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2answers
121 views

Is it correct to say: 'I wish I would (not) do something!'?

If the verb 'wish' and the verb that follows it do not have the same subjects, you can either say I wish you didn't chew gum in class! or I wish you wouldn't chew gum in class! if you want ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Use of 'might' in the past

I have just seen the following sentence in a prestigious grammar book. We use might ( not ‘may’) + infinitive to talk about what was typically the case in the past: -During the war, the police ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Is this sentence “merger”, monosemous or polysemous?

I hope someone can help me with these two sentences: -Hurricane Caterina has caused tremendous damage and the government is committed to doing all that we CAN to support the people with these ...
-1
votes
1answer
80 views

The 'can' confusion [closed]

Every time there is a lesson on modals I am taught that the modal 'can' is about ability. How should I determine when 'can' literally means ability, and when it is just a request? Does the question '...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

“He must have overslept, mustn't he?” versus “… , hasn't he?” or “… , didn't he?” Which is correct?

Which question tag should follow He must have overslept ? He must have overslept, mustn't he ? or He must have overslept, hasn't he ? or even He must have overslept, didn't he ? What ...
-1
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1answer
80 views

Is the tense correct in these sentences? [closed]

Is this sentence correct grammatically? He must have seen my jet ski and became suspicious. or should it be: He must have seen my jet ski and become suspicious. Please note that the ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

modal verb 'have to' [closed]

Do we use have to to express a strong probability? Are these sentences correct: This suit can’t really cost $200. This has to be a misprint. (to refer to the present possibility) Food prices have ...
0
votes
3answers
257 views

Usage of can vs may [duplicate]

It is said that can and may both are used as a sense of possibility. If that’s the case, then what is the difference between: It can be very dangerous to cycle at night. It may be very dangerous ...
-3
votes
1answer
295 views

Special modals (modal + has/have + V3) [closed]

Can anyone clear my doubt about these special modals : She could have asked me for the dinner. She must not have done it. He should have taken her to his home. I would have kissed her if ...
-1
votes
3answers
152 views

Correct modal verb [closed]

Please share your thoughts about this item from an exam. UPDATED If it is possible for John to shift to architecture, he (should/could/must/might) shift to architecture. It is possible for John ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

Difference between be supposed to and ought to

I was confused by usage of be supposed to and ought to modals. Where can we use them? For instance, I am supposed to/ought to learn English today. I don't have to learn english today, but to me it ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is the modal “would” correct in these passive sentences?

Recently I was going through a grammar exercise book and I found these two peculiar sentences in a section about passive usage: "What would you most recent been told? I would most recent being told ...
0
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4answers
352 views

'could have + past participle' to talk about possible events in the future

BACKGROUND In this earlier thread, Edwin Ashworth approved a use of 'could have + past participle' for the future event that was precluded by context as in: (1) Mary could have arrived tomorrow, ...
-1
votes
1answer
267 views

“Would” vs. “Wouldn't”

""Do you doubt that they wouldn't love to kill us all? I don't. It's clearly obvious." Why did the writer use "wouldn't" instead of "would"?
2
votes
1answer
653 views

Is it correct to say ''you ARE to be back here before dark'' [duplicate]

I'm reading a novel and a character says this line:''you ARE to be back here before dark'' but I could not find this usage of the verb to be in my dictionary, so here I ask you if this is informal ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Using “should” in a conditional sentence

I have a question about certain conditional sentences. Specifically with these rules: If + present = future For example: "If I win the lottery, I will go to France." If + past = conditional (...
1
vote
4answers
355 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
93 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
254 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
201 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 them? ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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
122 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
145 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
814 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 not ...
5
votes
4answers
16k 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
2k 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
50 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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
233 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
92k views

Why use “need not” instead of “do not need to”?

The header of psyco.sourceforge.net states: High-level languages need not be slower than low-level ones. Why use need not instead of do not need? What does it mean? Also, why no to before be?