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Modals can be used to express a number of different ideas, such as: ?Obligation – I really must go now, my friend's expecting me. ?Possibility/probability – I might go shopping tomorrow. ?Permission/prohibition – You may leave now. ?Ability – I can speak six languages. ?Advice – You should see a doctor about that. The 'modals' are: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, have to, have got to, need to, needn't and ought to. They are used before other verbs to add meaning to the main verb. Modal auxiliary verbs can also be used to express differing degrees of formality. Compare “Can I borrow some cash?” with “May I borrow some cash?”. Even though they have similar meanings, they would be used in different situations, as the second sentence is more polite than the other. Modal verbs don't change in form according to person. Compare the modal I can play/he can play with the present simple I play/he plays. Modal verbs are followed by a verb in its base form – I might go. This applies for both present and future meanings. To use modals to express ideas in the past the situation is somewhat more complicated; modals with more than one meaning may express past ideas in different ways according to meaning. Please refer to the chart on page 2 & 3 of modals and usages descriptions When using modal sometimes meaning stay nearly the same but at other times it changes in formality and the difference is very noticeable. Passive voice There are two voices used in English: The active: My wife chose the wallpaper. And the passive: The wallpaper was chosen by my wife In the passive, the object of an active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb. Both sentences basically have the same meaning, but the focus is different. In the active voice, the focus is on the agent, i.e. my wife – she's responsible! In the passive voice, the focus is also on the subject, (i.e. the wallpaper, this time). But in the passive voice, the agent (or 'doer' of the action) is much less important, or doesn't appear, as in the following example: active I painted the door last week. passive The door was painted last week. (no agent) Only transitive verbs (verbs followed by an object, such as sell, take, buy, write, etc.) are used in the passive. It is not possible to use verbs such as happen, sleep, come and seem (intransitive verbs) in the passive. Form Auxiliary verb 'be' + past participle please look at the chart on page 5 of this unit Usage The passive is most frequently used when it is not known, not important, or we don't want to say, exactly who performs an action. Teaching Ideas Cutting up varied active/passive sentences and getting students to match them Students write a general knowledge quiz using passive examples. For example “Who was 'Murder on the Orient Express' written by?” Relative Clauses A clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb. There are three categories of clauses: Independent clause: An independent clause is a complete sentence. It contains the main subject and verb of a sentence. Dependent clause: A dependent clause is not a complete sentence. It must be connected to an independent clause. Relative clause: A relative clause is a dependent clause that modifies a noun. It describes, identifies, or gives further information about a noun. It can also be referred to as an adjective clause. A relative clause is introduced by a relative pronoun: who, which, that, whose, whom, etc or there may be no relative pronoun. There are two types of relative clauses defining and non-defining. The information given in a defining relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence. My girlfriend who lives at number 35 has been arrested. A defining relative clause makes clear which person or thing we are talking about. This sentence, without commas, actually strongly infers that I have several girlfriends! The information given in a non-defining relative clause is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. In fact, that information can be taken out without substantially changing the meaning of the sentence. My girlfriend, who lives at number 36, has been arrested. Commas are critical in non-defining relative clauses. A comma is put before the relative pronoun and at the end of the clause. It’s clear that I only have one girlfriend here. Should we remove the commas and the who lives at number 36 clause, the same basic information would be conveyed by the sentence my girlfriend has been arrested. Examples of pronouns Please refer to pages 7 & 8 for examples and descriptions Phrasal Verbs Phrasal verbs, or multi-word verbs, consist of a verb plus one or two particles. (A particle may be a preposition or an adverb, or an adverb plus a preposition.) They operate as one item. An example would be She told Paul off. = She criticized/scolded Paul. There are three basic types of phrasal verbs: Teachers should keep track of the phrasal verbs that have been taught and try to use them naturally during uncontrolled practice/conversation. If they’re dropped in every now and then, they should become more familiar to the students. Students will then hear them in various contexts and hopefully start using them naturally for themselves. Choosing a particular subject can also make the process of learning phrasal verbs easier. For example, the subject could be driving, which could cover drop off, pull over, speed up, slow down, get in, bump into, catch up with, run over, keep up with, pull out, turn off, look out for, pull into, fill up, break down, run out of, pick up, etc.