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
if + present tense + will + bare infinitive
if + past tense + would + bare infinitive
if + past perfect + would have + past participle
From what ...
a. He didn't want to go out, because he might get shot, but they forced him to. I don't know what happened to him.
b. He didn't want to go out, because he could get shot, but they forced him to. I don'...
Q) If someone didn't help you (on a particular occasion)/has never helped you in the past, can you say any one of the following:
a) You would think he would help me. (implying he didn't help/has never ...
Is my interpretation correct?
She could understand what I said.
She was able to understand what I said.
So like, both sentences are grammatical and interchangeable. But the former is more like ...
If "possibility" is used in a phrase that is similar to the one in the title, then what follows obviously could be true.
To me, using could makes the sentence have a double possibility (an ...
Consider the following two sentences:
John always play football.
John always plays football.
Which of the above two sentences are correct? The first sentence seems right to me since there are too ...
only you could make it better. What's the meaning of this sentence? Since there is "could", does it mean that the "you" is the only person able to do it (make it better) ? and is ...
I know I can use these modal verbs when talking to a specific person, but I am wondering if I can use all these three modal verbs with a generic subject "you" or "people".
While writing the thesis, google docs proposed me to use "can originate" instead of "can be originated". Seriously, is there any difference? I am not a native speaker, that's why I ...
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'...
This is my opinion about it. I am interested to see if anyone else knows more about this.
This is my opinion about it. I will be interested to see if anyone else knows more about this.
This is my ...
Could you tell what is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?
To get a place at the college, you have to pass the exams.
To get a place at the college, you have to have passed ...
Although you can visit these places, you’re welcome to stay in the hotel if you are tired.
Which one of the modals "may", "might", "could" can I use in place of "...
I am wondering about "would" can be also used to express the degree of certainty.
Not any website shows any example sentences using "would" to express the degree of certainty only ...
I'm a teacher of English as a foreign language. I'm about to deal with a lesson of modals and how to use them to express degrees of certainty. I have some questions:
I'm confused about the meaning of ...
According to https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-modal-would.htm, would can be used to create remoteness of possibility or probability remoteness between speakers (formality, politeness).
Would, could, and might can be used to express possibility or uncertainty in the present or future (they are the "softer" and more "indirect", or more "polite" forms of ...
Could you tell me if there is a nuance of meaning between could and would when asking someone to do something politely? For example:
Kate, could you pick up some milk on your way home?
Kate, would ...
If you have ever been woken up before sunrise by the trilling and chirping of birds outside your window, you may have wondered: why do birds sing so loud, so early in the morning?
Look at these sentences:
(1)He lost to a better player. He won in every other way one can imagine.
(2)You/one can get very nasty skin diseases from bathing in dirty water.
It can be seen that both ...
Person/learner A: What does "take" mean in this sentence?
Interlocutor B: You'll need to provide more context for a good answer. (a) In that particular sentence, the verb "take" ...
I found the sentense "he hesitated before ringing her, fearful of what she might say".
I wonder why "... might say" is used but not "... might have said"?
Usually, must with the continuous infinitive conveys an inference.
1 He must be repairing his computer now. (I think he is repairing)
But is it possible to use it with the sense of obligation?
Your child can do better with a different teacher.
Your child may do better with a different teacher.
Your child could do better with a different teacher.
Your child might do better with a different ...
You can get into even worse trouble when you're not careful.
You could get into even worse trouble when you're not careful.
You may get into even worse trouble when you're not careful.
You might ...
Dystopias and You: What Could Happen if We’re Not Careful. (http://pezperry.uncadighist.org/dystopias-and-you-what-could-happen-if-were-not-careful/)
Can I replace the "if" with "when/...
A vegetarian diet can provide enough calories for a child's normal growth.
A vegetarian diet may provide enough calories for a child's normal growth.
Does sentence 2) mean the following:
2a) A ...
Yesterday I asked this question, but haven't got any answer so far... So I try to ask that my question in another way (thorough some simpler questions):
Can the following sentences be considered ...
As you all will know, election day is next week.
Can we replace the "will" with "would" or "must"?
What modal verbs can be used in Zero Conditionals (Present Real Conditionals)?
For example, I have stumbled across such examples:
If you want to go to university, you must study hard.
If it can be ...
As far as I know people say that "must have done" can't express obligation in the past. However, how would you classify these sentences then?
1 To qualify for this position, you must have ...
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 &...
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 ...
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?
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
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 ...
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"?