(may, might, could, must, can’t)

We use modal verbs in combination with main verbs: modal + verb (base form).

Must is used to show that we are certain.

Wow, you are really sweaty. It must be hot outside.

Can’t is used to show something is impossible.

We can’t give him the job because he doesn’t have enough experience.

May, might, and could are used to talk about present or future possibilities. They can be used to explore possible options for the future, to make suggestions in order to solve a problem, or to guess about a situation when we don’t have all the facts.

After I finish university I may go abroad or I may try to get a job right away.

Your car might be having problems because the battery is too old.

The remote control could be in the couch.

May not and might not can be used to show that present or future possibilities are not likely. But could not cannot be used in this way.

He may not graduate if his grades don’t improve.

They might not go on vacation this year.

Modals of possibility and probability questions
(may, might, could, must, can’t)

  1. What are some things you may do this evening?
  2. What are three good things that may happen soon in your life?
  3. Is there anything you can’t do even though you want to?
  4. What movie might win the Academy Award for best picture this year?
  5. Is there anything that could make you change your major or quit your job?
  6. Where might you be living in 5 years?
  7. What are two things that could make you much happier?
  8. What are some goals you might accomplish in the future?
  9. In what ways do you think your country may improve in the future?
  10. What are three things all humans must learn to do better?
  11. What are some problems the world might face in the future?
  12. What are some things that could improve the economy in your country?

– For the following questions, talk about how certain you are of your opinion using modals –

  1. Do you think that aliens exist? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think that people are born good, evil, or neutral? Why?
  3. Talk about some conspiracies you’ve heard. Do you believe them or not?
  4. Do you think that most politicians start their careers with good intentions?
  5. What do you think made people stop hunting and gathering, and start farming?