Check Our Latest Update

6 Kesalahan Berbahasa Inggris Dalam Materi "Asking And Giving Opinions"

S aat mempelajari materi " Asking and Giving Opinions " dalam mata pelajaran bahasa Inggris, seringkali siswa harus melakukan unj...

Home Dialogue Grammar Modal Speaking English Dialogue: Expressing Past Probability With Modals + Perfective

March 06, 2020

English Dialogue: Expressing Past Probability With Modals + Perfective

English Dialogue: Expressing Past Probability With Modals + Perfective
Are you familiar with the structure of these sentences?
  • You should have informed me earlier.
  • How could you have done that to him?
  • They might have lost their way in the forest.
Pay attention to the underlined phrases in the above sentences. They are often referred to as "modal + perfective", and are used to express various degrees of certainty, prabibility, or advisability in the past. You can learn more about the structure and uses here.
A. Practice the dialogue below.
Betty is waiting for Jim to come home from work. It is raining outside and it is dark, and Betty is worried about Jim. Then she hears a car stopping.
BettyAh! That must be Jim now. I'll open the door for him ....
Hello, darling. Oh! Your clothes are so wet.
JimYes, darling. I forgot to take my umbrella today.
BettyBut it was raining a little this morning when you left for work.
JimI know, but I must have forgotten to take my umbrella.
BettyWhat a pity! Never mind, go and put on some dry clothes.
JimI'll put on some dry clothes in a minute, Betty. At the moment I'm very worried.
BettyWhy, darling?
JimBecause I've lost my briefcase.
BettyOh, Jim. That's bad luck! Do you know where you lost it?
JimNo, that's the trouble. I might have lost it anywhere.
BettyBut a briefcase is quite a large thing. How could you have lost it?
JimI don't know. I may have left it in the coffee lounge where I had a cup of coffee this morning.
BettyWhy don't you phone the coffee lounge?
JimI phoned them this afternoon, but it wasn't there. I suppose someone could have picked it up before I rang.
BettyI suppose so. Did you look in other places in your office? You might have put it in a different place.
JimI don't think so, Betty. I thought I might have put it in a different place in the office, but we all looked for it and we couldn't find it.
BettyAnd was there anything very important in your briefcase, Jim?
JimYes, unfortunately. I had the plans of a new bridge in it.
BettyOh, Jim! If you had important plans in your briefcase, you should have been more careful!
JimYes, you're quite right! ... Oh well, I suppose I'd better put some dry clothes on.
BettyNow, Jim, you must hurry. You should have put dry clothes on as soon as you came home. Why didn't you take your umbrella? Now hurry and change your clothes.
JimAll right, Betty. I won't be long ... Betty! I didn't lose my briefcase after all! Here it is! I must have forgotten to take it this morning.
BettyOh, I'm so glad. So you needn't have worried all day. You didn't lose anything. That's good.
JimBut - er, - Betty! I - er - must have taken my umbrella after all, because it isn't there now.
BettyOh dear! You are silly sometimes, Jim. You must have lost your umbrella, not your briefcase.
(Adapted from: Radio Australia - English for You, Lesson No. 96)
Exercise
Answer the following questions
  1. What is the main topic of the above conversation?
  2. Betty said, "But it was raining a little this morning when you left for work."
    What did Betty most probably mean? Choose the best answer.
    1. She suggested that Jim should bring his umbrella with him.
    2. Jim shouldn't have left for work because of the rain.
    3. It was very unlikely that Jim had left his umbrella at home.
    4. It was probable that Jim had left his umbrella in his office.
  3. Why was Jim very worried?
  4. What was in his briefcase?
  5. Jim said, "I may have left it in the coffee lounge ...."
    What does Jim's sentence imply? Choose the best answer.
    1. He felt he should not leave his briefcase in the coffee lounge.
    2. He was sure that he may leave his briefcase in the coffee lounge.
    3. It was certain that he had not left his briefcase in the coffee lounge.
    4. He thought he had possibly left his briefcase in the coffee lounge.
  6. Did Jim really lose his briefcase? Where did he find it at last?
  7. What actually happened with his briefcase?
  8. What did he actually lose?
  9. What must have happened with the umbrella?
  10. Please copy all the italicized verbs and indicate whether they express certainty, probability, or advisability.
Prev: Crossword 2, 8/21/11, 8:53 PM, PV 3142

Recommended

Mister Guru

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. – Mark Twain

  • Newsletter

    Send me new articles by email