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Detectives: Present Probability

Detectives: Present Probability

Students play a detective game using modal verbs for present probability. Detectives use evidence for the existence of a situation to deduce the situation.

Level:  Intermediate

Topic:  Present Probability

Grammar:  Modal Verbs

Time:  20 minutes


  • Make one copy of the Key for the teacher.



Students get in groups of 4 or 5 people.


Ask the students to choose one person in each group to be the Detective. The rest of the students in the group are the Witnesses. The Detective sits with his or her back facing the board.


Write the first sentence from the Key on the board. The Witnesses' task is to provide concrete evidence for the existence of the situation, without mentioning the situation itself.

For example: "She must be a good teacher."

Her students are interested in class.

Her students do well on tests.

Her students enjoy her class.

She is always smiling.

She received a teaching award.


The Detective tries to guess the situation from the evidence given. The first group's Detective to guess correctly gets a point for his or her team. 


Ask the groups to change Detectives, and write the next sentence on the board.  


Continue until there are not any remaining sentences. The winner is the team with the most points.

Printable Worksheets



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