Questions tagged [modal-verbs]

Modal auxiliary verbs are a special type of auxiliary verb, used mainly to express ability, likelihood, permission, and obligation. These include 'will', 'would', 'can', 'could', 'shall', 'should', 'may', 'might', 'must', 'ought', 'need', and 'dare'. Please do not use this tag for the non-modal auxiliaries 'be', 'have', or 'do'.

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33 views

How "would" is used in the following examples?

I was reading an article on mirror football. Then I came across the following sentences where would is used which I think should be in past simple. Even so, there should be the reason why they used &...
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1answer
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I want to know how you are doing. / I will want to know how you are doing

What's the difference between these sentences in their meaning? Maybe, "will" is used here as modal verb 'to say that someone is willing to do something. You use will not or won't to ...
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might not be good VS might be not good

I've been taught that when making a negative with a sentence with a modal verb in it, not should be placed right after the modal verb as in She might not be good. But I wonder how about another ...
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1answer
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What's the meaning of would in the following sentences

I know the meaning of "would" when it is used in conditional sentences, but I have a huge problem when I'd like to use it without "if". I read lots of websites and similar posts ...
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1answer
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"Didn't need/have to do" vs "needn't have done"

If it was not necessary for someone to do something on a particular occasion, you say that they didn't need/have to do it, but in a reporting clause you can use needn't do it, as in They knew they ...
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2answers
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if she studied hard for the exam, she would pass it

My daughter's exam results came out just an hour ago and I don't know her results yet. I don't even know whether she studied hard for the exam. But, a) I'm sure if she studied hard for the exam, she ...
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My friends would think that I "am/would be" one of the least cautious people on this issue

I read the news today and found that sometimes in the subordinate clause, am and would are both used. So I came up with two examples. What are the differences? Example 1: My friends would think that ...
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Is there any difference in meaning between "I can't hear you clearly," "I don't hear you clearly" and "I'm not hearing you clearly"?

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between I can't hear you clearly, I don't hear you clearly and I'm not hearing you clearly? For example: Sir, could you turn off the speaker ...
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1answer
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Can or could in my sentence

Are both "can" and "could" used in these examples depending on the meaning of each sentence? Or is "could" the only choice in the second example, because in specific ...
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2answers
24 views

Modal verb + "be able to"

I might (be able to) help you. You may (be able to) get extra money. You should (be able to) feel this You re foolish to expect to (be able to) do that. Is there any meaningful difference between the ...
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1answer
43 views

Why would you go to a party without me?

Suppose a wife is arguing with her husband over why he didn't take her to the party yesterday. Wife: Why would you go to a party without me? ("a party" refers to any party at any time) ...
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3answers
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certain and possible future

Grammar books say that we can use 'could' for the future if the possibility is weak. If someone says something about future which he knows is certain to happen in future, he uses 'will'. In the light ...
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3answers
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When we use "would" to soften the tone with a third-person subject, do we change the tense in the subordinate clause?

"Would" can be used to express an opinion more softly and the tense in the subordinate clause remains unchanged. But when we use "would" in this sense with a third-person subject, ...
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What is the function of "have" in this sentence?

She could have passed the test if she had studied harder. In this sentence could is modal verb. then what is have. main verb,or helping verb?
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2answers
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Is it okay to write "Could I please get a piece of paper? [closed]

Does could make the use of please redundant? Which sentence is grammatically correct Could I have piece of paper? or Could I please have a piece of paper? or Could I have a piece of paper, please?
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1answer
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Usage of DARE as an auxiliary verb

1)What is the meaning of this sentence?? Dared he say so?? 2)As dared is past, shouldn't we use said instead of say in the sentence??
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1answer
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Make a point of

'You can borrow my car if you like' is a more gracious offer than 'You may borrow it'; the first presumes the granting of permission, while the second makes a point of it. CONTEXT (I find the ...
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1answer
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Let's agree on this so that we might/may go home early

MIGHT (used with another phrase or clause to express the condition, purpose, or result of something): Let's agree on this so that (as a result) we might/may go home early https://www.wordreference.com/...
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1answer
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Could may might for prediction

Is there any difference in meaning between the modal verbs in these examples? Do only "may" and "might" express prediction, while "could" expresses that something is not ...
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1answer
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"Joseph visits Beneatha after she learns that Walter had lost the money in an investment opportunity."

Is had appropriate in the below sentence? Joseph visits Beneatha after she learns that Walter had lost the money in an investment opportunity.
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Can in specific situations

I have read in Raymond Murphy's "English Grammar in Use" "We use "could" to say that something is possible now or in the future. "The phone is ringing. It could be Tim.&...
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1answer
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Is it possible to use would be + verb + ing

If I had gone white-water rafting with my friends, I _____ down the Colorado river right now. A. Would be floating. B. Would have floated. C. Would float.
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1answer
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We could have been getting married but

We could be getting married this (next) Saturday but the wedding needed to be postponed for obvious reasons. We could have been getting married this (next) Saturday but the wedding needed to be ...
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1answer
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Will vs would in the following question [duplicate]

What's the difference between: "I would go on a walk with my friend tonight. " "I will go on a walk with my friend tonight. "
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talking about possible plans by using modal verbs 'may' and 'might'

Here are three example sentence, I'm going to Ireland in July. I may/might be going to Ireland in July. I may/might go to Ireland in July. In my opinion, the first sentence means I've decided to ...
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He is the type of person who can/could appear

Situation 1: the speaker doesn't know whether the person has ever appeared in a fashion magazine. a) He can/could appear in any fashion magazine he wants/wanted to. b) He is the type of person who can/...
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1answer
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Must as prediction? obligation?

I was wondering, how you can determine whether "must" is used for prediction or obligation? For example, If I say "I saw the cashier asked an old woman for her id, so I figured he must ...
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1answer
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"May I borrow your notebooks? They 'will' help me understand the subject more." Why we use "will" there?

I don't know why we use will because we don't know whether others will do what we ask or not. I wonder whether there is actually an omitted if-clause there. Example 1: May I borrow your notebooks? ...
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2answers
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How to put the modal verb "may" into the correct tense?

I don't understand how transform the following sentences using the following tenses. So that it has the same meaning as the first one. How to put the modal verb "may" into the correct tense? ...
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They shouldn't be/mustn't be here [duplicate]

This sentence is from Michael Vince's English Grammar in Context. "These books are on the wrong shelf. They shouldn't/mustn't be here." The exercise asks to choose the right answer. Aren't ...
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I didn't know what I should/was supposed to do

Can 'should' be used in the past? I don't mean a regret here. I haven't found an answer on the Internet because all the explanations describe regrets. I didn't know what I should/was supposed to do
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1answer
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"woul rather V" in the past

Is the following okay? I wouldn't consider using "would rather have stayed" because it's counteractual. Because it was too cold, we'd rather stay at home yesterday.
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1answer
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Why would you go to the party without me yesterday

I've read on the internet that the phrases "how could someone" and "why would someone" are used in reference to past events. However, nowhere have I seen them used with past time ...
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2answers
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Do the both of these sentences have the same meaning? ("Can vs able to")

He cannot reach there He is not able to reach there I think :- talks about present ability, about permanent disability that doesn't allow him to reach there.
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1answer
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Is dare a modal or main verb in this sentence and how to identify it?

I can identify "dare" as modal in negative and interrogative sentence but find it difficult to identify in assertive sentence. for example John dares to call a spade a spade.
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Would be him vs will be him

Suppose a telephone is ringing and I think that this call is from a specific person, then what will I say? That would be him. That wil be him.
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1answer
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Can we use modal verbs of requests such as **would**, **could**, and **can** with a third-person word?

Question: Can we use modal verbs of requests such as would, could, and can with a third-person word? Example 1: Would your son close the window? I feel cold. Example 2: Could your boss answer my ...
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2answers
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Add or omit "can", "could" or "will" when making a suggestion or giving an instruction?

When we make a suggestion or give people instructions, we can add "can" or "could" and use "will" in the next clause. What are the differences if we add or omit them? ...
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1answer
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I will be/am interested to see

I will be interested to see whether there’s a white Christmas in London tomorrow. I am interested to see whether there’s a white Christmas in London tomorrow. What is the difference between (1) and (...
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0answers
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What modals are used in first, second and third conditional?

First conditional if + present tense + will + bare infinitive Second conditional if + past tense + would + bare infinitive Third conditional if + past perfect + would have + past participle From what ...
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0answers
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because he might get shot

a. He didn't want to go out, because he might get shot, but they forced him to. I don't know what happened to him. b. He didn't want to go out, because he could get shot, but they forced him to. I don'...
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1answer
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Inferred probability: when is 'must' interchangeable with 'will'?

According to The Teacher's Grammar of English with Answers: A Course Book and Reference Guide , Must expresses inferred probability or suposition. In (44a), the speaker draws a conclusion on the ...
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1answer
20 views

How to phrase this sentence correctly (about possibility)

My future self will wonder what could happen if I choose to stay in my current marriage instead. My future self will wonder what would happen had I chosen to stay in my current marriage instead. I ...
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4answers
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He could be playing with his friends

John's mother: where is John? John's father: He is not in his room. He could be playing with his friends. John's mother: where is John? John's father: He is in his room. He is always reading ...
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Difference between these sentences

a. The journalist demanded that the minister resigned. b. The journalist demanded that the minister resign. c. The journalist demanded that the minister should resign. Is there any difference in ...
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Can I use 'can' for making suggestions?

All of the grammar books I've read say I have to use 'could' for making suggestions, but none of them say so about 'can'. My question is: Is it valid to use 'can' for making suggestions? For example: ...
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1answer
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If I met him, I would say "hello" to him [closed]

Friend: My father was at the same party you were yesterday. Me: Really! If I met him, I would say "hello" to him. Me: Really! If I had met him, I would've said "hello" to him. ...
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1answer
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We might buy a larger house if we had more money

We might buy a larger house if we had more money. Q: Is the conditional clause talking about our current state or our future state? a) We might buy a larger house in the future if we had more money (...
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1answer
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Usage of would in conditional sentences

If he was angry, then would he have spoken to me. If he was angry, then he would have spoken to me. What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences???
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70 views

as you choose/chose

You could roast a chicken whole or in pieces as you choose. You could roast a chicken whole or in pieces as you chose. Is sentence (2) correct and mean the same thing as (1)? Here "chose" ...

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