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  1. #1
    Zancan is offline Newbie
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    Default Modal verb question...

    I just had this class and did not understand the answer that was given by the teacher. The other students all seemed to understand so I did not want to ask so I came here. :) Here is the text:


    "They spent the whole dinner talking about the most unexpected and fascinating things. One could not really tell what they were talking about. Subjects would change in a strange flow of energy - in a secret way one (can - ought to - should) say - constantly spinning over all subjects, diving into one, drowning into one another."


    Teacher said answer was *should* but I really can't understand why. My first choice would have been *would* or *might/could* but since they're not available I would select *can* even though it sounds a bit weird but I really can't see *should* in there. Can someone explain it to me? And also then explain why *should* is good but not *ought to*?


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Modal verb question...

    Welcome to the forum, Zancan.

    It seems to me that you could use most of the modals there. I'd go for 'might' or 'could' first' - after that, heaven knows.'Should' would not be very high on my list. It seems rather a pointless exercise to me.

    Next time this happens, be bold: ask the teacher to explain why s/he thinks one is correct and the others aren't

  3. #3
    Zancan is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Modal verb question...

    Thank you 5jj (for the welcome and the answer).

    I changed classes so I don't know the students nor the teacher yet so I felt shy, next time I'll ask her, yes. Especially since I kept thinking about it for two days (class was yesterday morning) until I decided to come here to see if I can get it out of my mind (next class will be another topic so I won't have the chance to get back to it but as you said, the exercise was a bit pointless in the end so I just shouldn't care ).

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Modal verb question...

    As a way of specifying or correcting a phrase, we do use I should say, but it's not the only possible way of doing this.

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