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1
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4answers
120 views

Modals - ability

"He was able to win the race." It means he won the race. Can it also mean he didn't win? - he didn't use the ability to win. If not, how to express the idea?
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Past modals and “like” [closed]

I need to rewrite a sentence by using the past modals. "Luke's given that watch away to a friend" (standard sentence) "Clearly he didn't like it then". (the sentence I have to rewrite with a modal ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Questions on modals,tenses

I'm not sure whether I used the right tenses? They say that he might not have done all he could to keep her safe There are many things he could have done over the years to keep her safe,but he ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Use of “would” when describing habits in present

My question pertains to one specific form of usage of "would". Is is inappropriate or even incorrect or, a fortiori, not understandable, if we use (read as: on utilise) "would" when referring to ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

“Could have” vs “might have” (in lucky escape situation)

That was a lucky escape! You might have been killed. That was a lucky escape! You could have been killed. Which one is more suitable in this situation? Is there any difference between ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What modal verbs do natives use nowadays?

We are being taught English by a native speaker from Alaska. He states that many of modal verbs we were taught are outdated and have been replaced. E.g.: We must ➙ We have to May I ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

What does “It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad.” become in indirect reported speech?

What does the sentence: It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad. become in indirect reported speech? He told me it… can't have been (?) couldn't have been (?) … her I had seen ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

For a past situation: simple infinitive or perfect infinitive after “ought to”?

In Michael Vince's New First Certificate Language Practice, page 92, exercise 2, sentence number 10, you are given the sentence: "I thought that you would know better!" which has to be re-written ...
2
votes
4answers
513 views

Why is the same modal auxiliary, 'may/might' used to ask permission and for uncertainty?

"May I go to the bathroom?" and "I asked if I might go to the bathroom." The modal auxiliary 'may/might' is used to ask permission. "He may not have understood your question." and "He might ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

can't have been vs. couldn't have been

I don't understand when and why to use can't have been. It seems so strange to me.
0
votes
1answer
856 views

Must (Past Obligation Interrogative) “Must you have eaten all the food?” [closed]

Is the question "Must you have eaten all the food" correct when used in the past obligatory sense? The best examples I can find are quite ambiguous. "Must He have been less than perfectly kind to ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Modal verbs (must or to have to) [duplicate]

As far as I know, When you speak about yourself and you refer to your own feeling of necessity of doing something you use must and not to have to. If I am talking about outside command or necessity ...
3
votes
1answer
846 views

Usage of infinitives in this sentence

In my academics I learned that we use infinitives (to + verb 1st form). So I was surprised when someone told me this sentence is incorrect. I am not able to figure it out why this sentence is ...
-1
votes
2answers
131 views

Should the statement after “then” be followed with modals?

Consider the following: If you were to buy this, then ask me. Or should it be: If you were to buy this, then you would need to ask me. Is the use of would necessary here? If we go with the ...