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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Modals     




Hi dear colleagues

I have disagreed with one of my colleagues about the answers of the following activity, so I would be very grateful if you could help me and give me the answers
fill in the gaps with: may, can, can t, might

whales are aquatic mammals. They _______ live in closed seas, but only in oceans. They _____ weigh more than a ton. In a few years, they _______ disappear because man is chasing them illegally.

mine were: cant, can,  may

hers were:  can t, may, might

which is correct

22 Jan 2012      


     In my opinion both of you are right because the use of modal verbs depends on the possible interpretation you give to the text. Both sound good to me.

22 Jan 2012     

sarrah mohammed

Hi Asma, 
I think both of you are correct except in the second blank ; I think hers is correct because it expresses a possibility ! 
best regards

22 Jan 2012     

United States

In US English, "may" and "might" are essentially the same (except when "may" is used for permission), so I agree with all the answers.

22 Jan 2012     


thank you ver much Yolanda for your answer
@sarrah thank you so much for answering my question but   can expresses  possibility also, doesn t it? for the third blank "might" is used when we are less sure and here there is the sentence "because man is chasing them illegally" which makes us more sure 

22 Jan 2012     


thank you Bruce, but what about the second blank? is it can or may 

22 Jan 2012     

Czech Republic

IMHO the second blank: can or may, both are right... 

22 Jan 2012     


thank you dear friends for your precious help Thumbs Up

23 Jan 2012