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  1. grammar frenetic
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    #1

    Smile general truth with modal verbs

    As we all know, modal verbs (will, can, may) combined with lexical verbs can be used to state the general truth. For example:

    1. Dry twigs will burn easily.
    2. Dry twigs can burn easily.
    3. Dry twigs may burn easily.

    In the sense of stating general truth, "may" is the formal equivalent of "can".
    There are differences among them, nevertheless.
    May there are experts can advise me on this matter. Thanks

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: general truth with modal verbs

    Dry twigs may burn easily- this implies to me that not all dry twigs burn easily.

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    #3

    Re: general truth with modal verbs

    I am not necessarily an expert, but this is my opinion.
    1. Distinct probability of burning
    2. Capable of burning
    3 More the equivalent of "might" (possibility of burning)

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: general truth with modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    I am not necessarily an expert, but this is my opinion.
    1. Distinct probability of burning
    2. Capable of burning
    3 More the equivalent of "might" (possibility of burning)
    I'd agree with that.

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