the following sentences in the reported speech.

1- He complained: “The neighbours are noisy”.


2- She thought:” I bought some biscuits yesterday, but I can’t find them in the cupboard”.
3- The teacher explained: “The exam will be different this year”.
4- The shop keeper assured me: “The freezer will be delivered tomorrow”.
5- The authorities warned us: “The building is unsafe”.

Conditionals

Conditional sentences have two parts: the if clause and the main clause.
Example: If it rains, I shall stay at home.
“If it rains” is the if clause, and “I shall stay at home” is the main clause.
There are three kinds of conditional sentences. Each kind contains a different pair of tenses.
With each type certain variations are possible.

Conditional sentences type 1: probable


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The verb in the if clause is in the present; the verb in the main clause is in the future tense. It
does not matter which comes first.
Example: If he runs he’ll get there in time.
The cat will scratch you if you pull her tail.
This type of sentence implies that the action in the if clause is quite probable.
Note that the meaning here is present or future, but the verb in the if clause is in the present,
not a future tense.

Possible variations of the basic form:

1-Variations of the main clause:


Instead of if +present + future, we may have:
-If +present +may/ might (possibility)
Example: If the fog gets thicker, the plane may/ might be diverted (perhaps the plane will be
diverted).
-If + present + may (permission) or can (permission or ability)
Examples: If your documents are in order you may /can leave at once (permission)
If it stops snowing we can go out (permission or ability)
-If + present + must, should or any expression of command, request or advice.
Examples: If you want to lose weight, you must / should eat less bread.
If you want to lose weight you had better eat less bread
If you want to lose weight, eat less bread.
If you see Tom tomorrow, could you ask him to ring me?
-If + present + another present tense/
If + two present tenses is used to express automatic or habitual results.
Examples: If you heat ice it turns to water (will turn is also possible)
If there is a shortage of any product, prices of that product go up.
-When if is used to mean as/ since , a variety of tenses can be used in the main clause
Example: Bill: Ann hates London.
Tom : If she hates it why does she live there? She ought to move out/ why has she
just bought a flat there?
This is not, of course, a true conditional clause.

Variations of the if clause

Instead of if + present tense, we can have:


-If + present continuous, to indicate a present action or a future arrangement.
Examples: If you are waiting for a bus, you’d better join the queue (present action)
If you are looking for Peter, you’ll find him upstairs (present action)
If you are staying for another night, I’ll ask the manager to give you a better room
(future arrangement).
-If + present perfect:
Examples: If you have finished dinner, I’ll ask the waiter for the bill.
If he has written the letter, I’ll post it.
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If they haven’t seen the museum, we’d better go there today.

Conditional sentences type2:

The verb in the if clause is in the past tense; the verb in the main clause is in the conditional
tense.
Examples: If I had a map, I would lend it to you. (But I haven’t a map. The leaning here is
present).
If someone tried to blackmail me, I would tell the police The meaning here is future.
There is no difference in time between the first and second types of conditional sentences.
Type 2, like type1, refers to the present or future, and the past tense in the if clause is not a
true past but a subjunctive, which indicates unreality (as in the first example above) or
improbability (as in the second example above)

Type2 is used :
-When the supposition is contrary to known facts:
Examples: If I lived near my office I’d be in time for work (but I don’t live near my office)
If I were you I’d plant some trees round the house (but I am not you)
-When we don’t expect the action in the if clause to take place.
Examples: If a burglar came into my room at night, I’d throw something at him.(but I don’t
expect a burglar to come in)
If I dyed my hair blue, everyone would laugh at me (but I don’t intend to dye it).
Some if clauses can have either of the above meanings:
Examples: If he left his bicycle outside, someone would steal it.
“If he left the bicycle” could imply “but he doesn’t” (present meaning) or “but he doesn’t
intend to” (future meaning). But the correct meaning is usually clear from the text.
At one time ambiguity of this kind was avoided by using were + infinitive instead of the past
tense in type2
Examples: If a burglar were to come........
If I were to dye my hair...........
If he were to leave.....................

Sometimes rather confusingly, type2can be used as an alternative to type1for perfectly


possible plans and suggestions:
Examples: Will Mary be in time if she gets the ten o’clock bus?
No, but she’d be in time if she got the nine-thirty bus.
No, but she’ll be in time if she gets the nine-thirty bus.

Ann: We’ll never save that sum of money!!!!


Tom: If we saved 50p a week we’d do it in ten months;
If we save 50p a week, we’ll do it in ten months.
A suggestion in type2 is a little more polite than a suggestion in type 1. Just as would you is
a more polite request form than will you.

Possible variations of the basic form:


26
-Variations of the main clause:
-Might or could may be used instead of would
Examples: If you tried again you would succeed (certain result)
If you tried again you might succeed (possible result)
If I knew her number I could ring her up (ability)
If he had a permit he could get a job (ability or permission).
-The continuous conditional form may be used instead of the simple conditional form:
Example: Tom: Peter is on holiday, he is touring Italy.
Ann: If I were on holiday, I would/ might be touring Italy too.
-If + past tense can be followed by another past tense when we compare if + two present
tenses. Note that the past tenses here have a past meaning.

Examples: If anyone interrupted him, he got angry (whenever anyone interrupted him)
If there was a scarcity of anything, prices of that thing went up.

-When if is used to mean “as” or “since”, a variety of tenses is possible in the main clause. If
+ past tense here has a past meaning. The sentence is not a true conditional.
Example: Ann: The pills made him dizzy. All the same he bought some more/has bought
some more/ is buying some more...
Tom: If they made him dizzy, why did he buy/ has he bought/ is he buying more?
-Variations of the if clause:
Instead of if + simple past we can have:
-If + past continuous.
Example: We’re going by air and I hate flying. If we were going by boat, I’d feel much
happier.
-If + past perfect.
Example: If je had taken my advice, he would be a rich man now (this is a mixture of type2
and type3

Conditional sentences type 3:


The verb in the if clause is in the past perfect tens; the verb in the main clause is in the perfect
conditional. The time is past and the condition cannot be fulfilled because the action in the if
clause didn’t happen.
Examples: If I had known that you were coming I would have met you at the airport (but I
didn’t know, so I didn’t come).
If he had tried to leave the country he would have been stopped at the frontier. (but
he didn’t try).

Possible variations of the basic form:

-Could or might may be used instead of would


Examples: If we had found him earlier we could have saved his life (ability)
If we had found him earlier we might have saved his life (possibility)
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If our documents had been in order we could have left at once (ability or
permission)
-The continuous form of the perfect conditional may be used:
Example: At the time of the accident I was sitting in the back of the car, because Tom’s little
boy was sitting beside him in front. If Tom’s boy had not been there I would have been sitting
in front.
-We can use the past perfect continuous in the if clause:
Example: Luckily I was wearing a seat belt. If I hadn’t been wearing one I would have been
seriously injured.
-A combination of types2 and 3 is possible:
Examples: The plane I intended to catch crashed and everyone was killed. If I had caught that
plane I would be dead now or I would have been killed (type 3).
If I had worked harder at school I would be sitting in a comfortable office now; I
wouldn’t be sweeping the streets. (but I didn’t work hard at school and now I am sweeping
the streets).
-Had can be placed first and the if omitted
Example: If you had obeyed orders this disaster would not have happened.
Had you obeyed orders this disaster would not have happened.
Special uses of will/ would and should in if clauses
Normally these auxiliaries are not used after if in conditional sentences. These are, however,
certain exceptions.
If you will/ would is often used in polite requests, would is the more polite form.
Examples: If you will/would wait a moment I’ll see if Mr Jones is free (please wait)
I would be very grateful if you would make the arrangements for me.
If you will/ would + infinitive is often used alone when the request is one which would
normally be made in the circumstances. The speaker assumes that the other person will
comply as a matter of course.
Examples: If you’d fill up this form.
(in a hotel) If you’d just sign the register6
(in a shop) If you’d put your address on the back of the cheque.
(in a classroom) If you’d open your books.
If + will/ would can be used with all persons to indicate willingness:
Examples: If he’ll listen to me I’ll be able to help him (If he is willing to listen)
If Tom would tell me what he wants for his dinner, I’d cook it for him (the speaker
implies that he Tom is unwilling to tell her)
Won’t used in this way can mean “refuse”:
Example: If he won’t listen to me I can’t help him (if he is unwilling to listen/ if he refuses to
listen)
Will can be used to express obstinate insistence
Example: if you will play the drums all night no wonder the neighbours complain (if you
insist on playing).
If you would like /care can be used instead of if + want/ wish and is more polite:
Example: If you would like to come I’ll get a ticket for you.
If you’d care to see the photographs I’ll bring them round some evening.

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If + should can be used in type1 to indicate that the action, though possible, is not very
likely. It is usually combined with the imperative and is chiefly used in written instructions/
Example: If you should have any difficulty in getting spare time, please inform the factory at
once.

Should can be placed first and the “if” omitted:


Example: Should this machine fail, ring the bell and wait.
If + were can be used instead of if + was:
Examples: If she was/ were offered the job, she’d take it. (either can be used)
If Peter was/ were to apply for the post, he’d probably get it
If I was/ were you, I should wait a bit. (were is more usual)
Were I you, I should wait. (were is the only possible form)
Were to is more usual than was to. Were is better than was when the supposition is contrary
to fact. Were is the only possible form when the auxiliary is placed first.
Note that If I were you I should/ would ...... is a useful way of expressing advice.

Example: If I were you I would/ should /I’d paint it green.


The “if I were you” is often omitted:
Example: I’d paint it green.
In indirect speech such sentences are best reported by advise:
He said, “If I were you I’d tell the police”.
He advised me to tell the police.

If replaced by “unless”,” but for”, “otherwise”,” provided”, “suppose”, or inversion


Unless + affirmative verb = if + negative
Examples: Unless you start at once you’ll be late
If you don’t start at once, you’ll be late
Unless you had a permit you couldn’t get a job
If you hadn’t a permit you couldn’t get a job.

But for = if it were not for / if it hadn’t been for


Examples: My father sends me an allowance. Bt for that I wouldn’t be here.
The storm delayed us. But for the storm we would have been in time.

Otherwise = if this doesn’t happen / didn’t happen/ hadn’t happened.


Examples: We must be back before midnight; otherwise we’ll be locked out.
Her father pays her fees; otherwise she wouldn’t be here
Provided (that) can replace if when there is a strong idea of limitation or restriction. It is
chiefly used with permission
Example: you can camp in my field provided you leave no mess.

Suppose / supposing...? = What if....?


Examples: Suppose the plane is late?
What if/ what will happen if the plane is late?
Suppose no one had been there?
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What if no one had been there?
Suppose can also introduce suggestions
Example: Suppose you ask him? Why don’t you ask him?

Inversion of subject and auxiliary with “if” omitted


If + subject + auxiliary can be replaced by auxiliary + subject:

Examples: If I were in his shoes = were I in his shoes


If there should be a delay = should there be a delay
If he had known in time = had he known in time.

If and in case:
In case is followed by a present or past tense or by should. It appears similar to “if” and is
often confused with it. But the two are completely different.
An in case clause gives a reason for the action in the main clause:

Example: Some cyclists carry repair outfits in case they have a puncture = Some cyclists
carry repair outfits because they may have / because it is possible they will have a puncture.
An in case clause can be dropped without changing the meaning of the main clause. In a
conditional sentence , however, the action in the main clause depends on the action in the if
clause, and if the if clause is dropped, the meaning of the main clause changes.
Compare: Bill: I’ll come tomorrow in case Ann wants me
Tom: I’ll come tomorrow if Ann wants me.
• In the first case, perhaps Ann will want Bill, perhaps she won’t. But Bill will come
anyway. His action doesn’t depend on Ann’s. “In case Ann wants me” could be
omitted without changing the meaning of the main verb.
• In the second case, a conditional sentence, Tom will only come if Ann asks him. His
action depends on hers. We cannot remove “if Ann wants me” without changing the
meaning of the main verb.
An in case clause is normally placed after the main clause, not before it.
Example: In case of accident, phone 999.

If only:
Only can be placed after “if” and indicates hope, a wish or regret according to the tense used
with it.
If only + present tense will express hope:
Example: If only he comes in time = We hope he’ll come in time.
If only + past/past perfect expresses regret
Example: If only he didn’t drive so fast/ If only you hadn’t said ‘liar’
If only + would can express regret about a present action as an alternative to “if only + past
tense”
Example: If only he would drive more slowly.

Exercise 01: Put the verb into the correct form:


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1- They would be rather offended if I (not/ go).
2- If you took more exercise, you (feel) better.
3- I’m sure Amy will lend you the money. I’d be very surprised if she (refuse).
4- A lot of people would be out of work if the factory (close down).
5- I’m sure Sue (understand) if you had explained the situation to her.

Exercise 02: Use you own ideas to complete these sentences.

1- If you took more exercise,………


2- I’d feel angry if…………..
3- If I didn’t go to work tomorrow,……….
4- Would you go to the party if………….
5- If you bought some new clothes……………………
6- Would you mind if………………………….

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