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Past modals of deduction Ė might have, could have, canít have

Before the activity starts, complete the sentences yourself without showing the class what you have written. Put students into pairs to discuss which answers are the most likely in the situation. Then go through the questions, keeping a score of how many correct( or nearly correct) answers each pair guessed.



Try to guess how your teacher has completed these sentences.

You get a point for every answer which is the same as or similar to your teacherís answer.


†††††† 1††† Your brother always phones you on your birthday.

†††††††††††† Yesterday was your birthday but he didnít phone you.


††††††††††††† He canít have ______________________________.

††††††††††††† He must have ______________________________.


†††††† 2††† You are usually at the top of the class for spelling in your English lessons, but the teacher

†††††††††††† tells you that all your answers are incorrect. You donít believe it.


††††††††††††† I canít have _________________________________.

†††††††††††† The teacher must have _______________________.


†††††† 3†† Your cousin told you she was going to marry a Hollywood actor.


††††††††††††† She canít have ______________________________.

††††††††††††† She must have ______________________________.


†††††† 4††† Yesterday you ate seafood in a restaurant. Youíve been sick all night and you feel terrible.


††††††††††††† I must have _________________________________.

††††††††††††† The ________ might not have _________________ .


†††††† 5†††† Your English teacher gives you a list of fifty phrasal verbs to learn.

††††††††††††† After only five minutes you say ĎIíve finished!í Your teacher saysÖ


††††††††††††† You canít have ______________________________.

††††††††††††† You must have ______________________________.


†††††† 6†† You invited some friends round to your home.

††††† †††††††Theyíve been to your house before and they know the way, but they have rather an old car.


††††††††††††† They canít have _______________________________.

††††††††††††† Their car might have ___________________________.


†††††† 7††† You sent an email to a colleague to phone you urgently as soon as he got to the office.

†††††† That was yesterday and your colleague still hasnít called.


††††††††††††† He might not have ____________________________.

††††††††††††† He canít have ________________________________.


†††††† 8††† The lights were on in Sallyís apartment but she didnít

†††††††††††† answer the door when you rang the doorbell.


††††††††††††† She might have ______________________________.

††††††††††††† She mightnot have __________________________.


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