Know about Modal Verbs of Probability Present – Can’t

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What Alva said can’t be true

Modal Verbs are statements of probability. Modal Verbs express a belief in an outcome. The Modal Verb “can’t,” the topic of today’s lesson, expresses that something is most likely untrue.

When it comes to the Modal Verbs, “can’t” is usually used with “be” to speak of disbelief.

For example: 

When Alva said he had invented electric light, nobody believed him. The people said, “this can’t be true, it’s the fire that lights the home.”

Those who heard Alva speak believed that he was lying and so they showed their disbelief by saying “this can’t be true.” Yet, it was true, Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb.

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Alternatively, you may encounter a dialogue like this: 

“I don’t want to go to school,” said Uri.

“Why? Are you sick?” said Yael. 

“No. The school bus smells like cheese,” said Uri.

“You can’t be serious,” said Yael. 

In the above dialogue, Yael used the Modal Verb “can’t” to show her disbelief in Uri quitting school. 

Examples of the Modal Verb can’t

I don’t believe it, it can’t be true.

Melody loves her home, she can’t be serious about selling it. 

We can’t imagine how gorgeous this place is! 

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence. 

Q2: What recent news have you heard that you think can’t be true? Share details. 

Q3: This can’t be right! In which situation have you experienced saying this line? What happened? 

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