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'.
My wife and I take English classes provided by our companies, so we have different teachers. So now it happened that we had the same topic: future.
Both teachers are native English speakers,...
Can you please explain this to me?
Could you please explain this to me?
I am unable to figure out which to use which situation. I did google, and some posts say they are both the same, even if ...
What is the difference between the following two sentences.
I will be surprised if he confesses.
I would be surprised if he confesses.
I know that the first is often referred to as first conditional....
The following is taken from PEU1 123.5:
Could have + past participle can refer to present situations which were
possible but have not been realised.
He could have been Prime Minister now ...
Are they always interchangeable or subtle meaning differences occurred when we prefered one to another?
Here some sentences I came across. Can we rewrite these sentences with keeping their meanings?
Consider the following sentence
It will/would rain tomorrow.
I understand "would" usually means something that is really improbable.
So "it would happen" means it might happen but it is very ...
Let's not wait any longer. He might not turn up.
I would like to know in this sentence, could we use could instead of might? Can these two words be used alternatively?
What's the difference between ...
Do any one know if we use the word should in any if adverbial clause, so how that affects the sentence? Just my Profs. told me this: when we add "should", this emphasises the speaker's uncertainty ...
Page 111 (77, Should expressing probability), Oxford Learner's Grammar - Grammar Finder:
We can also use should to say that something is probable,
either in the present or the future.
The following example is taken from source
A：We saw a police helicopter overhead yesterday morning.
B：Really? They would have been looking for those bank robbers.
The website says that it ...
As I know we can use both structures to talk about past ability , but is there any difference between them?
A. He could climb the mountain
B. He could have climbed the mountain
What is the difference between "should" and "must"?
e.g. "They should have called the police." Can I use "must" in that sentence or not?
e.g. "You should read his new book." How about this sentence?
A friend of mine always texts me asking me to call him. While it's simple and informal to just text "can you call me?" or something similar, he insists on being fancy and texts "may you please call me?...
The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. (Source)
what does would imply ...
I really do not get how "will" and past infinitive is used here. This comes from an example in a textbook, explaining usage of will in assumptions:
Some of you will have met me before.
I wonder, ...
could have vs would have
I know could means indicating a possibility or ability, and would means the past of will or something about that is uncertain.
Which of the following is correct?
If you ...
I was solving a test on modals and there was the following line:
What was the problem? Why _ leave early?
The proposed fill-in combinations were:
had you to
did you have to
you had to
I can work.
I could work.
I will work.
I would work.
I shall work.
I should work.
I understand how the phrase "used to" can describe something that was done in the past:
When I was growing up, my parents used to read to me at bedtime.
My dad used to take the family out ...
It is possible to use do as an auxiliary verb to denote emphasis:
I do like ice cream
Is it also possible to use it when do is the main verb as well? E.g.:
I did do (it).
He does do (it).
If you know football really well, then you could/can/would/will probably explain it to a non-fan.
‘We all believe, up at the Lodge, Rachael, that he will be freed from suspicion, sooner or later.’
‘The better I know it to be so believed there, my dear,’ said Rachael, ‘and the ...
The following parts are taken from PEU:1
122.2 common or typical
We often use can to say what is common or typical.
Scotland can be very warm in September.
Ann can really ...
It can be very cold in winters.
It may be very cold in winters.
What is the difference between these two sentences?
People say when may is used then it means that it may be cold in winters or it ...
“Jeremy Finch, I told you you’d live to regret tearing my camellias.
You regret it now, don’t you?” Jem would say he certainly
did. “Thought you could kill my Snow-on-the-Mountain, did you?
What is the difference between would not and did not?
I called my girlfriend but she wouldn't stop.
I called my girlfriend but she didn't stop.
I'll be at my uncle's house just in case you need to reach me.
I'll be at my uncle's house should you need to reach me.
Could you tell me what is the difference between those?
Let's say I want to arrange a lesson with my coach and I say:
Shall we have a lesson on Monday?
I understand the use of 'shall' in American English is considered to be formal, whereas this is not ...
What is the difference between will and shall in modern spoken English?
For example I have the following sentences:
He will arrive on Tuesday.
He shall arrive on Tuesday.
Are there any ...
I’ve made another mistake in a modals test, in the can/could segment.
The following exchange was presented:
Where’s my bag? Have you seen it? – No, but it _ be in the car.
I decided that both ‘...
I am not quite sure whether in the following sentence the construction of the verbs and the rest of wording are correct:
Should the construction of the University Hospital be completed, this would ...
What's the difference between the following sentences?
(a) I wish they wouldn't make so much noise.
(b) I wish they were not making so much noise.
(c) I wish they did not make so much noise.
That can't be Obama at the door, it's too early.
That couldn't be Obama at the door, it's too early.
What is the difference between them? Are they almost the same?
The first sentence of each row is direct speech. The second one is reported speech.
The modals will and can change in the reported speech. But I am not sure what to do with should.
"I will go to ...
I'm reading an article about two pets rescuing their owners. After the cat managed to wake up the mother, she tried to wake up other members but they wouldn't wake up.
Cathy tried to tell her ...
In my understanding, while talking about future whether to use "would" or "will" depends on our perception and subjective.
If you are confident about something you can use 'will' instead of 'would' ...
This makes you wish the author would have written several advanced
sequels to this amazing book.
I don't like would in the sentence. Because you usually say "I wish he had written..." So for me the ...
Next day we got on to more intimate subjects and I began to learn
something of his life. He was now nearer fifty than forty years of
age, though I should have thought him younger.
I had been ...
Can I use would have alone like
The situation would have been worse without his help.
The lack of anybody's cooperation would have caused us a lot of problems.
to provide the same meaning as using ...
Should anyone phone, tell him I'm busy.
If anyone phones, tell him I'm busy.
I am wondering what is the difference between those?
What is more, I am wondering as to the inversion in the first ...
Here are the two sentences using will resume and will be resumed.
What is correct here? Also, is it true that will should always be followed by be?
My office process will be resumed once I ...
In the sentence "the best choice would be...", what does "would" mean in the following sentence?
Questioner: Is this sentence correct?
'Finished eating, we went to the zoo'.
Answer: I'm ...
When talking about possibilities in the past, You often use "could have done".
"She could have gone to the theatre with him."
"He couldn't have done such a thing!"
"I could have saved them."
What is the difference between might and may? Is one a more formal way to speak, or is one correct and the other wrong?
What is the correct form?
1) It can contain
2) It can contains
I heard this on a radio show.
Who said this verbatim?
That would be correct!
Why do you need to weaken your assertiveness by using "would be" instead of "that is correct?"
The following parts are taken from Michael Swan's, Practical English Usage (hereafter PEU):
259.2 could have ... and might have ...
We can use could have + past participle to mean 'would have ...
He couldn't have been hungry.
He mustn't have been hungry.
Is there a difference in meaning between those two?
Life is unpredictable. For instance, he
wouldn't have guessed he would win the lottery.
Life is unpredictable. For instance, he
couldn't have guessed he could win the lottery.
I'm a little confused. ...
Which one of the following is commonly used in daily British English conversation?
The story could be true, but I don't think it is.
The story might be true, but I don't think it is.