The modal verbs are:

can could
may might
shall should
will would
must  

We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability, asking permission making requests and offers, and so on.
 

Section: 

Comments

Hello SonuKumar,

'met' is the correct form for what you describe.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hey there!!!
I am doing some exercise which Im not able to understand.
Im wondering if someone can give me a hand to solve them,or maybe give me some reference or recommendations.

A) The following language forms are used to request others to perform an action:

Do me a favor and pass that paper, will you?
Could you possible pass me that paper?
You couldn't pass me that paper , could you?

1) Examples of 3 further forms that might be used to make similar requests.
2) What factors are relevant in deciding which of there forms to in a given situation?

and the other exercise, its about pronunciation/ sentence stress

B)
1) Have you met my wife?
2) Have you met MY wife?

Explain the difference in meaning between the pair of sentences.

I really appreciate if someone can give me some orientation.
Many thanks for your time!!!

Maria C Fuentes

Hi Maria,

Your first question:
1) Examples of 3 further forms that might be used to make similar requests.
Would you pass me that paper?
Would it be possible to pass me that paper?
If you could, can you pass me that paper?
Pass me that paper, could you?

** All of those seem clunky to me. "Could you please pass me that paper?" would be the most effective.

2) What factors are relevant in deciding which of there forms to in a given situation?
- Do me a favor and pass that paper, will you?
I would say this in an informal situation. Between friends. Passing paper is not an action that requires a favor as it is a simple task. As such, it is sarcastic about the favor. You don't use sarcasm with unknown people unless you intend to offend.
- Could you possible* pass me that paper?
*"possibly", not "possible." This could be used in a more formal situation. It almost asks without demanding. "Pass me that paper please?" is more demanding in tone....adding the "Could you possibly" to the front of it is apologetic in nature.
- You couldn't pass me that paper , could you?
This one is similar to the previous one, but even more apologetic. It sounds as if you are apologizing for actually have to ask the question and bother the person. You would use that in a situation where you absolutely do not know the person that you are talking to.

To recap.
Use the first one if you are sitting at a table with your friends or acquaintances. I could also say. "Could you pass me that paper?"
Use the second one if you are sitting in a meeting with some people that are not your friends, but you will spend a few hours with and might never see again. I might also say "Excuse me, could you pass me that paper, please?"
Use the last one if you are sitting in a public library, and you are asking a complete stranger to pass you something. You have no interaction with the person before or after the request. I would probably say "Excuse me, I'm sorry to ask, but could you please pass me that paper?"

Your second question.

Explain the difference in meaning between the pair of sentences.
1) Have you met my wife?
2) Have you met MY wife?

Grammatically, these are identical; however, you SAY them differently. The second sentence you are putting emphasis on the MY.
In fact, you could say this sentence in any of these ways.
1) Have you met my wife?
2) HAVE you met my wife?
3) Have YOU met my wife?
4) Have you MET my wife?
5) Have you met MY wife?
6) Have you met my WIFE?

Each of those put emphasis on a different word.
1) This is a simple question: you are asking for a yes/no answer.
2) This sounds like I am surprised that you have (or have not) met my wife.
3) This is to clarify that YOU have met her instead of someone else meeting her.
4) This asks if you have actually seen and talked to her. Perhaps you only saw her from afar.
5) This asks if you met MY wife specifically and not some other woman.
6) This asks if you me my WIFE instead of, perhaps, my neighbor.

Emphasis depends greatly on situation....so the above are examples of possible interpretations.

Hello Fuente,

I'm afraid we don't offer help on exercises from elsewhere. While we're happy to provide explanations of our own material, we are a small team here and cannot provide explanations of tests, homework or exercises which others have written. This is a job for your teacher, or else for the author of the material (who should have a key available for you to see).

You can find many resources online and on LearnEnglish on these areas. For the first do a search for 'polite requests in English'. For the second, search for 'contrastive stress'.

 

Best wishes and good luck,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hey Peter

I want to thank you for taking your time in helping me, I had found many resources!
I really appreciate your cooperation!

Have a nice week!
Regards from Italy!

Maria

Sir, You must have done that. haven't you or mustn't you ?

You might not have done that. have you or might you ?

what Should I use as tag questions ?

Hello SonuKumar,

I'd recommend 'right?' in a case like this. That's what I'd do as a native speaker. I honestly don't know what the correct verbal form would be and I haven't been able to find the answer in my reference works, either. Perhaps a form exists, but if so, it would probably sound quite unusual these days. For these reasons, I'd recommend 'right?', which performs the same function as a question tag.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

If I write an academic essay, which modal verb (could or would) will be more suitable to express a possible out come, for example , air pollution would or could be the underlying cause lung cancer.

Hello Annamol,

For that specific sentence, I would recommend 'could' over 'would'. You can read more about both verbs on the pages linked to below.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, He comes from his work and goes somewhere here so He must live here if we have to rewrite this last sentence so should we write it like this He definitely lives here, He probably lives here or we imagine he lives here ?

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