# Modals For English 3: Possibility And Probability

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A modals quiz made by Ms Usher for English 3 students.

• 1.

### Which of these modals are used to express possibility? (3).

• A.

Must

• B.

May

• C.

Might

• D.

Could

• E.

Must have

B. May
C. Might
D. Could
Explanation
May, might, and could are all modals that are used to express possibility. They indicate that something is possible or likely to happen. These modals suggest a level of uncertainty or speculation about a situation. "Must" and "must have" are not used to express possibility, but rather to express certainty or a strong belief about something. Therefore, the correct answer is may, might, and could.

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• 2.

### Which of these modals are used to express probability? (2)

• A.

Might

• B.

Must

• C.

May

• D.

Must have

• E.

Could have

B. Must
D. Must have
Explanation
The modals "must" and "must have" are used to express probability. "Must" indicates a strong belief or certainty about a situation, while "must have" suggests a strong belief or certainty about a past event or action. Both modals imply a high level of probability.

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• 3.

### Is this sentence expressing possibility or probability?It's April, and autumn here, so it must be spring in the Northern hemisphere.

• A.

Possibility

• B.

Probability

B. Probability
Explanation
The sentence suggests that it is currently April and autumn in the speaker's location. Based on this information, the speaker concludes that it must be spring in the Northern hemisphere. This implies a logical connection between the current season in the speaker's location and the probable season in the Northern hemisphere. Therefore, the sentence expresses probability rather than possibility.

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• 4.

### Does this sentence express possibility or probability? In Europe, the weather may be starting to get warmer. April, is often cold, though. Occasionally it snows in parts of Britain!

• A.

Possibility

• B.

Probability

A. Possibility
Explanation
The sentence "In Europe, the weather may be starting to get warmer" suggests that there is a chance or likelihood of the weather becoming warmer in Europe. This indicates a possibility rather than a certainty or probability. The mention of April being often cold and occasional snow in parts of Britain further supports the idea that the statement expresses possibility rather than probability.

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• 5.

### Fill in the blank. Winter 2009-2010 in Europe was unusually cold. There may be an upside, though: weather experts are saying that the hayfever season _____ be shorter this spring and summer.

may
might
could
Explanation
The word "may" is used to express possibility, indicating that there is a chance that the hayfever season will be shorter. Similarly, "might" is also used to express possibility, suggesting that there is a possibility of a shorter hayfever season. "Could" is another word used to express possibility, indicating that there is a potential for a shorter hayfever season.

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• 6.

### Fill in the blank. However, the experts ____ be wrong! It is still very difficult to predict the unpredictable, like pollen counts and the weather.

may
might
could
Explanation
The word "may" is used to express possibility or permission, while "might" is used to express a smaller possibility or uncertainty. "Could" is used to express a possibility or ability. In this context, all three words convey the idea that the experts have the potential to be wrong. The sentence suggests that predicting unpredictable things like pollen counts and the weather is difficult, so it is possible that the experts' predictions may not always be accurate.

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• 7.

### Fill in the blank. But the British think that this summer _______ be warmer. They deserve it - last summer, the weather was awful!

must
Explanation
The British are hoping that it will be warmer, 'must' is used as it is stronger than 'might' or 'may', and more probable.

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• 8.

### Fill in the blank:The weather last summer ________ lost some businesses a lot of money. For example, campsites saw their bookings decline, and beaches were often empty.

must have
Explanation
The use of "must have" suggests a strong possibility or likelihood that the weather last summer caused businesses to lose money. This is supported by the examples given, such as campsites experiencing a decline in bookings and beaches being frequently empty. The phrase implies that the impact of the weather on these businesses was almost certain.

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• 9.

### Fill in the blank:However, it is possible, that other businesses __________ benefited: for example, the weather meant that more people went to the cinema.

may have
might have
could have
Explanation
The correct answer is "may have, might have, could have". These options are used to express possibilities or uncertainty about whether other businesses benefited. They indicate that it is possible for other businesses to have benefited, but it is not certain.

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• 10.

### Fill in the blank. In past years, to avoid the British summer weather, many _________ gone abroad for their holidays. However, the recession has meant that many people are struggling financially.

might have
may have
could have
Explanation
In past years, to avoid the British summer weather, many people might have, may have, or could have gone abroad for their holidays. However, the recession has meant that many people are struggling financially.

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• 11.

### Fill in the blanks. The recession _____ mean, however, more business for UK tourism this summer. But that's only if the weather is good!

could
may
might
Explanation
The words "could," "may," and "might" are all modal verbs that express possibility. In this context, they suggest that the recession may or may not result in more business for UK tourism this summer. The final statement about good weather further emphasizes the uncertain nature of the situation.

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