Do you wonder what to say when you have to talk about photos in your Speaking exam? Speculating is the answer. “But what is speculating and how do I do it?” I hear you ask. Read on for the answer.
Speculating is when you guess something based on evidence and using modals of speculation is a great way to speculate. Here are some examples:
- I think he must be happy because he’s smiling.
Here we use must + bare / base infinitive to show that you are almost completely certain that something is true.
- He’s looking at a website, so he could be looking for another job.
Here we have could + be + -ing to show possibility.
- He looks injured. I reckon he might have broken his leg.
Here we use might + have + past participle to show possibility.
- She seems tired, so I think she may have been working very hard today.
Here we have may + have + been + -ing to show possibility.
- She can’t have slept enough last night because she looks tired.
We can use ‘can’t’ to show that you are almost completely certain that something is not true.
The first two examples are about the present. If you are taking the B2 First exam, you can impress the examiners by using modals of speculation in the present.
The last three examples are about the past. If you are taking the C1 Advanced exam, you can impress the examiners by using modals of speculation in the past.
So, don’t be lost for words when you have to talk about photos in your Speaking exam. Speculate based on what you can see and use modals of speculation to do it.
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