English Humour and Modal Verbs
A funny joke can brighten even a rainy day – and British people know it better, than others do.
Studying English is a never-ending process, and even those who have Intermediate or higher level of English, require daily practice. Take a look at some jokes and funny stories, where modal and auxiliary verbs are used.
If you would like to brush up on your knowledge, you might take an online course Modal Verbs by EDUGET where everything is explained in only 7 video lectures.
Student: Can I go to the bathroom sir?
Teacher: I’m sure you can, but you may not.
‘Your office is as hot as an oven,’ said a client to his lawyer.
‘So it ought to be. I make my bread here.’
Fortune Teller: Would you like your palm read?
Woman: No thanks, I like the colour it is now.
– I’m in love with two girls. One is very beautiful but has no money, the other is ugly and has lots of money. Who should I marry?
– Well, I’m sure that you must really love the beautiful one, so I think you should marry her.
– OK, thank you very much for your advice.
– Don’t mention it. By the way, I wonder if you could give me the name and telephone number of the other girl?
– Can a man living in London be buried in Brighton?
– No! He’s still living!
When a group of women got on the car, every seat was already occupied. The conductor noticed a man who seemed to be asleep. Fearing that the man might miss his stop, the conductor nudged him and said: ‘Wake up!’
– So all your daughters are married now.
– Yes, the last one left us last week.’
– It must be nice to have them all off your hands.
– Well, it’s nice enough to get your daughters off your hands; but what we don’t like is having to keep our sons-in-law on their feet.
– Name a bus you can never enter.
– A syllabus.
If you leave alphabet soup on the stove and go out, it could spell disaster.
– What are you doing?
– I am writing about all the things I ought to do before I die. It’s my oughtobiography.
Douglas Brown was a businessman who lived in London but had a lot of work in Perth in Scotland. He often travelled by train on 'The Night Caledonian', an overnight train from London to Scotland. He preferred the train to the plane because he arrived feeling fresh for important business meetings when he arrived in Perth. The only problem was, he was a heavy sleeper, so he needed to set his alarm clock to wake up for the right stop. One day, after the train had set off from London, he realised he'd forgotten to pack his alarm clock. Before he went to sleep, he spoke to one of the attendants.
'I should have brought my alarm clock with me, but I forgot it. I have to wake up in time to get off the train at Perth at seven o'clock. I absolutely mustn't miss my stop by oversleeping, so could you please make sure I get off the train there, however sleepy I am.'
The attendant wrote down Douglas' name in a little book and made a firm promise to wake him up at the right time in the morning. Douglas went to sleep in his compartment almost immediately.
When he woke up in the morning, he found that it was ten to nine and the train was pulling into the final station in Inverness, 120 miles further north than Perth.
He was furious and went up to the attendant and said, 'Look what's happened, you fool! You should have woken me up at half past six and you didn't. You complete idiot! Now I've missed my business meeting!'
After he had left, one of the other passengers commented to the attendant, 'He wasn't very polite, was he? He shouldn't have called you an idiot like that.'
'Oh that's nothing!' said the attendant, 'You should have heard what Dougal Black said when I pushed him onto the platform at Perth at seven o'clock this morning.'
The Elixir of Life
In a village in the mountains, a little old man with a beard and a young girl set up a stall in the market place one day, selling bottles of homemade medicine, labelled ‘The Elixir of Life’.
‘Come on, everyone!’ the old man called out. ‘Don’t miss your chance to beat ageing. This is your opportunity to buy Archie’s miracle medicine. It’s the only medicine that cures old age. You only have to look at me to see the proof. I’m two hundred and five years old.’
A crowd quickly gathered around the market stall, and the old man and the girl were kept busy handing out the bottle of medicine and taking the money.
There were two younger men in the crowd, and one of them said to the other, ‘You don’t really think he’s genuine, do you?’
‘I don’t know. He might be telling the truth. He’s got an honest face.’
‘You’ve got to be kidding! said the man. ‘He must be lying. It has to be a trick.’
‘Well, why not ask his assistant, then, if you don’t believe it?’ suggested his friend. So the man approached the girl and asked. ‘He can’t really be that old, can he? That’s completely ridiculous. Tell me the truth, is he really two hundred and five years old?’
‘I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t really say.’ the girl replied, ‘I’ve only been working for him for the past seventy five years.’
Recipe for Disaster
Dave and Ian were both post-graduate research students at Cambridge University. One evening, they were chatting and the conversation turned to cookery.
‘I tried my hand at cookery once, you know.’ Dave told Ian, ‘but I never managed to work it out.
‘I find that very hard to believe, Dave.’ said Ian. ‘You’ve got a first class degree in Physics and you’re completing your doctorate. You are capable of understanding highly complex technical manuals and formulating new ideas from your research. You must be able to follow a recipe.’
‘I tried,’ admitted Dave, ‘but I couldn’t manage it.’
‘Why?’ insisted Ian. ‘Because the recipe book was full of complicated instructions too difficult for you to follow?’
‘Well, you see,’ explained Dave, ‘the problem lay in the fact that all the recipes began in the same way. They all started with Take a clean dish.’
Two businessmen, Michael and Dennis, are at a lunch meeting. They are waiting for their co-worker, Terry, who is late.
“We must wait for Terry before we start,” says Michael. “Is he here yet?”
“No, he must be on his way,” replies Dennis.
“Yes, he said he left the office 30 minutes ago,” says Michael. “He must be about to arrive.”
“Traffic must be bad, because it usually doesn’t take this long,” Dennis says.
Michael looks at his watch. “He must feel badly about being late,” he says. “I know he hates to be kept waiting, so he doesn’t like to do it to other people.”
“Oh, that’s all right! We mustn’t get impatient, don’t you think?” Dennis smiles. “Remember his rule: the one who is late must buy lunch!”
Once a man came to see Mark Twain. It was his first visit to the writer’s house. Twain took him into his study and the visitor saw dozens of books on the desk, on the chairs and even on the floor because there was only one shelf on the wall.
“You need more shelves for your books,” the visitor said.
“Yes, I know,” the author replied, “but you see, it isn’t so easy to borrow shelves from people.”
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