Example: Your tuition could be completely covered.

Question: Why is this sentence correct? I thought with modal, you must always use base form.

  • 2
    The modal COULD is followed by BE in the base form, and BE is followed by the past participle COVERED.
    – fjack
    Dec 18, 2020 at 3:39

1 Answer 1


Be is the verb in base form just after could. Covered (past participle) is used here after be as the sentence is in the passive voice. In the passive voice, the main verbs are written as

'to be' verb in the correct tense + past participle of main verb

The 'performer of the verb' in this form is either given less importance or is omitted completely. Here the speaker has omitted the 'performer of the verb'. In the active voice, the sentence could have been written in this way:

The student loan could completely cover your tuition.

  • 1
    In my view, the subject of the passive is "your tuition".
    – rjpond
    Dec 18, 2020 at 8:22
  • @rjpond Yes you are right. I have changed this in my answer.
    – Kushdesh
    Dec 18, 2020 at 11:35

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