Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    symaa is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Modals Percentage

    Good morning,


    Could you please tell me are these modals Percentage correct?

    Will be=100%.
    Would, will = 90%.
    May well.(More stronger than may.)
    May = 50%
    Might possibly,well, conceivably(More stronger than might.)
    Might =30%.
    Could well (More stronger than could.)
    Could =10%.
    Can't = 0%.


    I arranged this sentences according to their degrees of certainty:

    1-That will be John.
    2-That must be John.
    3-That should be John.


    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,

  2. #2
    Mannysteps is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
      • Portugal
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    261
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Modals Percentage

    Not a teacher

    In my opinion you will never resolve the issue through percentages. You have to develop an intuition by placing them within contexts. Look at it as in the following examples:I have a friend who will always help me. He is entirely reliable

    I have a friend who would always help me, but he always has reasons for not having done so.

    I have a friend who may very well help me, but I won't put all my eggs in that basket.

    I have a friend who may help me, but I'm well advised to also consider alternatives

    I have a friend who could help me, if he feels like it or has the time.

    I have a friend who might help me, but I don't expect too much of him.

    I have a friend who might possibly, conceivably help me. He is my last resort. (here I start praying)

    I have a friend who can't help. He is, thus, entirely ruled out.

    I hope it helps some.

    M.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    18,298
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Modals Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by symaa View Post
    Good morning,


    Could you please tell me are these modals Percentage correct?
    No.

    Will be=100%.
    Would, will = 90%.
    May well.(More stronger than may.)
    May = 50% > 0%
    Might possibly,well, conceivably(More stronger than might.)
    Might =30%. > 0%
    Could well (More stronger than could.) > 0%
    Could =10%. > 0%
    Can't = 0%.


    I arranged this sentences according to their degrees of certainty:

    1-That will be John.
    2-That must be John.
    3-That should be John.
    You haven't said whether you've arranged them ascending or descending likelihood. But "must" in this situation is stronger than "should", and "will" is possibly stronger than "must". But really, these words don't carry probabilities. They all mean that the speaker thinks that it is probably John.

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    No, they aren't. The only probabilities that come with modal verbs are 0%, > 0% and 100%.
    You can't assign other probabilities without some context.
    May/might/could simply mean that it's possible, ie > 0% likelihood.
    Will/must - 100%
    Won't/musn't/can't - 0%

    To say that "might" means a probability of 30% is absurd.

    The assignment of probabilities to modal verbs, or the inference that native speakers do this, is wrong.
    There are a whole lot of other ways that people relate probabilities, such as adverbs, tone of voice, etc. The actual word cannot give a probability.

    With adverbs, you can tell a difference between "He's very likely to come" and "He's hardly likely to come." There's no difference (in probability) between "He might come" and "He could come".

  4. #4
    symaa is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Modals Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by Mannysteps View Post
    Not a teacher

    In my opinion you will never resolve the issue through percentages. You have to develop an intuition by placing them within contextsYes,I think so.Look at it as in the following examples:I have a friend who will always help me. He is entirely reliable

    I have a friend who would always help me, but he always has reasons for not having done so.

    I have a friend who may very well help me, but I won't put all my eggs in that basket.

    I have a friend who may help me, but I'm well advised to also consider alternatives

    I have a friend who could help me, if he feels like it or has the time.

    I have a friend who might help me, but I don't expect too much of him.

    I have a friend who might possibly, conceivably help me. He is my last resort. (here I start praying)

    I have a friend who can't help. He is, thus, entirely ruled out.

    I hope it helps some.

    M.
    Thank you very much for these great examples.
    All the best for you,


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, they aren't. The only probabilities that come with modal verbs are 0%, > 0% and 100%.
    You can't assign other probabilities without some context.
    May/might/could simply mean that it's possible, ie > 0% likelihood.
    Will/must - 100%
    Won't/musn't/can't - 0%

    To say that "might" means a probability of 30% is absurd.

    The assignment of probabilities to modal verbs, or the inference that native speakers do this, is wrong.
    There are a whole lot of other ways that people relate probabilities, such as adverbs, tone of voice, etc. The actual word cannot give a probability.

    With adverbs, you can tell a difference between "He's very likely to come" and "He's hardly likely to come." There's no difference (in probability) between "He might come" and "He could come".
    Ok, thank you very much, but it was my grammar teacher who had given us this percentage, and I want to know especially from English native teachers if it is really correct.
    Thank you again for your answer.
    Best regards

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    21,408
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Modals Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by symaa View Post
    Thank you very much for these great examples.
    All the best for you,



    Ok, thank you very much, but it was my grammar teacher who had given us this percentage, and I want to know especially from English native teachers if it is really correct.
    Thank you again for your answer.
    Best regards
    I don't think that your grammar teacher has done you any favours by telling you that. Not everything has an exact definition, and certainly not a mathematical one!

  6. #6
    symaa is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Modals Percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't think that your grammar teacher has done you any favours by telling you that. Not everything has an exact definition, and certainly not a mathematical one!
    Yes, sometimes they make things more vague and complicated therefore I spend too much time on internet to find the right answers.
    Thank you teacher.
    have a nice day,

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Past Modals vs Perfect Modals
    By Folkas in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2010, 03:41
  2. percentage?
    By sky753 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Jun-2008, 20:42
  3. Modals --> Double Modals
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2007, 01:40
  4. fractions or percentage
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2007, 10:38
  5. Percentage
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31-Jul-2004, 13:46

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk