Special structures with must and can

February 1st, 2013 in English Learning

Must to express inference or probability

Must can be used with be to make an inference.

  • She must be over forty. (= I suppose she is over forty.)

Using the first and second conditional forms

January 31st, 2013 in English Learning

We have already learned that first conditional forms are used to talk about real situations that take / will take place in the present / future. Note that this conditional form is also called the real conditional.

Using second and third conditional forms

January 30th, 2013 in English Learning

Note that in the second conditional, we use were with all subjects. Was is also possible, but most grammarians still insist that were should be used.

Too…to, so…that

January 29th, 2013 in English Learning


Too…to shows undesirable excess and has a kind of negative meaning.

  • She was too tired to walk.
  • It was too cold to go out.

Using enough

January 29th, 2013 in English Learning

Enough to shows sufficiency and has a positive meaning. Note that enough goes after the adjective or adverb it modifies.

  • She is old enough to do things on her own.

Structures with least and left

January 27th, 2013 in English Learning

At least

At least means ‘not less than (but perhaps more than)’. Note that at least is written as two words.

  • ‘How old is he?’ ‘At least forty.’

Structures with make, mean and miss

January 26th, 2013 in English Learning

Make a good

This structure is often used to talk about what somebody or something becomes or does.

  • She will make a good daughter-in-law. (= She will be a good daughter-in-law.)