4-4 We will survive!

Hello my friends.

Like you have noticed when you read a notice or when you listen music there are some words that have similar meaning and you don’t know when uses each of them. In this case I’ll explain the use of some modal verbs. Let see the explanation.

The simplest uses are as follows. There are many others not shown here.

TENSE:

will: future of the present; like am/is/are going to
would: future of the past; like was/were going to

Sally says that Matt will arrive at noon tomorrow.
Sally said that Matt would arrive at noon the next day.

LOGIC:

  • might (also may): It is possible that …
  • could (sometimes): It is possible that …
  • must: The only possible conclusion is that …
  • should: It is expected / probable that …
  • I might go shopping later today.

It is possible that I will go shopping later today.

  • I may go shopping later today.

It is possible that I will go shopping later today.

OBLIGATION, PERMISSION, ADVICE:

has/have to: have a commitment/obligation to; be committed/obliged to; have as a duty

  • I have to be at work by 8:00. 

I am committed/ obliged to be at work by 8:00.

  • Employees must wash their hands before returning to the kitchen.

It is the duty of employees to wash …

ABILITY, CAPABILITY, SKILL:

  • can: … am/is/are able to; … am/is/are capable of; know how to
  • could: (often with a when clause) … was/were able to; … was/were capable of; knew how to

When she was much younger, she could [run five miles / sometimes be sarcastic / speak five languages].

HABIT:

  • will: present habit; it is usual/typical for … to …
  • would: past habit (often with a when clause); like used to; it was usual for … to …
  • Ken and Helen love to dance. They’ll dance for hours at a time.
    • It is usual for them to dance for hours …

REFUSAL:

Negative form only.

  • will not; won’t: refuse to
  • would not; wouldn’t: refused to
    • The car won’t start. The car wouldn’t start.
    • The child won’t obey her mother. The child wouldn’t obey her mother.

I hope this information would be very useful when you try to express any idea you have.

Keep studying and See you next time.

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