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  1. #1
    Volcano1985's Avatar
    Volcano1985 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Modals of Certainty Degree of Certainty

    MODALS OF CERTAINTY DEGREE OF CERTAINTY

    She is a doctor. is + 100%
    He may be an architect. may be 80%
    He might be a civil engineer. might be 60%
    He could be an art professor. could be 40%
    She isn't a lawyer. is not - 100%


    Hello, I saw this on british council site

    I was taught could is more possiblier than may/might, but I see the opposite here.Was I taught wrong?

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Cool Re: Modals of Certainty Degree of Certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcano1985 View Post
    MODALS OF CERTAINTY DEGREE OF CERTAINTY

    She is a doctor. is + 100%
    He may be an architect. may be 80%
    He might be a civil engineer. might be 60%
    He could be an art professor. could be 40%
    She isn't a lawyer. is not - 100%


    Hello, I saw this on british council site

    I was taught could is more possiblier than may/might, but I see the opposite here.Was I taught wrong?
    I once wrote about this distinction. Remember - what really matters is the fact that you put something withing a modal meaning. The use of any modal verb is sufficient to convey a sense of certainty/possibility.

    Anyway, check it out again:
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...ould-have.html

  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Modals of Certainty Degree of Certainty

    Hi Charles

    So far you have said that Engee is wrong, but you have not said why. I would appreciate your response very much.

    Hi Engee

    I remember learning that 'may' is less likely than 'might', but I was told by an American native speaker that they mean the same. That confuses me and that's why I posted the question.

    Maybe there is a difference between British and American English in the use of these two words. Do you think so?

    Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Modals of Certainty Degree of Certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Hi Charles

    So far you have said that Engee is wrong, but you have not said why. I would appreciate your response very much.
    I can't tell you why yellow means yellow or barely means barely or might means might. I can just comment on usage. Maybe the British do have different meanings for may and might. It's news to me.

    But again, I'm only commenting on the sense of the words in your particular example. Again, in other cases, they do have different meanings.

    Now - what are we doing over here on this thread?

  5. #5
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Modals of Certainty Degree of Certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    [B]
    Hi Engee

    I remember learning that 'may' is less likely than 'might', but I was told by an American native speaker that they mean the same. That confuses me and that's why I posted the question.

    Maybe there is a difference between British and American English in the use of these two words. Do you think so?

    Thanks for your help.
    I reckon there is such a difference. I am also inclined to agree that they mean the same, though. It's all about the way we, non-natives, have been taught those rules. The rules may differ in some way, but, at the same time, they share certain similarities.

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