Headlines vocabulary guess the story (Modals of probability/ possibility)

Work together to guess some of the stories below,  trying also to agree on how likely your guesses are to be true.

Bahrain protests to be stepped up before GP

Boston Marathon bombs built to maim

Bystanders ran toward the smoke, not from it

CCTV breakthrough in US bombing investigation

Dozens killed in Pakistan, Iran as quake hits border

IMF lifts 2013 Japan growth forecast to 1.6%, citing BOJ easing steps

Inose calls on New York to aid Olympic bid

Italian parliament to elect president

Japan’s welfare recipients hit record high for ninth month

LDP out to undermine Constitution

London Marathon will proceed as scheduled

Magnitude 6.2 quake jolts Miyake Island; Miyagi also rocked

North Korea says it is open to talks

Obama doubts North Korea’s nuclear claims

Opposition boycotts Diet discussions

Pressure-cooker bombs suspected in Boston blast

Supreme Court recognizes woman as Minamata victim

Survey: Japanese research slipping

Suu Kyi hopes to surmount obstacles to presidency

With scores dead, Japan faces judo hazards

Newtown families vow to keep fighting for gun law

Airlines urge passengers to complain to DC over flight delays

Rights group: Myanmar unrest is ‘ethnic cleansing’

Japan wins spot in Asia-Pacific mega trade bloc talks

Boston bombings suspect could face the death penalty

Tottenham stun Manchester City

Political parties condemn sectarian strife in Egypt

Postal staff step up campaign to save Royal Mail

Man arrested after 30-hour Des Moines standoff

Plea to Thomas Cook: spare our travel agency

Markets slip after a flat start

Briton to appeal Bali death sentence

Seattle Police seek help on anniversary of Pioneer Square murder

Scores killed in Nigeria violence

Extra police to safeguard London Marathon route

Sleuth reunites family after solving 166-year old riddle

Saudi advisers propose Friday-Saturday weekend

Dutch detain student and close dozens of schools after shooting threat 

Useful languageIt must be…                         It’s almost certainly…                      It’s probably…

It might be/ It may be…       It could be…                                    It’s probably not…

It’s almost certainly not…    It can’t be… 

Discuss the last headline as a class. 

Compare your ideas with the real story on the internet.


Give your opinion about these aspects of the story:

Why do you think that person made the threat? Do you think they were actually going to do it?

Why do you think the police took the threat so seriously?

Did the police over-react?

What might the punishment be for posting that message? Is that the right level of punishment?

What would the police do if the same thing happened in Japan?

How likely is something like this to happen in Japan in the near future?

For homework, write out your answers to those questions in full sentences. You can do more research before answering if you like, but you don’t have to.


PDF version for easy saving and printing: Headline vocabulary guess the story

More current affairs worksheets here.

More modals of probability/ possibility worksheets here.

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