Certainty and Uncertainty


Ceratainty and possibility.

2009-2010.(Please not that this is part of a modified lesson plan,if you use it as a teacher make sure that you cover the most important form/expressions of possibility and certainty).

PLAY THIS SLIDE:
MIXED MODALS:
POSSIBILITY


WATCH THIS AMAZING LESSON FROM BRITISH COUNCIL.

CLICK HERE :CERTAINTY.htm

Dialogue1:Read the dialogue and answer the following questions:

Beth: Hi Jane !

Jane: Hi Beth! The New Year  vacation is coming ,where are you going to spend your holiday?

Beth: I have not decided yet! But, I might go to Morocco.

Jane: That’s great Beth.

Beth: A lot of tourists visit Morocco every year. Hundreds of thousands.

Jane:O h I see! So Morocco must be a wonderful country.

Answer these questions:

1*Where is Beth going in the New Year vacation?

She might go to Morocco.

2*Is she certain of her destination?

No she is not certain because she says “I might go to Morocco’’.

3*What’s Jane expressing by’’ Morocco must be a wonderful place”?Is that “obligation”?  “of course no;that’s certainty”

Dialogue2:Read   the dialogue and answer the questions:

Brahim:Hi Rick!

Rick:Hi friend!Where were you last weekend?You didn’t come to the match.

Brahim:Oh yeah I didn’t come because I had a lot of work to do.

Rick:What about Fred? where was he? he didn’t come too.

Brahim:I really can’t say for sure.He might have gone to the cinema.But I am not certain.He could have gone to gorges as well.

1*Where was Fred yesterday?He was …………………………………

2*Are you certain of that answer?

3*Why is that only a possibility? Because Brahim said ……………..

can you listen to the mp3 audio on uncertainty in the box on the left.

CERTAINTY Examples
Present /Future Expression: I am certain that……/I am absolutely certain that……/I am very certain that……. / 1*I am certain that most of my students will pass their exam.

2*I am absolutely sure that women have become much more stronger in our society

Modal Verbs:S+ must +verb inf

S+Can’t +verb inf (when you are certain that something is impossible)

ALI:       Rashid has got 18/20 in English test!

BIHIM: He must be a hard working student. (this is the conclusion I draw from  Ali’s statement).= I am certain that Rashid is hard working

Past Expressions: Use the expressions above with the verb in the past———————————–example 1-I am certain that Milosevic committed war crimes against Bosnian Muslims.

2-I am absolutely sure that Bush made a mistake in his war on Iraq.

Modals:S+ Must + have + past participle. Ali:My friend Rashid didn’t come to class yesterday. I don’t know why!

Farid: He must have been sick. I saw him in the pharmacy.=

I am certain he was sick

Uncertainty/possibility Examples
Present        /Future Expression: I think that…./ I suppose that …../It’s likely that…./It’s unlikely that……/It’s possible that…/

perhaps…/maybe…./

1*It’s likely that most of my students will pass their exam.

2*It’ s possible that most young people in our country need some help.

Modal Verbs:

S+ may/might/can/could

+ verb in the inf.

ALI:       Rashid always gets good marks in his English tests.

BIHIM: He might be a hard working student. (this is possible).

Past Expressions: Use the expressions above with the verb in the past—————————————————————example——————— 1-It’s likely that my friend Fred was on holiday last weekend because he didn’t come to the foot-ball match we had.
Modals: might/could + have + past participle. Ali: My friend Rashid didn’t come to class yesterday. I don’t know why!

Farid: He could have been sick. =I am not certain he was sick but it’s possible that he was sick.

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3 Responses to Certainty and Uncertainty

  1. adwa says:

    great lesson. Thank you.

  2. chaimaa says:

    I like this vvery much…than’x <3<3<3……….!!!

  3. missar says:

    Great job Mr Brahim and tremendous efforts.keep up and God bless you .

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