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Modals Check

Grammar check: modals

Explain the difference in meaning between the sentences in each pair below.

  1. You'll be surprised at how friendly they are. You may be surprised at how friendly they are.
  2. You must kiss people you meet on both cheeks. You should kiss people you meet on both cheeks.
  3. I can speak French reasonably well. I could speak French reasonably well.
  4. You may open the window. You ought to open the window.
  5. That must be the postman. That could be the postman.
  6. You don't have to come early. You mustn't come early.
  7. I can't lift those boxes in my condition.
  8. I mustn't lift those boxes in my condition.
  9. I've got to leave work by 3p.m. today. I may leave work by 3p.m. today.

Give a reason for each of the following statements. EXAMPLE: He ought to give up his job because now he's won the Lottery he doesn't need to go to work.

  1. The present Prime Minister won't win the next election because ...
  2. Jamie doesn't have to go to school tomorrow because ...
  3. You mustn't be home late tonight because ...
  4. I can't read the instructions on the side of this box because ...
  5. This painting could be of some kind of animal because ...
  6. You've got to start your revision this weekend because ...

Write direct speech for each of the situations below using an appropriate modal verb.

EXAMPLE: 1 You should join the local gym.

  1. Someone you know wants to get fit. Give them some advice.
  2. Someone has asked about your musical abilities when you were a child. Tell them about about your past abilities.
  3. A friend has asked to smoke in your bedroom. What question do they ask?
  4. Someone has asked you where your friend, Mark, is. You don't know for sure but you have one or two ideas. Tell them your ideas.
  5. Someone has offered to give you a lift home. Tell them it is not necessary as you have your bike.
  6. You hear the telephone ring. You are sure it is your friend, Sam, because he said he would ring at this time. Tell your flatmate this as you go to answer it.
  7. The headteacher has given a pupil permission to leave school early. What does she say?
  8. It's necessary for everyone to bring their calculator to the Maths exam. Tell your friend this.

Work with another student. Roleplay the above situations and continue the dialogue. Create the most interesting scenario you can think of for the dialogue.
EXAMPLE: Student I: You know, I really want to get fit
Student 2: You should join the local gym. It's great. But, anyway, why this sudden desire to get fit?
Student I: Well, don't laugh, but I want to take part in next year's marathon.
Student 2: Really... Are you sure?

Writing: information sheet

Your local tourist office has asked you to write an information sheet (about 250 words) for visitors to your country. The purpose is to inform foreigners about any culturally sensitive issues so that they avoid offending local people by mistake.

Discuss with other students possible topics for inclusion in your information sheet. Make a list, for example: gestures, greetings, going to someone's house for dinner etc.

If you have trouble coming up with ideas, think about
a) times you have accidentally offended people when travelling abroad; or
b) things that visitors to your country sometimes do that cause offence.

Choose three or four areas that are culturally sensitive to include in your information sheet. Make notes for points for inclusion under each heading.

Write the first draft of your information sheet.

Show your first draft to another student for them to check by answering these questions.

Checking a first draft

  1. Does the general heading make you want to read the sheet?
  2. Is there a helpful introduction?
  3. Are the different paragraphs clear and complete? Does each paragraph have its own heading?
  4. Are linking words/expressions used in an appropriate way?
  5. Does the information sheet inform in a clear and readable way?
  6. Is the style appropriate for the target readers?

Discuss your partner's response to your information sheet. Listen to any suggestions as to how it might be improved. Reread your information sheet. Decide how you will change it.


  1. with people you don't know.
  2. men to male friends.

Planning your information sheet

  1. What title will you give your information sheet so as to make it interesting and attractive to your audience?
  2. How many sections will you have in your information sheet and what headings will you use for each one?
  3. Will you need to use a more formal or informal style with the audience you are writing for?
  4. What is the purpose of your information sheet (e.g. to inform, warn and advise)? How will this affect the language you use? (Remember, you don't want to put visitors off coming to your country!)
  5. How will you introduce the topics you cover in each section? (Remember, you don't want to make your customs and values seem illogical to visitors.)

Error correction - extra word

Which is correct?

  1. Is that your friend/friend's car?
  2. Do you like watching horse/horses races?
  3. Could you pass me the bath's/bath towel?
  4. Would you like some mint tea/tea of mint?
  5. It was essentially a lost violin film/ film about a lost violin.
  6. There are lots of kitchen's/kitchen cupboards in the new house.
  7. Have you got a timetable of trains/ train timetable ?
  8. Look! There's a bird's nest/nest of birds in that hedge.
  9. This sweater is made of lamb's wool/ lamb wool.
  10. Has anyone seen a large matches box / box of matches?
  11. Can you hear a child's/child voice?
  12. There won't ever be a tax on educational books/an educational books tax.

drastically sincerely abominably intimately patiently neatly intuitively helplessly

  1. He listened
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    _ as she told her long and rather boring story.
  2. He
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    regretted all the unpleasant things he had said to her.
  3. She knew
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    __ that there was something wrong.
  4. She's changed
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    ___ since she's left home. She's a new person.
  5. He always dresses very
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    but without much style.
  6. He behaved
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    at the party. He was rude to several of my friends.
  7. He's terribly funny. We were all laughing
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    _ for ages.
  8. I wouldn't say I know him
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    We're just work colleagues.

Error correction, spelling and punctuation

Typical spelling mistakes

  1. 'silent' letters being missed e.g. debt
  2. wrong suffixes e.g. independant, conducter etc.
  3. words which sound the same but are spelt differently e.g. bored - board
  4. words which double or don't double the final consonant e.g. cutting v. printing

Typical punctuation mistakes

  1. capital letters
  2. apostrophes
  3. commas and full stops
  4. brackets

Read the text quickly to find out how one married couple showed their gratitude to Lufthansa airline.

Read the text again. There are five correct lines, five spelling mistakes and six punctuation mistakes. (You will not be told this in the exam!) Look at each numbered line (1??”16). If there is a mistake correct it.

Here are some commonly misspelt words in English. In each case decide if the word is correctly or incorrectly spelt. Where it is incorrect, correct it.
EXAMPLE: 1 definately > incorrect. It should be definitely.

  1. We've definately taken the wrong turning.
  2. You're completely wrong!
  3. I'm not sure wether to take the job or not.
  4. That's quiet an interesting idea.
  5. Could you recommend a good restaurant near here?
  6. That's a rather incovienient time for the meeting.
  7. You'll loose a lot of money if you invest in that company.
  8. What are you going to have for dessert?
  9. We stayed in this wonderfull hotel on the first night.
  10. I'm afraid we don't have enough accommodation for all our students.
One of the most unusual wedding ceremonies ever held must surely be the mass wedding that took place in midair between/Tokvo and Banqkok in 1972. This was
  1. a publicity stunt organised by the german airline
  2. Lufthansa to launtch the first commercial jumbo jet
  3. fliht of a European airline. Inviting Japanese couples
  4. to take part in a jumbo wedding the airline found itself
  5. beseaged by eager applicants. Twenty couples were selected
  6. and on the appointed day headed across the tarmac of Tokyo
  7. airport, led by a Shinto priest). The event was a curious
  8. mixture of ancient custom and commercial enterprise. After
  9. take-off, the couples were married; one by one in full
  10. traditionall dress before a Shinto shrine erected inside the
  11. cabin. At the wedding feast, the ritual drink of rice wine was
  12. served. After a stop in Bangkok, where the Wedding party was
  13. blessed by a Buddhist monk, the newlyweds' took off for
  14. a free honeymoon in the Black Forest. One couple,
  15. it seems, were espesially grateful to their hosts, naming
  16. the baby boy who arrived nine months later 'Lufthansa'.

Complete each of the following sentences with one appropriate word. (Contractions count as one word.)

  1. We had
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    leave now before it gets dark.
  2. Surely they
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    have known that you were going to take us home.
  3. I
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    possibly tell you where Gemma is. She made me promise to keep it a secret.
  4. You should have seen Petra's face when she spilt that wine on the carpet. She
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    _ have been more embarrassed.
  5. You
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    have told me that you'd already had dinner. I wouldn't have cooked if I'd known.
  6. You know you
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    have paid in cash. They have credit card facilities.
  7. They
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    ever have to work again now they have won the lottery, I
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    you need to ask your parents' permission to have a party at your house?

Unjumble the words in italics in the following sentences.

  1. I keep having these strange sslepa of concentration. I just can't explain it.
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  2. It was just a slip of the gnoteu. I didn't mean anything by it.
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  3. It may be intended as a term of nmdnreteea but to be honest I don't like it all.
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  4. There isn't a ginar of truth in these accusations.
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  5. The price of lirfuea is just too awful to contemplate.
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  6. What he considers to be his rsealp of wisdom are in fact just outdated cliches!
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  7. I think I am without fear of rnnccttooiida when I describe this as the best year we have ever had.
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  8. We had a slight difference of nniooip but it was certainly no more than that.
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