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Questions tagged [deontic-vs-epistemic]

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What's quasi-modal be?

What's quasi-modal be? It is not a traditional grammar term. Google says You are to be good. <=> You must be good. Other than obligation, what modalities can the quasiness refer to? What ...
XCX's user avatar
  • 67
2 votes
0 answers
30 views

What is the difference between verbs "will" and "would"? [migrated]

What is the difference between verbs "will" and "would"? I have two examples below: I am trying to talk to him, but he won't listen. I was trying to talk to him, but he wouldn't ...
Александр Скворцов's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
122 views

Is it acceptable to consider the use of the progressive form in R-usage as one of the polite expressions?

I have a question about the progressive form in modal and periphrastic modal verbs. Modal verbs: can (could), may (might), must, should Periphrastic modal verbs: have to, ought to Regarding the ...
M 225's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Meaning of the structure [be + to + verb] in this context

I’m trying to understand the meaning of “whom they are to admire” in this long sentence: From these causes it results that the advocates of drastic reform divide themselves into opposing schools, ...
apadana's user avatar
  • 455
2 votes
3 answers
722 views

Max couldn’t go out after dark. <permission at a past time?>

A linguistics paper titled "Tense and Modals" by Tim Stowell shows these examples and explains them as follows: (9) a. Carl can’t move his arm. (ability at the utterance time) b. Carl ...
JK2's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
87 views

Could "It needn't have been Jill that wrote the note" be interpreted other than deontic?

I know that the modality can be ambiguous and many clauses can be interpreted in many ways. I find that the clause "It needn't have been Jill that wrote the note" can be interpreted as ...
noorav's user avatar
  • 137
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

Is "Could you help me move these boxes?" interpreted as deontic or dynamic when it comes to the modality families?

I have a problem with the following clause: Could you help me move these boxes? I would like to know for my upcoming English test that if this clause is interpreted as epistemic, deontic or dynamic. ...
noorav's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
111 views

Can "must have + past participle" ever express obligation (deontic modality)?

Can a sentence using a must have + past participle construction ever express deontic modality? These are all epistemic: He must have showered. Someone must have eaten the apple. The laundry must have ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
0 votes
1 answer
372 views

What’s the difference between saying “I’m willing ɴᴏᴛ to do it” and “I’m ɴᴏᴛ willing to do it”? [duplicate]

I’ve been asked to paraphrase this sentence without changing the meaning: I won’t do it. I’m confused as to which of these possible rewrites I should choose: I’m willing not to do it. I'm not ...
Tyy's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
95 views

What is the reason for quasi-modals existing and why do they imply different meaning than the modals themselves?

What I mean is - Why do we have collocations such as "be supposed to", "have to", "be able to"? I understand that modals are defective, but maybe more fundamentally, why ...
Matěj Vais's user avatar
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0 answers
37 views

Confusion with 'Would" [duplicate]

What could be the possible meaning of the sentence?: "If you would agree to my conditions, I would give you compensation." I would highly appreciate your response.
Mexal's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
51 views

Real Conditional Clause + Present Unreal Main Clause [closed]

Is it grammatical to say these four sentences? If I have studied it for four years, I should be good at it. If I had studied it for four years, I should be good at it. If I have been studying it ...
Hayli's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
133 views

Is this tense usage correct, "you'll continue acting"?

if you'll continue acting like... I understand "if you continue to act like..." seems more logical, but is there a fault in the first sentence? I am focusing on the "act" part. ...
Neel's user avatar
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0 answers
34 views

Conditionals, past perfect vs would [duplicate]

I was reading a book and I can't understand why past perfect is used in the sentence below: The signal from successive eclipse has less and less distance to travel, so it arrives earlier than if ...
Caro's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
413 views

"Will have heard by now" sounds like bad usage to me; what is your opinion? [closed]

I posted the question here https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/295727/bad-usage-of-will-have but it was closed due to insufficient details or clarity. I'm trying here. The following sounds wrong ...
Zohar Levi's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

“There is to be no more loss today” sentence [duplicate]

There is to be no more loss today. In this sentence, I don’t understand the grammar structure. Why does “to be” come after “there is”?
Mutlucan's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
306 views

Can “was not ᴠᴇʀʙing” and “will not ᴠᴇʀʙ” ever be exact equivalents in reported speech? [closed]

Do English speakers understand this sentence: I told him I wasn’t playing soccer anymore. Exactly as they would this sentence: I told him I will not play soccer anymore. If so, why would they ...
Lily's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Use of 'would' for evidentiality in American English

In American English, "would" is used more often than in British English. It seems that one reason is using 'would' for evidential use in American English. especially for indirect ...
Houman's user avatar
  • 139
4 votes
1 answer
207 views

Performative "allow, permit, let"

According to Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 208, Allow, permit, and let can express deontic possibility, permission, but are also used more generally in a causative sense similar ...
GJC's user avatar
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2 answers
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Will/shall - I _____ never go there. With reason [duplicate]

As like while teaching when such sentences come in front and we teach about using shall with I. Students come up with their books & guides to show as there is 'will' mentioned for answer this ...
AP Singh's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Deontic “must”, “have to” and “had to”

In English, to express strong obligation we can use either must or have (got) to. Grammars remind us that must is often used to express internal (personal) obligation, deduction (likelihood), and ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
995 views

Must realise VS Must have realised

A question in an English exercise book puzzled me. The instruction is "Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first, using the word in bold. Use between two and five words." ...
Jason Tong's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

He must regret his decision vs He must be regretting his decision

(1) He must regret his decision. (2) He must be regretting his decision. If you're sure that "he" regrets his decision, can you say either (1) or (2)? In other words, can (2) be interpreted ...
JK2's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

English Conditionals and "would"

I'm having a discussion with my wife on English conditionals. She says we cannot have "would" in a hypothetical if statement: If I would want to change my address, should I let you know? She says ...
PascalVKooten's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
928 views

Meaning of "will" in "I will be unable to meet with you tomorrow as arranged" [closed]

According to grammar rules, "will" can be used to mean: a1) promise or decision; a2) prediction based on opinion, while "going to" mean: b1) plan; b2) prediction based on evidence. But in that ...
Kent Tong's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
316 views

"are to be" vs "have to be"

I was just wondering what the difference is, if any, between these two sentences: Instruments are to be machined. Instruments have to be machined. I would be highly glad if anyone helps by giving ...
naimil sheth's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
16k views

Is it grammatical to use "would" twice in a sentence? Why? Please consider the following examples [duplicate]

Is "would" used correctly in these sentences? I would not be surprised if you would lose. I would not give you the weapon if you would use it to harm others.
user99620's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
617 views

Is “mustn’t be doing something” deontic or epistemic?

Do the following sentences have a deontic or epistemic meaning? He must be studying now. He mustn't be studying now.
Kaptan Singh's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
741 views

"must": obligation x certainty. Which meaning developed first in the English language?

ORIGIN OF MUST - Middle English moste, from Old English mōste, past indicative & subjunctive of mōtan to be allowed to, have to; akin to Old High German muozan to be allowed to, have to First ...
Centaurus's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
59k views

What does "Shall be" mean? [closed]

What does Shall be mean? I find it in different context, sometimes it seems to me that is means is or Will be and more likely Must be, but sometimes I can't figure it out, so if it means Must be, what ...
TheByeByeMan's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
41k views

"It is to be discussed", what is the infinitive doing in this sentence?

It is to be discussed. Is be + infinitive forming the future tense here? You are to be dressed and ready by 8:00. I was thinking it's almost commanding (or speaking of a command) but this doesn'...
user3201643's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Is “shall” an appropriate word for a scientific thesis? [closed]

May I use the word shall in my scientific thesis? As in The relevant ones shall be introduced in the following. Or is shall considered slang or outdated?
Clawish's user avatar
  • 157
15 votes
3 answers
59k views

Using "will" after "if"

I've been told that native-speakers don't ever use "will" after "if", and that saying it this way is a not-native style. So from the film (Harry Potter, pt5) I noticed a line that confused me. Look ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 167
3 votes
2 answers
952 views

Is “Jack could get to work earlier” deontic or epistemic?

Please consider: Jack could get to work earlier. Is this use of could in the dynamic modality about Jack’s inherent ability, or is this the could of epistemic modality about the speaker’s ...
avkaapstad's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
4k views

Difference between "There is to be" "there has to be" [closed]

"There is to be an urgent ministerial review of language learning." Does this mean that the review is going to take place, or does this mean that there should be a review? I am a little clueless.
DVA's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Is “Can you carry this book?” acceptable? [closed]

Is it grammatically correct to say: Can you carry this book? I said this to a friend and this person commented that I need to learn grammar. To me the statement seems grammatically correct and ...
Mike John's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
19k views

How to use the phrase “if you will”?

Am I using the phrase if you will correctly here? To be honest, she wasn't much to look at, a plain Jane, if you will.
user73394's user avatar