9. Expressions for obligation, need and probability.

Julian, Bills brother, and Sam argue about climate change.

Main Practice: Expressions for obligation, need, probability
Revision:            on the contrary  -  disagree  -  rely on 

cramped  -  a space that is too small, i.e.
  • His office is rather cramped

doubtful  -  uncertain; not probable or likely, i.e.
  • It's doubtful she will get the job.
  • They are doubtful the weather will be good enough to climb the mountain.
  • He's doubtful that his party will win the election.

every chance  -  a high probability of something, i.e.
  • There's every chance she will get the job.
  • The director claims there's every chance now of saving the company from bankruptcy. 

inevitable  -   certain to happen, i.e.
  • It is now inevitable that the workers will go on strike.
  • With all this rain it's inevitable that people's homes will be flooded.

may/might as well  -  better to do something than not do it, i.e.
  • Now we're in Paris we may / might as well go up the Eiffel Tower.
  • I may / might as well go to the picnic; Janet will be annoyed if I don't.

may well + infinitive  -   likely, i.e.
  • He may well want to come with us, we should ask him.
  • Robots may well take jobs from humans in the short term but long term they will
    benefit society.

myth  -  in this conversation ‘myth' means something that is widely held to be true, or was, but
                the speaker thinks is untrue, i.e.
  • It's a myth that building more roads will decrease traffic congestion, you'll just have more 
   cars filling up the new roads.
on the contrary  -  (formal) the opposite is true, i.e.
- The party was a great success.
- On the contrary, it was a disaster.

pace  -  the speed of something, especially 'change', i.e.
  • The pace of change in the last thirty years has been very fast.

  • (highly) probable  -  (neutral-formal) very likely to happen, (adjective-noun:
                                              high probability), i.e.
  • It is highly probable (that) the governement will reduce the import tax on cars.
  • There is a high probability of snow this weekend.

rubbish  -  (as an expression of disagreement - *can be rude if you don't know
                      the person well), i.e.
- David's a great chess player.
- Rubbish, I beat him easily and I'm not a good player. 

(to) run out of -  (Phrasal Verb) to not have any left, i.e.
- Shall we have pasta tonight?
- Sorry, we've run out of pasta.

virtually certain  -  almost but not completely certain, i.e.
  • It is virtually certain that the Education Minister will resign.
  • That world population will continue to rise for decades to come is virtually certain.
* As an example:
   inevitable             = 10
   virtually certain  =   9
   highly probable   =   7+
Samantha believes climate change is being caused by humans, her brother-in-law, Julian, disagrees and thinks it is part of a natural cycle.

Complete the sentences.

Julian:  Don't you guys feel cramped in that small car?

Sam:     Better for the environment, we get fifty miles to the gallon on fuel.

Julian:  Well, as it's highly that man-made climate change is a myth
                you may as well drive a bigger, more comfortable car.

Sam:      On the contrary, it's that the carbon dioxide we're
                putting into the atmosphere is the cause of climate change.

Julian:  I disagree, it's very that human beings are causing climate
                change. There's the warming is part of a natural cycle.

Sam:      Oh, rubbish, Julian, the global temperature is rising at a very fast pace.
                Most climate scientists agree on that. Humanity has
                cut the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Julian:  And there are highly respected scientists who disagree. If growing
                economies are made to reduce fossil fuels millions of people
                are liable to remain poor. Do you want that?

Sam:      Of course not, but when increasing use of fossil fuels may lead to
                catastrophic food and water shortages, to famine and war, then I
                think it's an that we find alternatives. And,
                anyway, isn't it crazy to rely on fossil fuels when it's
                that oil supplies will run out at some point?


virtually certain  -  absolute necessity  -  doubtful  -  every chance  -  probable  -  inevitable  -  no choice but to  

1.  It is very that he will pay you the money back; he's not an honest man.

2.  We have sell the house: it's too big for us and too expensive to run.

3.  There's she'll pass the exam: it's her favourite subject and she's been
      studying very hard for it.

4.  It's highly she'll win the election.  (The speaker is '80%' certain she will win.)

5.  Warm clothing is an , even in summer the weather can turn suddenly
     cold in these mountains.

6.  It's that in thirty years or less people will be using flying cars.
     (The speaker is '90%' certain.)

7.   Further reduction in the Arctic ice sheet is . (The speaker is 100% certain.)