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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Will have PP or Must have PP?

What's the difference between... Gandalf will have killed hundreds of dragons in his time. Gandalf must have killed hundreds of dragons in his time. The first sentence is a line from a movie ...
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When to use “be”

In some sentence like " He should be hired for this job" And " He should hired for this job" when to use "be" or when not to use "be"
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What is the difference between “will” and “would”?

“This system Would largely benefit the numerous migrant beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers, blue-collar workers etc. who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment or ...
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21 views

Should have + past participle

I should have been sentenced to prison , but my lawyer convinced the court that I'm innocent The person who said the sentence is thankful because he is not in prison now , he does not wish to be in ...
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Will + perfect infinitive

I came across usage of will have (gone) that I had never seen before. What does it mean?
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confusion of conditional constructions

Am I crazy? If I am, would I realize it? Why can't I use will here? I think it is in first conditional form. So will should be used
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Pick the correct option from the words in bracket by circling your answer [duplicate]

The pair of scissors (was, were ) placed on the table. What is the answer to this question???
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Understanding would

He would do it What does sentence this mean?? Does this mean any of the following four ways 1) He will do it (if some conditions are met) 2) He will do it (if some conditions are met, but now ...
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Putting in the correct form of the verb - go versus have gone

I'm practicing modals, and in an exercise I had to fill in the correct form of the verb: We couldn't _______ (go) to the concert anyway as Jamie wasn't very well. I put in ‘go’ but the correct ...
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“something I’d do as a matter of course had I not been under Atticus’s interdict” — why “I'd do” and “had I not been”?

From To Kill a Mockingbird: In later years, I sometimes wondered exactly what made Jem do it, what made him break the bonds of “You just be a gentleman, son,” and the phase of self-conscious ...
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replacing 'will' with 'would' in this sentence

The following sentence is from the book Oxford Practice Grammar: Even when she gets the flu, my friend Alice won't go to see the doctor because she's afraid that he will give her an injection. My ...
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Q: Could? A: Can!!! -> always?

I feel like I've seen a grammar rule somewhere that explained like, "You must answer could questions with the modal can". But I've seen quite a few cases that are opposite, such as... Q: (turns on ...
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use of could / would - correct the sentence - I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment

I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment. Options: - was able to fit might would My answer: I like that piece of furniture. I wish it would fit in my ...
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Meaning of “no <things> must/should […]”

I want to write a code comment that means "every line in this file must be shorter than N". I wrote this: No line in this file shall be longer than N ...then considered using "must", which is more ...
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Is it okay to say?: I'm going to go to the movies with him today, so I could've returned his pen then

This is what I saw in a movie. I borrowed his pen yesterday I promised this morning to go to the movies with him this evening I had a business near his house at around lunch, so I tried stop by and ...
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1answer
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Using the modal verb WILL

I have come across the following sentences in an upper-intermediate book: Living in a foreign country seems strange at first, but you soon get used to it. Don't worry. You will soon get used to it. ...
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Would for typical behaviour or one time thing?

Consider: Let's see if he would give us money. In the example 1, the speaker is saying whether he would give money to the speaker if he asked now. Not his typical behaviour. He might give the ...
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Why is “would” used in this sentence?

I would roast you but my mom said I am not allowed to burn trash. Why is "would" used in this sentence?
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'can' in if-clause

Is it OK to use "can" in the if-clause of Type 1 conditional sentences? For example: I'll try to find the audio files later. If I can't find them I'll record everything for you. Is this sentence ...
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is + past participle vs. has been + past participle?

What is the difference between these two sentences? After the source code is deployed, please check if there are any bugs. After the source code has been deployed, please check if there are ...
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1answer
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Would usage in this sentence

This day would constitute the greatest challange our production would ever face. Why is WOULD used in this sentence? Source: https://youtu.be/ivfspJOAtBI at 12:54.
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What is the difference between the structure “should do” and “should be doing”?

What is the difference between the following sentences. No one should live in this house, as it is decrepit. No one should be living in this house, as it is decrepit. You should help your ...
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1answer
28 views

…hoped that you would/could have been

X: "It's a big thing, so I was there with her." Y: "How did it go?" X: "Fine, though I think she had hoped that you would/could have been there too." Is the third piece of dialogue natural in the ...
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107 views

Would have usage in this sentence

It was as if I was seeing the young people inside them. Before I would have just seen the wrinkles. What is the usage of "would have" in these sentences? Source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...
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Would usage in this particular sentence

Learning an instrument is not as easy as one would wish. What is the use of "would" here and what is the meaning of these sentence?
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As one would verb

As you would expect, he is currently in coma. English is not as easy as one would wish. He reacted to it as one would react. We would normally use that sentence in this occasion. Why is "would" used ...
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Describing past action

I would always see him coming to school late with his jeans. I would always see him coming to school late with his jeans worn. I would always see him coming to school late while wearing his jeans. ...
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Would be or will be

Let's see what book would fit your taste. Let's see what book will fit your taste. What is the difference between 1 and 2? The answer would be 200. It is not as easy as one would wish. Why was "...
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1answer
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Word-usage - May, might and Could (For if clauses and Non-if clauses)

I've been searching about this for a long time, but the answer is not clear. Is there a difference between May, might and could? And, even further - Is there a difference when they are in a ...
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Shall I vs Should I? [duplicate]

Can I use shall or should in this sentence? If I can what do they mean: 'Mum, where shall/should I go?'
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The meaning of “would have” + the past participal of a verb in context

I have come across it in this video. It is 2 minutes and 28 seconds. Here is the context: Language is complex, and difficult to learn. So complex, that one relatively popular theory, which comes ...
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Usage of 'would' in “When people would ask me”

When people would ask me how old I was, I would answer them correctly. When I would go to social events, people would ask me to tell them my harrowing story. It was annoying when people would ask ...
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Does this sentence “We could not conceive..” describe the past or the present?

I'd like to ask if this sentence describes something that happened in the past or something of the present or future. "We could not conceive that he might soon be dead." Does it mean 'we' were not ...
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structure “had it been..” vs “was it..”

I am still confused about the "had it not been" structure after reading so many related threads. When describing, say Elon Musk, about his drive and passion (which he has been having), which of the ...
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Must not have + past participle

While reading a book, I encountered the following phrase: ...must not have (told) I found that confusing because my understanding was that "must not" is used to indicate that something is ...
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Could have filled

All students could have filled the application. Could this statement mean that every student were eligible for filling ?( we didn't want to mean that they didn't fill the application) , I want to use ...
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could have + past participle to express past possibility that come true

"I’m happy because you could have won the race." Could we say this sentence to a person who won a race?
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1answer
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Would or will which is more fit?

I wrote the following sentence: In our village, there is a man that would/will help anybody in need. I want to say that helping people is a characteristic or the habit of that man so I tried to ...
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1answer
14 views

must for deduction

A situation where Jack , Bob and Adam at the same room ,Bob and Adam thought that Jack didn't understand English , Bob said to Adam: "Jack is so boring" , Jack get mad and left the room, then Adam ...
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1st and 2nd conditional mixed?

I am so confused because I see lots of 1st and 2nd conditional mixed sentences.(or maybe it not) There is an example in music video called "Queen of Mean". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9o1QS-itsU ...
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What type of conditionals does McGonagall use?

I am confused about the type of conditionals used in the sentence below "You'd be stiff, if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day," said Professor McGonagall. It's the part of the text from ...
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“Could we have” for guessing

If we ask someone to guess how we escaped from the police, could we say: "How could we have escaped from the police?" Also, say I want to used these words in a sentence instead of a question. Does ...
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modals: How can you or How could you?

What is the difference between the following sentences? Don't tell me one is in the present tense whereas the other is in the past. I'm more interested in their functional rather than superficial ...
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Should I use will or would in this sentence?

As I am writing my assignment, I wonder whether I should use will or would and if there is any difference in meaning between these two words, I mean, in terms of possibility then will is more certain ...
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1answer
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unnecessary usage of would

I have seen this sentence in an online learning website: Let's delve into the problem you'd like to solve I can't get why would is used in this sentence? what this the difference between this ...
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1answer
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“Could have” to express astonishment

A teacher gave us a challenge to solve an equation , we spent hours and hours trying to solve the equation without any result , and in a late time my friend called me and told me that he solved the ...
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Is this correct? “How do you not be too hard on yourself for realizing you tolerated poor behavior in a relationship?”

This is the title of a post I saw on Reddit "How do you not be too hard on yourself for realizing you tolerated poor behavior in a relationship?" and I was wondering if "do you not be" was ...
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A Particular Use of “Would”

Someone commented on a YouTube video, and I don't understand why he used "would". Here is the comment: I swear the video could be 911 stories and there would be a police photo on the thumbnail.
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WOULD meaning in those sentences

1.I think we would be better off friends. 2.I think that i would die. 3.I would die for you. 4.I think i would just cut the wire. Why would is used in those sentences? I think it is not ...
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QUESTION about WOULD

My friend said to me yesterday that "I don't think having superpowers would make my life easier". Why did he use would in that sentence? It is not future in the past, so why use would?