Lesson 1 - Grammar - FILM AND THEATRE - Page1
GRAMMAR: modal verbs – speculating (present, past)
Imagine there is someone knocking on your door.
If you are expecting somebody - for example your friend Jessica promised to visit you - you’re almost sure it’s her, so you’d say:
It must be Jessica.
If you know that Jessica is somewhere else because she’s just called you, you are sure it’s not her, so you’d say:
It can’t be Jessica.
If you don’t really know who it is but it’s possible that it is Jessica, you’d say:
It may be Jessica.
It could be Jessica.
It might be Jessica.
You may also speculate about what people are doing at the moment. Then you use the continuous for of the verb.
Jessica must be working at home today – she’s not in the office.
Jessica can’t be working now because I’ve just seen her driving home.
Jessica may/might/could be working now but I don’t really know. She may be shopping.