Modal verbs (such as can, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, and must) combine with verbs in the bare infinitive to express information about the verb such as possibility or necessity.

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Stress on “can” and “could”

I can go there. I could go there. In these sentences, when spoken, how is the meaning altered by putting stress/emphasis on the words can and could?
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grammar: could versus would be able to

I'd like to be a dog walker because I think I'd be able to or I could control several dogs at once. The person's speaking about her abilities in the conditional. Is could be used in this ...
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Grammatical difference between: “should have more…” and “should eat some…”

I should have some/more fish. I should eat some/more vegetables. Are the verbs eat and have different in the two sentences considering the use of should?
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Asking questions without “do” in them

In school, we learned that in interrogative statements to use do (e.g. Do you want to go there?). I'm wondering if there are any cases when do is not required. For example, I'm thinking if this is ...
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“She must have done that, mustn't she?” (Tail/tag questions with “Can/may/must + Present Perfect”)

How often can you hear an educated native speaker say She can't have done that, can she? She can have done that, can't she? She mustn't have done that, must she? She must have done that, mustn't ...
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Meaning of the term “empty use” in the context of modal verbs

I'm reading a book titled Comprehensive High School English Grammar & Composition. The author, who is Indian, says this on the use of the modal verbs can and could: Can is used to express ...
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58 views

“can” vs. “could”

"This case report suggests that a lung embolism CAN/COULD occur in a patient with no pulmonary vulnerabilities." Which of these verbs is correct in this sentence?
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198 views

“I have had to take a leave.” is it grammatically correct?

I am little bit confused about English grammar structure about have had to and its uses, and I need some clarification on the same. For example: I have had to take a leave. Is that grammatically ...
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The origin of “used to” and “supposed to”

Is anyone aware of where these phrasal modals that look like passive constructions come from? Were they originally passives (for example: "he was supposed to do xyz by someone else") that eventually ...
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Just how many moods are there in English?

Most sources say that there are just three (indicative, imperative, and subjunctive) and others list several more and are not consistent. All the modal auxiliaries seem to form distinct moods: do ...
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Can “should” be used in first-person, past-tense narration?

Consider this excerpt from fiction in which the character is considering a course of action: We weren’t making any progress. Every suggestion I made seemed to make him angrier. Maybe I should ...
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How does one correctly use the 'verb + infinitive' construction?

Which option is correct? I want add something. I want to add something. If there is a general rule, please describe it. If you know how to better name the topic, propose your own version.
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Is “You must have cleaned the room by 9 o'clock tomorrow” epistemic or deontic?

"You must have cleaned the room by 9 o'clock tomorrow" Is must epistemic or deontic here? I think it might be epistemic because of the use of the perfect aspect (have cleaned), but it sounds ...
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435 views

“May have been” : sequence of tenses

Let us suppose we have such a sentence: John says Marry may have fallen ill. How should we change the sentence if we talk about the past? Is it correct? John said Marry might have fallen ...
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144 views

Contracting “I should have” to “I'd've”

I know that for "I would have" the contraction "I’d have" or "I’d’ve" is a lot more frequently used in everyday conversation. But is the same true for "I should have"? Is "I’d've" also prefered?