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1
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
In UNIT 5 we already saw Modal Verbs; here you have a SUMMARY:
1. Structure: Modal verb + Bare infinitive (infinitive without “to”)
2. Modal verbs belong to the category of auxiliary (helping) verbs. We do not use them on their
own but instead we have to use them together with another (main) verb.
3. Modal verbs express (1) ability, (2) asking permission (3) giving permission (4) possibility,
(5) request (6) necessity (7) obligation, …
Let’s see some examples:
TYPE USE MODAL VERBS EXAMPLE
1 expressing ability CAN Natàlia can drive.
2 asking for permission MAY, CAN, COULD May / can / could I borrow your dictionary?
3 giving permission MAY, CAN You may / can use my laptop.
4 refusing permission, prohibition CAN'T, MAY NOT You can’t / may not talk in the exam
5 requests CAN, COULD Can / could you give me some advice?
6 necessity MUST, HAD TO (past of must) I must see the doctor today. / I had to see the doctor yesterday
7 obligation OUGHT TO / SHOULD (also MUST) I ought to / should / must finish the project today.
→ In this session we’ll just see “modals for ability”; check contents of UNIT 5 on my blog if you
need to see other uses of modals.
2
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
3
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
RULES
To express ability, we use "can", "could" and "be able to". Which of them is the most appropriate will
depend on whether we are talking about the present, past or future.
1. Use _______ or _________ to talk about PRESENT and FUTURE abilities
2. Use _________ or _________
CAN CAN’T
COULD COULDN’T
to talk about PAST abilities
3. Use ___________BE ABLE TO
to talk about abilities in ALL TENSES (present - past - future)
□To change tense to the past we just
need to change the verb TO BE to the
appropriate form (was /were able to)
□ For the future, we use WILL be able to
or
□ am / is / are going to be able to
→ To make negative sentences we just need to place NOT after the verb TO BE; with WILL we place
NOT between “will” and “be”
→ Let’s see some examples on next page
4
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
REMEMBER: The form of the main verb that comes after a Modal is the bare infinitive:
-They can ________ three foreign languages.
- When I was a child I could _________ ballet.
speak
dance
bare infinitive
Notice that “be able to” is a “semi-modal” and it has the particle “to” as part of its form.
TENSES and NEGATIVE with “be able to”
1.Present
□ Xavi is able to work and study English at the same time.
□ Sandra is able to do her English and University homework without problems.
□ Some students are able to study for free in this Centre.
□ I am able to teach three different languages.
→ To make negative sentences, we only need to add NOT after the verb TO BE. Please,
change the above sentences to negative.
5
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
2. Past simple:
□ With my savings, I was able to buy a new computer a week ago.
□ My students were able to have three days off last month.
→ Can you say the above sentences in the negative?
3. Future:
□ You will be able to pass your exam easily.
□ My students will be able to relax by the middle of June.
→ Can you say the above sentences in the negative?
6
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
SUMMARY
Ability = to have skills, power or the means to do something
CAN
□ I can play tennis (present)
□ I can help you to mend the computer tomorrow (future)
COULD □ Motzar could play the piano when he was three years old. (past)
□ I am able to ride a horse. (present)
□ My sister was able to swim when she was four. (past)
BE ABLE TO (any tense) □ The students will be able to pass their FCE exam in a few weeks. (future)
□ I have been able to prepare this lesson in two hours. (present perfect)
When we talk about specific achievements in the past we use “BE ABLE TO” (Not “could”)
e.g. I was able to win a short story competition at secondary school. (Not I could win…)
(Here the meaning is not ability but rather “managed, succeeded “.)
→ If we use “could” in this context the meaning changes to an imaginary posibilty in the future.
7
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
PRACTICE
What can you say about these people?
1. Peter’s grandparents were very good dacers: 2. Mary swims very well.
3. My granny ran a car race in the 60s.
4. I’m taking guitar lessons. I’ll play well in three months.
8
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
5. Saint George managed to kill the dragon. 6. They succeeded in getting some good bargains in the sales.
9
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
Possible answers
1. Peter’s grandparents could dace very well.
2. Mary can swim very well
3. My granny could run a car race in 60s. ( = was allowed to)
4. … I’ll be able to play well in three months.
5. Saint George was abe to kill the dragon. (= managed to do it)
6. They were able to get some good bargains in the sales. (succeeded in getting)
REMEMBER!!
For positive specific achievements we can ONLY use “BE ABLE TO” (see examples 5 and 6 above).
BUT both could and be able to can be used to say that we were not capable of doing something
on a specific occasion.
Example:
-In spite of climbing for hours, we couldn’t get to the top of the mountain.
OR
- In spite of climbing for hours, we weren’t able to get to the top of the mountain.
10
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
Example: I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Here is a list with the most commond type:
A B C D E D F G I K
accuse of
adjust to
(dis) agree with
admit to
apologize for
approve of
ask about
ask for
begin by
believe in
benefit from
be used to
blame for
care for
carry on
complain about
concentrate on
congratulate on
consist of
cope with
count on
decide against
decide for
depend on
die of
dream about / of
escape from depend on
dream about/of
feel like
forgive for
get on with
get used to
give up
insist on keep on
L O P R S T U V W
laugh about
look forward to
object to pay for
prevent sb. from
protect from
put off
put up with
rely on
resort to
spend money on
spend time on
succeed in
suspect of
take part in
talk about / of
thank for
think of /about
use for vote for warn against
worry about
11
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
Activity:
get have sell introduce go be call kill smoke
Fill in the blanks with the verbs from the box above, some verbs can be used more than once:
1. After being stopped by the police, George admitted to ___________ drunk two pints of beer.
2. She apologised for not ______________ herself sooner.
3. He is always boasting about ____________ met the Queen.
4. The students complained about ___________ given too much homework.
5. The suspect never confessed to ______________ his wife.
6. Could you give up _____________?
7. Mike insisted on _____________ an ambulance.
8. We laughed about ___________ to do such silly exercises.
9. I objected to him _____________ me a liar.
10. Do you put off __________ to the dentist?
11. My sister is always talking about ____________ her hair dyed.
12. Do you ever think about ______________ married and having children?
13. In order to pay his doubts, he had to resurt to ____________ his house.
12
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
ANSWER
1. After being stopped by the police, George admitted to having drunk two pints of
beer.
2. She apologised for not introducing herself sooner.
3. He is always boasting about having met the president.
4. The students complained about being given too much homework.
5. The suspect never confessed to killing his wife.
6. Could you give up smoking?
7. Mike insisted on calling an ambulance.
8. We laughed about having to do such silly exercises.
9. I objected to him calling me a liar.
10. Do you put off going to the dentist?
11. My sister is always talking about having her hair dyed.
12. Do you ever think about getting married and having children?
13. In order to pay his doubts, he had to resurt to selling his house.
13
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
REMEMBER!!
"to" + gerund when it is a preposition which can be:
(1) Part of a phrasal verb or a verb + preposition combination.
Examples:
- I look forward to meeting you at the party.
- She confessed to having stolen the money.
-They objected to spending so much time at the office.
(2) Part of an adjective + preposition combination.
Examples:
- The teacher is committed to improving her students' knowledge.
- Children are addicted to playing videogames.
- The government is opposed to increasing taxes again this year.
-Juan wants to work as taxi driver in London, but he isn't used to driving
-on the left.
(3) Part of a noun + preposition combination.
Examples:
- Her great dedication to teaching motivate her students.
- Nurses' devotion to helping patients is admired by everyone.
- His addiction to gambling has ruined his family.
to as
preposition
Preposition
I am used to driving on the left.
I am used to animals.
to as
infinitive
Infinitive
I used to drive on the left.
I used to smoke after breakfast.
Bear this table in mind:
14
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
1. Do (Intangible)
We use the verb 'do' when someone performs an action, activity or task.
These activities do not usually produce a physical object.
2. Make (Tangible)
We use the verb 'make' for constructing, building or creating
These activities usually create something that you can touch.
make do
a mistake
a profit/loss
money/millions
a fortune
friends
war
a noise
a mess
fun of someone
a phone call
progress
a difference
the ironing
the housework
your homework
business
well/badly
sth wrong/right
your best
damage/harm
sb a favour
□ There are many, many fixed expressions with 'make' and 'do'. Unfortunately, they don't follow a fixed rule, so you
have to learn them. Sorry about that!
□ Here is little list with some common uses to help you:
15
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
ACTIVITY:
Fill in the gaps with "make" or "do"
1. Have you ___________ all the arrangement yet?
2. Before you go out, you have tot _________ your homework.
3. The house was a desastre. The children have _________ a terrible mess.
4. We usually _________ the shopping on Saturday.
5. They are __________ plans for the wedding.
6. I always _______ bed before I go out.
Do vs Make
16
FCE
by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13
Do vs Make
ANSWER
1. make
2. do
3. made
4. do
5. making
6. make
 EndEnd

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Unit 13 Grammar Contents: Modals expressing ability, verbs with prepositions followed by the gerund and Make vs Do

  • 1. 1 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 In UNIT 5 we already saw Modal Verbs; here you have a SUMMARY: 1. Structure: Modal verb + Bare infinitive (infinitive without “to”) 2. Modal verbs belong to the category of auxiliary (helping) verbs. We do not use them on their own but instead we have to use them together with another (main) verb. 3. Modal verbs express (1) ability, (2) asking permission (3) giving permission (4) possibility, (5) request (6) necessity (7) obligation, … Let’s see some examples: TYPE USE MODAL VERBS EXAMPLE 1 expressing ability CAN Natàlia can drive. 2 asking for permission MAY, CAN, COULD May / can / could I borrow your dictionary? 3 giving permission MAY, CAN You may / can use my laptop. 4 refusing permission, prohibition CAN'T, MAY NOT You can’t / may not talk in the exam 5 requests CAN, COULD Can / could you give me some advice? 6 necessity MUST, HAD TO (past of must) I must see the doctor today. / I had to see the doctor yesterday 7 obligation OUGHT TO / SHOULD (also MUST) I ought to / should / must finish the project today. → In this session we’ll just see “modals for ability”; check contents of UNIT 5 on my blog if you need to see other uses of modals.
  • 3. 3 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 RULES To express ability, we use "can", "could" and "be able to". Which of them is the most appropriate will depend on whether we are talking about the present, past or future. 1. Use _______ or _________ to talk about PRESENT and FUTURE abilities 2. Use _________ or _________ CAN CAN’T COULD COULDN’T to talk about PAST abilities 3. Use ___________BE ABLE TO to talk about abilities in ALL TENSES (present - past - future) □To change tense to the past we just need to change the verb TO BE to the appropriate form (was /were able to) □ For the future, we use WILL be able to or □ am / is / are going to be able to → To make negative sentences we just need to place NOT after the verb TO BE; with WILL we place NOT between “will” and “be” → Let’s see some examples on next page
  • 4. 4 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 REMEMBER: The form of the main verb that comes after a Modal is the bare infinitive: -They can ________ three foreign languages. - When I was a child I could _________ ballet. speak dance bare infinitive Notice that “be able to” is a “semi-modal” and it has the particle “to” as part of its form. TENSES and NEGATIVE with “be able to” 1.Present □ Xavi is able to work and study English at the same time. □ Sandra is able to do her English and University homework without problems. □ Some students are able to study for free in this Centre. □ I am able to teach three different languages. → To make negative sentences, we only need to add NOT after the verb TO BE. Please, change the above sentences to negative.
  • 5. 5 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 2. Past simple: □ With my savings, I was able to buy a new computer a week ago. □ My students were able to have three days off last month. → Can you say the above sentences in the negative? 3. Future: □ You will be able to pass your exam easily. □ My students will be able to relax by the middle of June. → Can you say the above sentences in the negative?
  • 6. 6 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 SUMMARY Ability = to have skills, power or the means to do something CAN □ I can play tennis (present) □ I can help you to mend the computer tomorrow (future) COULD □ Motzar could play the piano when he was three years old. (past) □ I am able to ride a horse. (present) □ My sister was able to swim when she was four. (past) BE ABLE TO (any tense) □ The students will be able to pass their FCE exam in a few weeks. (future) □ I have been able to prepare this lesson in two hours. (present perfect) When we talk about specific achievements in the past we use “BE ABLE TO” (Not “could”) e.g. I was able to win a short story competition at secondary school. (Not I could win…) (Here the meaning is not ability but rather “managed, succeeded “.) → If we use “could” in this context the meaning changes to an imaginary posibilty in the future.
  • 7. 7 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 PRACTICE What can you say about these people? 1. Peter’s grandparents were very good dacers: 2. Mary swims very well. 3. My granny ran a car race in the 60s. 4. I’m taking guitar lessons. I’ll play well in three months.
  • 8. 8 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 5. Saint George managed to kill the dragon. 6. They succeeded in getting some good bargains in the sales.
  • 9. 9 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 Possible answers 1. Peter’s grandparents could dace very well. 2. Mary can swim very well 3. My granny could run a car race in 60s. ( = was allowed to) 4. … I’ll be able to play well in three months. 5. Saint George was abe to kill the dragon. (= managed to do it) 6. They were able to get some good bargains in the sales. (succeeded in getting) REMEMBER!! For positive specific achievements we can ONLY use “BE ABLE TO” (see examples 5 and 6 above). BUT both could and be able to can be used to say that we were not capable of doing something on a specific occasion. Example: -In spite of climbing for hours, we couldn’t get to the top of the mountain. OR - In spite of climbing for hours, we weren’t able to get to the top of the mountain.
  • 10. 10 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 Example: I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon. Here is a list with the most commond type: A B C D E D F G I K accuse of adjust to (dis) agree with admit to apologize for approve of ask about ask for begin by believe in benefit from be used to blame for care for carry on complain about concentrate on congratulate on consist of cope with count on decide against decide for depend on die of dream about / of escape from depend on dream about/of feel like forgive for get on with get used to give up insist on keep on L O P R S T U V W laugh about look forward to object to pay for prevent sb. from protect from put off put up with rely on resort to spend money on spend time on succeed in suspect of take part in talk about / of thank for think of /about use for vote for warn against worry about
  • 11. 11 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 Activity: get have sell introduce go be call kill smoke Fill in the blanks with the verbs from the box above, some verbs can be used more than once: 1. After being stopped by the police, George admitted to ___________ drunk two pints of beer. 2. She apologised for not ______________ herself sooner. 3. He is always boasting about ____________ met the Queen. 4. The students complained about ___________ given too much homework. 5. The suspect never confessed to ______________ his wife. 6. Could you give up _____________? 7. Mike insisted on _____________ an ambulance. 8. We laughed about ___________ to do such silly exercises. 9. I objected to him _____________ me a liar. 10. Do you put off __________ to the dentist? 11. My sister is always talking about ____________ her hair dyed. 12. Do you ever think about ______________ married and having children? 13. In order to pay his doubts, he had to resurt to ____________ his house.
  • 12. 12 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 ANSWER 1. After being stopped by the police, George admitted to having drunk two pints of beer. 2. She apologised for not introducing herself sooner. 3. He is always boasting about having met the president. 4. The students complained about being given too much homework. 5. The suspect never confessed to killing his wife. 6. Could you give up smoking? 7. Mike insisted on calling an ambulance. 8. We laughed about having to do such silly exercises. 9. I objected to him calling me a liar. 10. Do you put off going to the dentist? 11. My sister is always talking about having her hair dyed. 12. Do you ever think about getting married and having children? 13. In order to pay his doubts, he had to resurt to selling his house.
  • 13. 13 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 REMEMBER!! "to" + gerund when it is a preposition which can be: (1) Part of a phrasal verb or a verb + preposition combination. Examples: - I look forward to meeting you at the party. - She confessed to having stolen the money. -They objected to spending so much time at the office. (2) Part of an adjective + preposition combination. Examples: - The teacher is committed to improving her students' knowledge. - Children are addicted to playing videogames. - The government is opposed to increasing taxes again this year. -Juan wants to work as taxi driver in London, but he isn't used to driving -on the left. (3) Part of a noun + preposition combination. Examples: - Her great dedication to teaching motivate her students. - Nurses' devotion to helping patients is admired by everyone. - His addiction to gambling has ruined his family. to as preposition Preposition I am used to driving on the left. I am used to animals. to as infinitive Infinitive I used to drive on the left. I used to smoke after breakfast. Bear this table in mind:
  • 14. 14 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 1. Do (Intangible) We use the verb 'do' when someone performs an action, activity or task. These activities do not usually produce a physical object. 2. Make (Tangible) We use the verb 'make' for constructing, building or creating These activities usually create something that you can touch. make do a mistake a profit/loss money/millions a fortune friends war a noise a mess fun of someone a phone call progress a difference the ironing the housework your homework business well/badly sth wrong/right your best damage/harm sb a favour □ There are many, many fixed expressions with 'make' and 'do'. Unfortunately, they don't follow a fixed rule, so you have to learn them. Sorry about that! □ Here is little list with some common uses to help you:
  • 15. 15 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 ACTIVITY: Fill in the gaps with "make" or "do" 1. Have you ___________ all the arrangement yet? 2. Before you go out, you have tot _________ your homework. 3. The house was a desastre. The children have _________ a terrible mess. 4. We usually _________ the shopping on Saturday. 5. They are __________ plans for the wedding. 6. I always _______ bed before I go out. Do vs Make
  • 16. 16 FCE by Matifmarin GRAMMAR – UNIT 13 Do vs Make ANSWER 1. make 2. do 3. made 4. do 5. making 6. make  EndEnd