Saturday 14 July 2012

CBSE Class 9 English (C) - Unit 4 - MODALS
Unit 4 - MODALS

A. Ability
1. What are the ten different ways in which you can use a ruler other than its regular use? List your answer below.

     e.g. You can use it to dig holes.


  1. You can play with it by balancing on figure tip.
  2. You may use it to draw lines
  3. You can use it to measure depth of an utensil.
  4. You can kill house flies with it.
  5. You can tear paper with the help of it.
  6. You may scratch on plaster of paris and draw art.

2. Do you see any difference in the following sentences?
    a. You can use a ruler to dig holes.
    b. You can use my ruler to dig holes.
    c. You can find a ruler in the study room.

Can is used to express permission, ability, and possibility in these sentences.

In sentence (a) can is used to express _ability______ .

In sentence (b) can is used to express __permission____ and,

in sentence (c) can is used to express__possibility____ .

Can, could, may, might, will, would, must, ought to, shall, should are called Modal verbs.

3.  Work in pairs. Tell your partner what you are not able to do now because of the fast-paced life.
      e.g. I could play in the open ground but now I can't.

  • I could visit my aunt on weekends but now I can't.
  • I wish I could help you in match preparation but now I can't.
4. Write a paragraph about a newly devised robot that can be of great help to home-makers.

Zoomo, the robot can make tea when guests arrive ...

Answer: Zoomo, the robot can make tea when guests arrive at your home. It cam mop floor and wash dishes. It can bring newspaper or post when it arrives. It can wash and iron your clothes. It can answer your phone and can record voice message. It can sing lullabies and baby sit. No doubt, Zoomo is your all in one assistant.

B. Necessity, Obligation and Permission

6. Write the contracted forms. Practise saying these words.

            e.g. ought not to - oughtn't to.
          cannot __can't__                                   must not __mustn't_
          need not _needn't_                                do not __don't_
          should not _shouldn't_                          did not __didn't_

7. The following note comes from an army booklet, "Advice to New Recruits." Complete the instructions by filling in the blanks with suitable modals.

Welcome To Ranor Barracks!
Follow the rules, accept the advice and you will find your life in the army interesting and fulfilling.

You _must_ have your hair cut very short in the first month. After that you _can_ grow it longer but it _must_ never touch your collar. Your uniform _must_ be kept clean and tidy. Boots and buttons have to__ be polished daily. You _may_ use cell phones on the campus but you _have to__ switch them off during the training sessions. Before joining you _must_ have a medical check-up. You _must/will_ undergo medical examinations once a year during service.

8. Write what each symbol means using can, can't, must, mustn't.

1. You must not waste water.

2.  Pedestrian must not cross if red light flashing.

3. You can use these two knobs as shown by two down arrows, to increase or decrease volume  of right and left speakers.

4. You cannot enter the park with dogs unleashed.

5. You must stop you vehicle for police check up.

C : Duties and Privileges
9. In some schools the student - council members are assigned duties at the beginning of every academic year.

Write a job description to be given to the newly elected Environment Monitor of your school.
You may do this individually. Later your class as a whole can come out with one duty list to be displayed on the soft-board. You may use the words given in the box below.

can, may, can't, mustn't, must, should, have to.

9.1 Duties and privileges of an Environment Monitor.
    e.g. You must ensure that the campus is clean.

Answer: You must help teacher maintain a neat and organized classroom. You should regularly inspect classrooms and can assign duties to class monitors to participate in cleanliness drives. You must ensure pure water is provided to all. You may impose fine on students found throwing garbage in school premises. You have to help new students learn how to keep school tidy and clean. You should instruct class room monitors to switch off lights and fans when all of the class fellows have left. You should run interactive educational programmes to bring awareness about healthy habits, cleanliness, pollution and how save/protect our environment.

Did you know?
should and ought to have similar meanings. They show obligation or duty.
However there is a slight difference in meaning.

ought to has an objective meaning whereas should is more subjective.
We ought to / should save water.

We ought to save money but we are unable to. (In this sentence should will not be appropriate.).

D : Probability
10. The following statements express varying degrees of certainty. Look at the underlined modals in each of the statements. Then number the sentences in order of certainty. Mark the sentence No. 1 if it is most likely certain and the least likely as no. 5.


a)       The lady in the formal attire may be Mr. Chawla's secretary.              (a) 1
b)The foreigners accompanying him could be the newly
appointed interpreters.  
(b) 3
c)The man in the safari talking to someone on
the cell phone must be Mr. Chawla.
(c) 5
d)Mr. Chawla will be the chief guest.(d) 5
e)The people following him might be from the media.(e) 2

Did you know?
        will be                         expresses                                 certainty
         could be                     expresses                                  probability (more likely)
         may be                       expresses                                  possibility (less likely)
         might be                     expresses                                 probability (least likely)

11. On a cold winter night you hear a loud shrieking noise at repeated intervals. What might have caused this?

Write down your ideas using the pattern below.

       the owl hooting
        have been


       a ghost




1.  It might have been the owl hooting.
2.  It might have been a ghost.
3.  It could have been the wold howling.
4.  It must have been a bear.
5.  It could have been a bear.

E : Intention & Prediction
12. Make five promises to your friend expressing your willingness to do something.

Use shall/will
e.g. I shall never be late to school.

Promises to Keep!

1. I shall keep strong moral and social values.
2. I will never watch television more than half an hour a day.
3. I shall never neglect my studies.
4. I shall keep my room neat and tidy.
5. I will follow my time table.

Did you Know?
One of the puzzling things in English is to know when to use shall and when to use will.

Whenever we desire to express some command, promise, threat or determination shall is used in the second and third person and will is used in the first person.

You shall receive your prize tomorrow. (promise)
He shall not enter the lab again. (determination)
I will reward her for her diligence. (promise)
I will report to the Principal if you don't submit your homework. (threat)
I will never use abusive language. (determination)

13. The Environment in Danger
What do you think will happen to the following?

Choose four, and write one sentence about each using the modals below and/or expressions from 10.

a) The ozone layer
b) The Taj Mahal
c) The Maldives
d) The rainforests
e) Weather patterns
f) Fossil fuels
g) The Ganges delta

e.g. In my opinion, the hole in the ozone layer will grow bigger and more people will get skin cancer.

1) In my opinion, the Taj Mahal will loose its shine as the industries at Agra continue to spur pollution.

2) In my opinion, in coming years the Maldives will be submerged under rising sea levels caused by global warming.

3) In my opinion half of the exotic wild life of the rainforests will vanish because of cutting down of trees for timber.  

4) In my opinion the reserves of fossil fuel will dry up if we continue to have imprudent consumption of fuel.

14. Saving the World
What do you think                      ought to                     be done about these problems?

e.g. I think the Government should ban all sprays which destroy the ozone layer.

1.  I think the Government should shift the chemical factories and shut down the polluting units nearby Agra.

2. I think we ought to aware Maldivians about environmental hazards to save Maldives.

3. I think the Government should encourage sustainable development programme to save wildlife of the Rainforests.

4. I think we should consume fuels judiciously in order to avoid unnecessary depletion of fossil fuels.

15. Try and compose a poem conveying your resolutions. Let the first stanza be the same. 


The first will be never to yawn in public be it noon, dusk or dawn.
The second is to finish my homework on time.
The third is to wake up early in the morning before it sublime.
The fourth is I'll stand to my task without whining
The fifth is never be late for the dining.
And the last, I shall fold up my clothes, comb my hair,
And never spit or shout or even swear.

F : Mixed Modals
16. Match the sentences in A with their meanings in B.

You should have taken your keys.               It is possible that you left your keys.
You could/might have lost your keys
at the cinema.
You are to blame for leaving your
You must have left your keys at home.I think that you probably left your keys.

You should have taken your keys.               You are to blame for leaving your keys.
You could/might have lost your keys
at the cinema.
It is possible that you left your keys.
You must have left your keys at home.I think that you probably left your keys.

17. While you were away on holiday, your house was burgled. Write a letter to your friend to tell him or her about it.

Use the underlined expressions in Column A above to help you. Include...
1. how the burglar could have got in,
2. how he knew you had gone away, and
3. what you could have done to prevent the burglary.


August 13, 2012

Dear Ranjit,

I am sorry to inform you that my house was burgled last week when I was on holiday.  Burglars must have known from the accumulated newspapers that I had gone away. When I came back last Sunday, I found the back door lock had been broken. I might have forgotten to bolt the back door from inside. Burglars could have entered from the back side. My room was ransacked. They took my laptop and other valuables. I should have deposited the jewellery in the locker of the bank to avoid this loss. I should have informed my neighbours also about my week long trip.
Well, I have registered an FIR with the police. The police is investigating the case. Hope burglars would be caught very soon.

Yours truly

18. Look at the following pair of sentences. Underline the modals and discuss why each one is used in that sentence.

    I must not take those pills.        (I'm not allowed)
    I need not take those pills.        (It is not compulsory but I may if I wish.)


1. a) I can't go to the meeting because I'm not a member.
       (Because I am not a member, I am not allowed).

    b) I needn't go to the meeting if I don't wish to.
       (It is not compulsory. Its upto me if I may go or not).

2. a) I can swim a length of the pool.
        (I am capable of swimming.)(ability)
     b) I can swim in the pool on Saturdays.
         (I have  the authority or I am allowed to swim on Saturdays.)  (permission)

3.  a) You ought to get a nice present for her.
         (You are obliged to give a nice present to her)(obligation)

     b) You have to get a nice present for her.
         (It is compulsory for you...)

4.  a) Can I go to the toilet?
         (asking for permission - common way of asking)

      b) May I be excused?
         (asking for permission in a formal way - less common)

5. a) I may come tomorrow if I have the time.
       (conditional possibility)

    b) I might come tomorrow but it's going to be difficult.
       (least possibility)


  1. supperb......... 1 idea changed my life

  2. Thanks...!!!!!
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  3. Thanks...!!!!!
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  4. really its very helpful
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  5. Really helpful but it must contain integrative grammar practice

  6. Has wrong impression on children about cheating...should be removed....

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    1. Thanks Syeda, Glad to hear our notes are helpful.

  11. It is very helpful for me to do the workbook task given by the teachrr

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