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'.
A: Where is John?
B: I don't know. He could be in the market.
You could write a letter to the principal.
The first sentence is a speculation, and the second, a suggestion.
Q: Do we stress the first &...
I was reading The Great Gatsby and here's the sentence.
I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities.
He did rent a house in fact. so I don't think he's expressing regret or hope....
While agreeing with someone on something, can I use any of these instead of the simple "I agree with you"?
I have to agree with you.
I'll have to agree with you.
I'm going to have to ...
We use "would" when we want to express our opinions, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/would:
I think you'd agree he's a very respected columnist.
I would ...
Yes, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used. (= I am able to imagine...) (it is in response to the question: "Can you think of a context where...?")
I can imagine ...
I would have appreciated it if my colleagues had done the same for me.
I would have appreciated it if my colleagues would have done the same for me.
Is the second sentence correct?
I found the following in a user review of the movie Kissing Jessica Stein:
The easy chat they have overcomes Jessica repulsion at the whole idea and soon they have become more than just friends. ...
Are these sentences grammatical and natural? How does the meaning change when "double modals" are used in a sentence?
I thought you might could help me.
I might could do that....
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 ...
a) Can you imagine a context where you would use sentence "x"?
Q) Are we requesting the person to try to make an effort to imagine a context where..., or are we just asking whether he is ...
Well, I was reading a book when I read this sentence
Should you fail to do so, we would have no choice but to take further action.
I want to know what type of conditional is this? The if statement ...
A: What's his age?
B1: I say he is 60 years old.
B2: I would say he is 60 years old.
B3: I will say he is 60 years old.
Do they all sound correct?
I could be run over by a bus tomorrow.
I could be hit by lightning.
I could die tomorrow.
Can I replace the "could"s with "might"s in the examples above with no change in ...
I know that the usage of would have carries two main meanings: one is often paired with but, say, I would have loaned you the money, but I didn’t have any; the other is used in conditional sentences ...
How would you suggest a sentence to someone?
Student: I wrote this sentence: XYZ. Is my sentence natural?
a) Teacher: It's OK but this would be the normal way of expressing it: ABC.
b) Teacher: It's ...
Suppose a student asks a teacher whether a particular sentence is grammatical or not. The teacher has just a little bit of doubt about the grammatical correctness of the sentence. How would he comment ...
I have a question: when I could use the modal verb ¨Could¨ and when ¨Would¨ because for me is similar. I know ¨Would¨ we can use it in very polite situations like ¨would you like a cup of coffee¨. But ...
How do modal verbs behave in the past tense? Should I keep 'should' or replace it with 'should have'? For instance
She said he should (have) wash(ed) his hands before the dinner.
You replace 'will' ...
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 ...
Sometimes, I see sentences like the following, using two structures that, as far as my knowledge goes, aren't supposed to be together.
I should've been somebody by now.
You should've known it by now
Can I use such kind of question forms in the Past perfect form?
Had I had to be sent there?-Passive Voice
Had I had to have my car washed?-Passive Causative
Had I had to have guns?-the main meaning ...
In the way I was using the word "hypothetical" here, it means imagined rather than actual, regardless of how likely or unlikely something is deemed to be. In general usage, the degree of ...
a) What can they be doing?
b) Can he be serious?
What does "can" mean in sentences a) and b)? Can we replace it by "could"?
Consider the phrase, "is it possible, we could have rain (or rainy weather) on Saturday". This doesn't seem to be a past modal form as there is no verb it modifies, so seems more like a ...
My friend asked me the meaning of the sentence below:
May, for this effect was only tested in conditions with a task (see further below).
a scientific paper, p.28)
I think the meaning ...
If we describe some specific order of events after "should have" ("you should have done something, and then something), what form of the second verb should be used?
For example, "...
Is the sentence bellow possible? Why is might being used here although the sentence is in the past? Shouldn't it be "Might have" instead?
You said hey. I said hello.
A: "I gotta know, ...
I found the following in a grammar textbook under a unit about “should” as a modal verb:
“I suggested that she should buy a car.”
But it is stated there that the past tense of “should” is “should ...
If I had been serious about music when I was young, I might participate in the concert tomorrow.
If I had been serious about music when I was young, I might've participated in the concert tomorrow.
It is written in my grammar textbook that the past form of “might” is “might have + past participle”, for example:
Present: “I might go to the party.”
Past: “You might have left your keys in the ...
I might go to the beach if the sun was shining.
I might go with you to the market if I wasn't ill.
I might do better if I had a different teacher.
If I won the lottery, I might buy a 20-room ...
Could vs might(for the future possibility)
I could go there.
I might go there.
I know that these two sentences talk about less possibility to go there.
but, I can’t know their slight difference.
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.
Yesterday I was reading an article and I came across a sentence with two modals and I have never seen two modals together.
The military might can curb the terrorist group.
Can anybody explain how to ...
The world may never eradicate coronavirus, but it can get it under control.
The world may never eradicate coronavirus, but it could get it under control.
The world may never eradicate coronavirus, ...
These sentences are at the beginning of a paragraph. I am not sure whether they are a conditional or a guessing or a historical fact.
I have read this discussion, but the answers are implying that the ...
An example from TED:
Those conversations should be happening in a good marriage, not after it is broken.
And I have heard it many times so far, but I am not sure what exactly it means. Does it a ...
Why some people use could instead of can (in the simple present tense)
Could you open the door?
You use "might" to indicate that something could happen or be true in particular circumstances. (emphasis mine)
I can only hope I will ever meet someone like you.
I could only hope I would ever meet someone like you.
Are 1) and 2) both correct? If so, what is the difference between them?
What is the difference between above two sentences?
Would you let me know, why did you go there?
Could you let me know, why did you go there?
I guess would is kind of expecting a yes or no answer, ...
If I'm in the present time and I'm trying to open the door using the key that doesn't want to go inside the lock. Should I say:
1- The key wouldn't go in.
2- They key won't go in.
Is it correcr natural to use the question how could you have done it? when expressing disbelief or surprise? For example:
So you are saying you made it. How could you have done it? You can't even ...
The following is from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I'm wondering whether the boldfaced part is likely to have been "would we be":
Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life ...
I want to know from a grammatical point of view why do we use be with will instead of using is and are. For example:
Jack will be skydiving tomorrow. Correct
Jack will is skydiving tomorrow. ...
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 these sentences, please:
Looking at her now you’d never guess she had been so upset.
Can I use "has been" or "was" in place of "had been" in the sentence above?...
1). In the context of disease management, it is not the case that one drug would work for the entire population and a single one would be useful for that patient’s lifetime.
2). In the context of ...
1.It was probable that he would go but he didn't go.
2.It was probable that he had gone./Probably he had gone.
3.It is probable that he has gone.
Can we make similar sentences as to the meaning of the ...
He goes to Delhi every week so that he could see his Mother.
My friends and people here said that it’s wrong and we should use “can” instead of could, as “could” is used in past forms and the given ...