Speak About:

Present

Past

Past to Present

Future

Abilities - Responsibilities

Asking Questions

Choosing the Right Phrase

Combining Verbs

Explaining Ideas

Describing Your World

Complex Ideas

Relating Ideas, People, Objects

Speaking about Objects

Wondering about Situations

What Is Probably True

Modal Verbs of Probability - Present

Modal verbs of probability express an opinion based on what a speaker knows about a situation at the moment of speaking. The following forms are used to speak about present situations.

Example:

We can't be sure that this bank will always be at your service.

She must be working on that huge spreadsheet project, since she isn't answering her phone right now.

It could be included in your bank deposit.

Present Forms

'Must' plus the verb expresses the idea that you are almost 100% sure of your opinion about a given situation.

Subject + must + base form of verb + objects

Example:

She must be working on that huge spreadsheet project, since she isn't answering her phone right now.

Net profit must be achieved before assets are depleted.

Use 'might' or 'could' to express an opinion that you think has a good possibility of being true.

Subject + might / could + base form of verb + objects

Example:

Susan might be able to give the presentation on the articles of association.

That is a large amount of money for such a small bank to lend, so it might be a good idea to demand a confirmed letter of credit, in case the first bank cannot pay.

'Can't' plus the verb expresses the idea that you are almost 100% sure that something is not true.

Subject + can't + base form of verb + objects

Example:

Bob can't be confident that he had the correct check routing symbol.

We can't be sure that this bank will always be at your service.