Murder Mystery Scene 1 - Language Focus

Rob and Stephen look at how ‘must’, ‘could’ and ‘perhaps’ can be used to speak about certainty and possibility.

Watch the video. Then go to the Tasks and do the activities.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Language level

Average: 3 (2 votes)

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 03/10/2020 - 21:09

Dear Team, I've been following your courses for a long time and recently I subscribed to ''MY COURSEWORK'' lessons. Could you suggest me please, a way to contact with this specific team or someone in charge of it? I've sent an e-mail asking about it, but I've got no answer. From what I've seen one of the tutors is Tom, the teacher in ''Word on the Street'' series. Is there any official way I could contact with him, for example? Ever thankful to all of you, nikos
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 07:25

In reply to by nikoslado


Hello nikos,

Nice to hear from you again and I'm sorry to hear you didn't see an answer to your email. If you're talking about the email you sent on 15 September, we replied to you on the following day – maybe check your spam folder?

You can contact us here about your subscription, but if you're looking for general help with your course, the comments are still the best way.

By the way, we are planning to change the site so that subscribers have access to additional support, so keep your eye out for this in the coming months.

I'm also sorry for the delay in my response here. Please do let us know if there's anything else I can do to help.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ElenaCo on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 14:16

Thank you very much Jonathan! That's really helpful!

Submitted by ElenaCo on Sun, 06/09/2020 - 15:12

Hello Dear Learn English team! Why in the task 1 of the language focus is the sentence "the washing machine won't start. it's must be broken"?. Why future simple instead of present continuous form "the washing machine isn't starting..." because it's something is happening right now. Thank you in advance for you kind help Elena

Hi Elena,

Good question :) Actually, we often use won't with things that don't work as they should do. For example:

  • The door won't open.
  • The noise won't stop.
  • The phone won't switch on.

I think this is an extension of the use of will and won't to show a person's willingness or volition. We can say, for example: 

  • I've called him many times but he won't answer. 

Using won't shows that the person is unwilling to answer (not just that he cannot answer). If we use won't in the three sentences above, it gives a sense that those objects are uncooperative or stubborn (even though, of course, as objects they have no will or intentions of their own).

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Yshc on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 12:57

Hello! Could you explain, please, if there is any difference between "could be" and "might be"? I mean, we have two clauseses here - 'It could be tea' and 'The murderer might be close'. Would I be correct saying 'It might be tea' and 'The murderer could be close'? And the same question about "might have been' vs 'could have been': is there any difference between them or are they interchangeble?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 06:57

In reply to by Yshc


Hello Yshc,

When making deductions about the present or past, might, may and could are interchangeable. I can't think of a context in which one is possible and another is not, or a context in which the meaning would be change.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by bakh.sh85 on Mon, 12/11/2018 - 09:10

Hello Peter, That was so disappointing because I came to a stop..I expexted this site to be more helpful with us and the sentence that I wrote was about the same topic "Certainty and Possibility"... Anyway, thanks for your effort.

Hello bakh.sh85,

We try to provide as much help as we are able but please remember that we are a small team here, providing a service entirely free of charge for hundreds of thousands of users. We simply are not able to answer every question that users may have and therefore we establish some ground rules so we are fair to all users. One of these rules, as I said, is that we do not provide answers or explanations to material from elsewhere. If we tried to do this, we would end up with no time to maintain the site or write new content, and would instead end up doing many of our users' homework for them!



The LearnEnglish Team