Results 1 to 3 of 3

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 114
    #1

    usage of modal "will"

    Modal "will" is used to express the greatest amount of certainty, followed by other modals like "would", "can", "could", "may" and "might".

    E.g. I will be happy tomorrow (very certain) vs. I may be happy tomorrow (not certain)

    However, we do normally use "I think I will be" and "I will probably be" in speech. "I think" and "probably" are used to suggest uncertainty and it seems contradictory to use with "will" (not sure in this context it's a modal or a future "will").

    E.g. I will probably be happy tomorrow; I think I will be happy tomorrow

    Any difference between "I will probably be happy tomorrow" and "I would be happy tomorrow" or "I may be happy tomorrow"?

    Is there a difference between "I will probably be happy" and "I may probably be happy"?

    Logically, why does such a combination even exist?
    Last edited by lycen; 13-Oct-2009 at 17:49.


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 422
    #2

    Re: usage of modal "will"

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Modal "will" is used to express the greatest amount of certainty, followed by other modals like "would", "can", "could", "may" and "might".

    E.g. I will be happy tomorrow (very certain) vs. I may be happy tomorrow (not certain)

    However, we do normally use "I think I will be" and "I will probably be" in speech. "I think" and "probably" are used to suggest uncertainty and it seems contradictory to use with "will" (not sure in this context it's a modal or a future "will").

    'will' is a modal whether it's expressing a future sense or a emotive sense, Lycen.

    All modals of 100% certainty can be modified to show a lesser level of certainty.

    100% I will go.

    90-99% I almost certainly will go.

    51-89% I likely/probably will go.

    26-50% I may go.

    1-25% I might go.

    0% I won't go.

    [these numbers are, of course, not cast in stone. They merely provide a rough range that each covers in relation to the others.

    The same can be done with "be going to + verb"/want to/have to/ need to/would/can/could/shall/... .



    E.g. I will probably be happy tomorrow; I think I will be happy tomorrow

    Any difference between 1. "I will probably be happy tomorrow" and 2. "I would be happy tomorrow" or 3. "I may be happy tomorrow"?

    1. 51-89% chance I will be happy. 2. A conditional future; I would be happy if blah blah blah. 3. 26-50% chance I will be happy.


    Is there a difference between "I will probably be happy" and "I may probably be happy"?

    Logically, why does such a combination even exist?
    "I may probably be happy" does not exist. Both 'may' and 'probably' define different areas of certainty.


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 422
    #3

    Re: usage of modal "will"

    albeit wrote: "I may probably be happy" does not exist. Both 'may' and 'probably' define different areas of certainty.
    I was too hasty. 'may probably' does seem to exist. I haven't done any research past a google exact phrase search but this collocation may be [not 'may probably' be] a use similar to that of the southern US where some double modals are used, 'might could', for example.

    'may likely' occurs too.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,550,000 English pages for "may probably".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 222,000 English pages for "may likely".

    Is it a high may/low probably? I don't know.

Similar Threads

  1. Modals
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2009, 13:28
  2. [General] a few difficulties by the usage of some modal verbs
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Feb-2009, 17:07
  3. [Grammar] Few very confusing things about modal verbs
    By srubys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2008, 14:18
  4. Present usage of "will"?
    By Super Sonic in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Feb-2007, 12:15
  5. [Tdol's Blog] Modal Usage
    By Tdol in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-Apr-2006, 11:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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