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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Can I omit second "will" in a compound sentence?

Is it correct if I omit the second "will" in this sentence: I will paint the walls, and you **will** take out the garbage.
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“Some people may/ might/ will consider that snide”

In a talk show with the topic: How to discover your authentic self – at any age. The speaker starts her speech like this: I am a late bloomer. In fact, a friend of mine you may have heard of – Chris ...
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He will/must/might/could be at home till now

"He will/must/might/could be at home till now". "Shop will/must/might/could be open till now"an I Could I use "model verb" with "till now"?
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Modals of obligation occuring in the past

I made a question and now I'm confused which one is the correct form? She should've at least given me more information about our festival so I could be prepared for it better. She should've at least ...
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Modals for speculations or logical deductions

Can you, please, help to choose the correct variant? The person on the right in the picture might not/can't/must not be who you say it is. The answer key says that it is must not, but I have never ...
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is "there is no can doubt" grammatically correct?

I'm really confused about this. I've asked 2 teachers and they somehow gave different answers, it was used like this: "…there is no can doubt that climate change has a..." from what I know ...
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We played table tennis yesterday. Oftentimes, when I smashed the ball to him, he "would/used to" return the ball by touching the ball - correct?

Example 1 (1) We played table tennis yesterday. Oftentimes, when I smashed the ball to him, he would/used to return the ball by touching the ball. (2) We played table tennis yesterday. Oftentimes, ...
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Confusion regarding the correct modal to be used in the sentence

There was a question asked in my board exam. I want to know the most appropriate option. Question: Select the correct option to fill in the blank for the given sentence: .......you help me cross the ...
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past tense with modal verbs

Here are two sentences extracted from the Harry Potter series: 1, The harder she tried to pull it(a sweater) over his head, the smaller it seemed to become, until finally it might have fitted a glove ...
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"Why wouldn't I?" vs "Why couldn't I?"

What is the grammatically correct response to the question "Can you see me?": "Of course I can, why couldn't I?" Or "Of course I can, why wouldn't I?" To me the second ...
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The modal verbs "may/might" in interrogations about the future possibility

I am trying to find equivalents for the question "Is it possible that there would be no English lesson tomorrow?" using modals may/might. I have brought out the following patterns that, I am ...
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When you use the structure "I need you to do ...", who is in need of doing it? You or me?

If something is a necessity for someone, we can simply say to them: "You need to do ..." That is quite clear. But I often hear a structure "I need you to do it", and I want to find ...
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Can be vs. may be [duplicate]

X can be Z X may be Z Can these two expressions be used interchangeably, or is there a subtle difference? If so, could you explain it? I have been checking many usage examples and they seem 100% ...
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Could anyone explain the use of "would" in this sentence

I imagine it would taste mighty good. Why does this sentence use "would" and not will?
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What should be used and why: will / may / might / could / etc

Strategic consultants attempt to find what [will] change in their customers' industries. I would like to know if I must use will / may / might / could / etc., and why.
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Is "will" being used for deduction or for future in this sentence: "Of course, you will know all about Hogwarts."

This is from the movie Harry Potter. Harry and a man, who Harry sees for the first time, are talking, and the man thinks that Harry is aware of his own magical powers - that he is a wizard. Harry: ...
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Implied Conditionals Questions - Only pro gamers "would" go for an expensive PC like that

Example 1 Dialogue A: I am thinking about getting a new gaming PC. B: Only pro gamers would go for an expensive PC like that. Question 1 Is the "would" here a hypothetical usage that implies ...
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Only pro players would buy that kind of expensive tennis paddle - a hypothetical usage to soften the tone?

Example 1 Dialogue A: I want to buy that tennis racket. B: Only pro players would buy that kind of expensive tennis racket. Question 1 Is the "would" here a hypothetical usage to soften ...
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Which word order is correct, "explain why I am" or "explain why am I"? [duplicate]

I was trying to formulate a question yesterday I used the second sentence, however, I keep wondering if that was correct. Can someone explain to me why I am ...? or Can someone explain to me why am ...
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Difference between: "Sorry this happened to you" AND "Sorry this had to happen to you."

Someone says this to a person who had a terminal illness: "I’m ever so sorry sweetheart this had to happen to you." I can understand ".....this happened to you." (WITHOUT 'HAVE TO')...
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"Would have loved" in the book narration

I'm reading Bloodline by F. Paul Wilson and came across the following snippet: Jack needed to read this. He'd have loved to take it home to pore over, but Bolton would know he'd been invaded when he ...
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Should I use "will" or "would" for a dream?

Which of these is better? "My dream was that I will go there" Or "My dream was that I would go there"?
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if they fail vs. if they should fail vs. if they were to fail (what's the difference in intensity or nuance?)

if they fail vs. if they should fail vs. if they were to fail the only difference is tense: fail(present), should fail(modal past), were(be past)
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Which modal should I use?

Studies have shown that carbohydrates hold on to several water molecules in your body which _____ cause weight gain or bloating. Options are need to, ought to, may, should. We can't use 'need to', ...
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(Hadn't got/didn't have) to have got

I know that "had to have +past participle" can be used for deduction about the past, so when it comes to the negative, can I use both "hadn't got" and "didn't have" + ...
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She wouldn't have him telling her

She wouldn't have him telling her when she could go out and who she could go out with. Does the 'wouldn't' mean the habit of the past, or present/future as a subjunctive mood?
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Why is it ".....before any help would arrive" but not ".......before any help arrived."

This is from the BBC about a story in which a fisherman fell off the boat into sea and was finally saved. The sentence tells about his first thoughts when he fell off into the sea: I thought I would ...
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Why is it "need" in "it need not be thus" instead of "needs"?

But it need not be thus This sentence boggles me. I expected to see "it needs not" or "it does not need to". What am I missing?
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"Would have" usage

I'm asking for clarification on the following sentences. How do their senses differ? She did not become a doctor in a day – she had to put in a lot of hard work to make her dream come true. She did ...
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"(for something) to be forced to be done" vs "(for something) to have to be done"? Do these have the actually same meaning?

This is from the BBC about heavy rains Metro stations were flooded Several stations were forced to close. I thought "to be forced to do something" can be used for people. It makes sense ...
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"He might have gone to school" to refer both present and past

Suppose my friend and I come to his house and I ask him "Where is your brother?" He replies, He might have gone to school. Let's think of another situation again. I come to my friend's ...
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She would have been Sapna

Let's think of a situation. I'm talking to my father. He tells me that a girl came to our house yesterday and asked him about me. Now my father asks me "Who was she?" I'm not sure who she ...
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I could run for ten miles

a. Life is strange. Yesterday, I could run ten miles without a problem. Today I have a sprained ankle. b. Life is strange. Yesterday, I was able to run ten miles without a problem. Today I have a ...
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What's the difference between "pick a name" and "get to pick a name"?

What's the difference between these sentences? I think you can't pick the name. I think you don't get to pick the name.
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Where should I use "might" when talking about possibilities?

When talking about possible disadvantages, where I should use "might"? There are a couple of possible disadvantages to be aware of when you go camping. One might be that there might be no ...
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What is the most appropiate modal verb in this context?

I had an English exam where I had to choose the most appropriate modal verb. The sentence was like this: Although he is an obedient student, he ____ be disobedient at times. So, I chose ‘may’ by ...
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Why is there a "would" in the if clause, instead of a simple past?: "Decision-making could be easy if you’d think about what’s right for you."

The following sentence is from a text about marriage when to walk away "Besides the pain you get from the betrayal, knowing when to walk away after infidelity is a lot harder to face. However, ...
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Does "may" in an independent clause also refer to the following dependent clause introduced by "because"?

Suppose that some people say "professionals, such as doctors, should be required to work in the country where they did their training." Now supposed that we are asked to discuss their ...
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different meanings of "would"

Do the three would's have the same meaning in the following? a. A: Who's ringing the doorbell? B: It'd (= would) be John. b. I think my swimming pool would hold 20,000 gallons of water. c. If I ...
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WOULD+Present Perfect

Could you please explain why Modal + Present Perfect is used here. It's usually used to express regret, but I can see none in this example. Personal computers first made their appearance in the home ...
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Why there are examples of modal verbs + past/past participle on Ngram?

We should only use bare infinitives after modal verbs. But why some examples of modal verbs + past/past participle appear on Ngram? Are they mistakes that Ngram captures? It seems to be an upward ...
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How to say the sentence "Subject + should + (not) + verb" in the past tense?

Suppose that a student achieved poor academic grades and the officials of the university he attended told him if he fails any other course, they will expel him. At that time, he said these sentences ...
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"would" indicating probability?

Does the "would" in the following examples have the same meaning? Some say "would" has the "probably" meaning, but I am not sure if it applies here. Do these sentences ...
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The meaning of should when used with suggest

It has been suggested that bright children should take their exams early. I think "should" doesn't mean "ought to" in this sentence. But if I want to infuse this meaning in the ...
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Difference between "can" and "could" in context

Can you please tell me if native speakers of English would sense any difference in meaning beween can and could in the context below? Unfortunately we don't have anyone available who can come and fix ...
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"A healthy diet should provide all your essential nutrients."

cambridge.org: (1) A healthy diet should provide all your essential nutrients. To find out the exact meaning of "should" here, I opened a dictionary and found the following: should - used ...
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What grammatical role does "as would" play in this sentence?

The Sentence in Question The legal “theories” of democracy that evolved in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were precisely intended to provide such definitions as would link certain actual or ...
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can never vs. never can

Is there any difference between 2 sentences: Steve can never find time for us. He needs to be more respectful. Steve never can find time for us. He needs to be more respectful. If there is, please ...
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Do we use "can have" + past participle for past possibility?

Is it possible to use Can have + Past Participle for past possibilities? I Know could have or might have are mostly used, but is the following possible? It could have been Bill's note It might have ...
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Mustn't for past and present deductions

Why it is acceptable to use (B) to make a deduction (about the past) and not (A) (about the present)? A- Mustn't + base verb ( about the present) Example: (1) The answer mustn't be A. B- Mustn't + ...

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