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'.
questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
what is the difference between the following in terms of meaning (potentiality/permission)
may be going
may have gone
is it valid to say that 'may go' has greater certainty than 'may have ...
Please let me know if could in the following sentences shows a hypothetical situation or possibility.
He couldn’t lift that. It’s too heavy.
He could lift that. It is not too heavy.
It would be great if you would not be here around for a while.
Is this sentence correct?
This is I guess if clause or conditional clause
Paul: it's more of a fifth date kinda revelation.
Paul: So you still think you, um... might want that fifth date?
Monica: (pause)...Yeah. Yeah, I do.
The following sentence is collected from cricinfo.com:
They were under a little bit of pressure then. If we could have carried on, we could have set them 220 or even more than that. So to get out ...
Here is my phrase from Stack Overflow question.
How to create a universal function so that it doesn't have to be rewritten for every new polynomial degree NN?
Could (would, should, arrrgh) I write ...
Consider these sentences, please:
Yes, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used. (in response to the question: "can you imagine a few contexts where...?)
I can imagine ...
In the following sentence, why is "can" appropriate than "could"? Is it a grammar thing?
The more satisfied you are with your job, the more effort you could put into your work.
Can we use "would" in the sense of but I/we/he won't? For example:
Person A: Can you come with me for shopping this evening?
Person B: I would, but I have an important meeting to attend. (...
The whole class was laughing as if they would die. The German teacher
tried in vain to stop their noise. But they would not listen to her.
But they would not listen to her.
What is the ...
Did you know you could follow us on our Twitter?
Did you know you can follow us on our Twitter?
I can't grasp the difference between their usages. Could you explain them over the following examples?
It was half past five. Dad would have finished work.
It was half past five. Dad would finish ...
I can travel in July because my exams will definitely be finished at the beginning of that month.
I could travel in July because my exams will probably be finished at the beginning of that month.
It’s ten o’clock. They could have arrived now.
Does this “could have” indicates they “could have” but they didn’t? If my conclusion is correct, Are there anyother possible interpretations or not?
Consider this sentence, please:
Last night I dreamed of a wonderful vacation. I could never have dreamed of a better vacation!
Is the second sentence talking about my inability to dream of a better ...
Thank you for showing interest in this post. Please have a look at the would in the following excerpts from The Economist:
Conveniently for politicians, some of the pain of high inflation would
I can't settle an argument with myself about the difference between "Supposed to" and "Have to". For instance
Kids' show are supposed to have simple language
Kids'show have to have simple ...
1) After we go for a run, I would like some tea.
2) After we go for a run, I like some tea
What is the difference between the meanings of these two sentences?
Please, help me to understand the usage of these modals better.
As I think, the most appropriate answer is
I wasn't able to drink coffee (come home late) when I was 10 years old.
because these ...
I have a question regarding the usage of can, could, would. I know can Is less polite when it is used to request people to do things. I know would and could also be used in a more polite way. But can ...
In some scientific article I saw this sentence.
For example, using the vanilla Damerau-Levenshtein edit distance (defined as the minimum number of point changes required to transform a string into ...
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 ...
I have a hard time convincing someone that the correct verb to use in the following sentence is the conditional "would be" rather than the subjunctive "were":
One interviewee ...
As we know, modal verbs "could" & "can't" can be used to guess something or state an ability.
Eg: She could be at home now (=It is possible that she is at home now. The chance is 50%)
She can't ...
In the following sentence which is the correct usage? Would have been or would be? Would have been sounds better to me but I am not sure.
"I have written in such a way that there are some words and ...
He has great calves. He must run very fast.
is a strong inference using 'must'.
Can the sentence using 'can't' always have the opposite meaning of 'must' (inference)?
You said he's faster than ...
1) I would have called you, but I didn't know your number.
2) I could have called you, but I didn't know your number.
Can I use 2 in place of 1? Do they mean same?
According to the rules of "Speculation Modals", we use "may / could / might + inf" to guess things in the present
Eg: I may / might / could be late today
"Speculation Modals" say that we use "may / ...
Here's my understanding about first and second conditionals.
If Tom has time, he will visit us.
It's an open narrative. If Tom has time, he will visit us. If he doesn't, then he won't.
If Tom ...
1.Tag those who'll attend her concert
2.Tag those who'd attend her concert
3.Tag those who'd have attended her concert
There is a sentence:
If you really want to achieve the accomplishment like mine, you would have to accept the hardship and have experienced it for twenty years.
I want to know the usage of "would ...
On Quora, I've run into such a sentence where the author describes a hypothetical situation if astronauts wore unsuitable space suits on the Moon:
At about this time, they’d realize that the sides ...
What is the meaning of 'would' in the following sentence?
It's not what we would have expected from a professional service.
I would leave if I could.
I would have left if I could --the same form of "could"
I would have left if I could have used the car.
Is that correct? Is ...
I could stay with her, but didn't.
I could have stayed with her, but ........
First, Does the meaning differ?
And What are possible words for the blank space?
I could have gone to ...
People ask where would AAP get money from to fulfill their promises. Remember that episode on Garbage on Satyamev Jayate where a scientist explained how a work that could have been ...
Can I just say a word?
You can just say a word.
Does just modify say in first sentence ?
Does just modify can in second sentence ?
If so, The question and response is not corresponding
how do I ...
How do I express the thought that the occurrence of some event results in the occurrence of another before it.. in other words, that if an event were to happen, some other event would happen before it?...
Is "would" incompatible with "I'm not sure"?
If so, do you know why?
A: Where's John now?
B: I'm not sure. He would be at home now.
A: When will John come back?
B: I'm not sure....
I'm wondering if "would" is used properly in the following, or "will" should be used instead.
A: Where's John now?
B: I don't know for certain. He would be at home now.
A: When ...
On this page, https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/verbs-in-time-clauses-and-if-clauses, there is a section called "Making hypotheses" It says: some conditional ...
I'm just wondering whether would means possible in the following sentences? It's ambiguous on what it's used to talk about an unreal situation or to make suggestions sound less definite. I'm confused ...
What does "would" mean in the following sentences?
That picture would look better on the other wall.
It would be nice to see more of Ray and Barbara.
Six o'clock would be a good time to ...
How does "would" work in this sentence?
A: Is it "may I know who you are ?" or "may I know who are you?"?
B: The first one is correct. 'May I know who are you?' ...
You see your friend rather chubbier than the last time you met him. You guess that he started eating pizza a few months ago and kept doing that until now.
Is it correct to say "he must have been ...
She told me John might contact the manager.
She told me John might have contacted the manager.
The difference is that the action of contacting the manager happened at different times, ...
What does "would" mean here?
In the context you provided, I would say X.
I would say X in this situation.
Here's a reading test that I did the other day:
Dear Mr. Prosser,
The information that you requested about changes to the hunting permit scheme has been enclosed. Please note that each permit must be ...
I'm wondering whether "would" can be used to indicate the speaker/writer's speculation, not necessarily counterfactuality or unlikelihood. Consider the following:
A: Where is John now? B: ...
Can I use "may," "might," and "could" in my first sentence? Additional information is provided for context.
Yes, you may need English in the future. We don't know what'...