BE

used not to

The following rare student writing example shows how ‘used not to’ expresses modality: Also when I was younger, I used not to be allowed to drink coffee. PELIC Korean female level 3 grammar class. It sounds more natural to say: “I didn’t use to be allowed to drink coffee.” *In other words, she did not have permission to drink coffee.  Although now she is an adult and can. Point 227 …

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Academic IELTS grammar for task 1

I’m often asked by my students just before they take an IELTS test for some quick tips on what to study before a particular task.  Therefore, in this post, I will summarise the salient grammar and vocabulary features I found in very good introductions and overviews in the Academic IELTS  Task 1 tests using our …

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BE | HAVE | DO (auxiliary verbs)

Here is another group of A2 English Grammar Profile points that overlap multiple categories.  Many of these could be all merged into one point. Point 3 in the category of QUESTIONS: yes/no AUXILIARY ‘BE’ + subject + the continuous Point 5 in QUESTIONS: MAIN VERB ‘BE’ + subject to form ‘yes/no’ question Point 40 in …

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will not be VERBing

Point 32 in the category of FUTURE is defined: future continuous NEGATIVE WITH ‘WILL’ (won’t) An iWeb search for: wo|will _X be _VVG 1 WO N’T BE GETTING 2959 2 WO N’T BE GOING 2821 3 WO N’T BE USING 2817 4 WILL NOT BE USING 2040 5 WO N’T BE MAKING 1550 6 WILL …

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can be

Point 98 in the category of modality is defined: GENERAL TRUTHS AND TENDENCIES: ‘can be’ TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: Their students can get good grades and their income can be higher. male China B1 We follow the EGP example patterns in iWeb: _NN can_VM be _R _J 1 RATES CAN BE AS HIGH 102 2 RATE CAN BE AS HIGH 92 3 INFORMATION CAN …

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It can | could + be + said | argued | concluded | considered

The pronoun ‘it’ can be used where the subject is unclear at C1, and verbs such as ‘conclude’ are only used by C1 learners.  For example: It was concluded that it never existed. However, this post is about reporting with modal verbs. C1 point 208 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘can’ in passive reporting clauses in a more formal impersonal …

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negation with modality ‘not necessarily’

Here are examples of using stance adverbs with negative modality: It will not necessarily be progress for India if she simply imports the unhappiness of the West. listen Now‘s not actually a great time to talk. listen Here are two formally overlapping C1 grammar points in the English Grammar Profile: Point 200 in MODALITY/adverbs is defined as: ‘NOT NECESSARILY to express a possible exception to a general perception, i.e. not in every case. Point 23 …

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may | might + FUTURE CONTINUOUS

C1 English Grammar point 65 in future is defined as: EXPECTATIONS WITH ‘MIGHT’ OR ‘MAY’ potentially in progress at a specified or understood time in the future. A search in iWeb: might|may_V be _VVG *Not all of these are about the future.   1 MAY BE WONDERING 10730 2 MAY BE LOOKING 8324 3 MIGHT BE …

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‘WH’ questions

‘WH-‘ questions expect a reply that supplies information. The wh-word can be a pronoun: What made you think that? (listen to this question) adverb: Where did it go? (listen) or a determiner: Which part? (listen) Here are many entries at A2 in the English Grammar Profile that catch the same question complexity. Point 2 in the category of …

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will be able to

‘you will be able to‘ is the 6th most frequent 5-word Ngram in English. iWeb 135,128 Here’s an example: Well, I highly doubt that you will be able to get a job good enough to do that. listen A2 Point 36 in MODALITY and expressions with ‘BE’ is defined as: ‘will’ + ‘be able to’ + infinitive to talk about possibility and ability. Also, see …

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BE + bound | likely | meant | obliged + TO

*There is an interactive word tree exercise for this B2 grammar here. B2 English Grammar Profile point 152 in MODALITY overlaps many other modality points.  So here we will cover those not already covered elsewhere. It is defined as: the full range of expressions with ‘be’ + infinitive (‘be likely to’, ‘be due to’, ‘be …

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‘She should be looking for a job’ (SHOULD BE + verb ING)

Let’s look at an example in student writing: In Korea, it is so common that women should be looking for a job after divorce. PELIC Korean female level 4 writing. ‘Should’ can express obligation or expectation.  ‘Should’ can be used with a continuous form: Should be + lookING In the English Grammar Profile at B2, there are 3 points covering ‘should + continuous form’.  Points 141 (general), 164 and …

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