注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

GLOBAL FAMILY

【QQTALK 3110393】

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

English-Chinese language learning and practice group where both Native Chinese & English speakers provide lessons every night from 7:30PM (Beijing) & 8:30PM (UK time). Check the Lesson Timetable!

网易考拉推荐

Can, could, might, should: What's the difference  

2012-10-20 01:13:10|  分类: Confusing Words |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
What is the difference between can, could, might should, and ought?
The difference depends on the context and situation. You should try to used these words in context to get more comfortable using the words.

Helping verbs or auxiliary verbs
Used in conjunction with main verbs to express shades of time and mood

Could is the past tense of can
*  Can: is used when asking or giving permission for someone to do something.
Example:
Can I talk to my friends in the library waiting room? (Note that can is less formal than may)

Also:
  • to express ability (in the sense of being able to do something or knowing how to do something):
    He can speak Spanish but he can't write it very well.
  • to express theoretical possibility:
    American automobile makers can make better cars if they think there's a profit in it.

The Careful Writer (
Theodore Bernstein) "a writer who is attentive to the proprieties will preserve the traditional distinction:
can for ability or power to do something, may for permission to do it.
"can" can be used in virtually any situation to express or ask for permission. Most authorities, however, recommend a stricter adherence to the distinction, at least in formal situations.


* Could: is very similar to can and can be used in most cases but it has a slightly different meaning or sense to it.
“Could” refers to something that is not always possible. For example, If you ask someone:
"Can you lend me $20?"  - You are focusing on their ability to lend you the money.
If you replace can for could and ask "Could you lend me $20?"  - It makes us think or feel like it is less likely to happen.

Also:
  • to express an ability in the past: (I could always beat you at tennis when we were kids)
  • to express past or future permission (Could I bury my cat in your back yard?)
  • to express present possibility (We could always spend the afternoon just sitting around talking)
  • to express possibility or ability (If he studied harder, he could pass this course)
In expressing ability, can and could frequently also imply willingness: Can you help me with my homework?


* Might: is often used to talk about the chance (or possibility) that something will happen or is happening.
Example: "You might not understand everything that I write in English but I hope so".

In expressing possibility, may and might are interchangeable
  • She might be my advisor next semester.
  • She may be my advisor next semester.

Might can also be used as a substitute for may to show diminished possibility. Thus, saying We might go to the movies means that the likelihood of going is somewhat less than if you say We may go to the movies


Both “may” and “might” can be used for a polite request, “may” is almost always chosen instead of “might”.  Using “might”  is extremely polite. Using “might” for a polite request is possible, but it is very uncommon.

Might I express my opinion conveys less insistence than May I express my opinion.

c

might and may in hypothetical situations that have not in fact occurred (possibility)

For instance, let's say there's been a helicopter crash at the airport. Before all the facts are gathered, a newscaster could say: The pilot "may have been injured."

After we discover that the pilot is in fact all right, the newscaster can now say:

The pilot "might have been injured" because it is a hypothetical situation that has not occurred.

Another example: a body had been identified after much work by a detective. It was reported that "without this painstaking work, the body may have remained unidentified."  (What word should be used here)



* Should/Ought: is dealing with obligation and deduction. When it is right to do something we say, you should do it.
Example: "We should drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit".

In terms of deduction we can use should when we assume something according to what we know.
Example: If my Mum went out an hour ago, I might deduce that she should be home soon.

More Examples:
  • You really shouldn't do that.
  • If you think that was amazing, you should have seen it last night


Information compiled from:
Great site, check it out: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/
http://www.helping-you-learn-english.com/
  评论这张
 
阅读(522)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017