Grammar: Probability Adverbs

We use adverbials of probability to show how certain we are about something.

Here are some examples:

certainly – definitely – maybe – possibly
clearly – obviously – perhaps – probably

Many adverbs end with -ly (but not all adverbs)

“We’ll probably go out tonight.” (but not definitely) – more than 50% chance.
“Perhaps we’ll go out tonight.”

Maybe and perhaps usually come at the beginning of the clause.

Perhaps can go at the end of the sentence, but this is more common in spoken English:

“We’ll go out tonight, perhaps.”

Other adverbs of possibility usually come in front of the main verb:

“Craig certainly knows how to make a good cup of coffee.”
“Reza and Craig will possibly become famous because of this podcast.”
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Grammar: ought to, must and should

Should, ought to and must are all modal auxiliary verbs.
‘ought to’ has the infinitive with ‘to’. However, ‘must’ and ‘should’ are used with the infinitive WITHOUT ‘TO’.

These modal auxiliary verbs are usually associated with other verbs:

I must go.
You should help her.

Modal auxiliary verbs have no third person ‘s’.

I must – he must – she must – it must

‘Should’ and ‘ought to’ for advice are very similar in stregnth.
‘Must’ is for stronger obligation.

You should/ought to go to the dentist (advice)
You must go to the denstist (stronger advice/obligation)
You must make an appointment to see me. (strong advice)

The choice of which modal to use comes from how strong you feel about the obligation.
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Christmas Customs:

What do you usually do on Christmas day? – Reza watches the Queen’s speech.

Did you have a Christmas tree when you were a child? Reza’s family put their Christmas presents around the tree and they open them before the meal.
Craig’s family used to open the presents as soon as they got up.
Did you believe in Santa Claus? Reza seems to remember seeing Santa Claus in the middle of the night.
Craig’s parents used to leave a present at the foot of his bed so that he wouldn’t disturb his parents.
Some families leave milk and cookies (or brandy!) out for Santa. Craig’s family didn’t do it.
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Grammar: COULD is related to CAN. Both are modal verbs.
Could is the past of can and the conditional. Could = podría OR podía (could is both the CONDITIONAL and THE PAST of CAN).

If I won the lottery. I would buy a big house.
(could in the conditional = would + be able) “If I won the lottery, I could (would be able to) buy many things. (Craig and Reza speak about conditional sentences in Episode 11
If you could change a law or introduce a new law, what law would you change or introduce?
Craig WOULD introduce a 4-day working week. That way he COULD have a 3-day weekend.
Use COULD and COULDN’T for ability in the past
Could and couldn’t are the past forms of can and can’t (for ability):
When Reza was a child he could run very fast. Now he can’t!
When Craig lived in London, he could drive on the left.
In the UK we couldn’t sit outside in Novenber and drink coffee. It was too cold!
Use COULD for possibilities in the future: We could go out for a beer tonight if you feel like it.
Use COULD (and WOULD) to make polite requests:
Could/Would you please sit nearer to the microphone?
Could/Would you pass me the salt, please?
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