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    #1

    modal verbs

    What's the difference between would, should and could?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: modal verbs

    Would you describe yourself as a teacher? Should you describe yourself as a teacher? Could you describe yourself as a teacher? It seems to me that the question is not 'What's the difference between them' so much as 'Given that they are so very different, in what respects are they similar?'

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    #3

    Re: modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Would you describe yourself as a teacher? Should you describe yourself as a teacher? Could you describe yourself as a teacher? It seems to me that the question is not 'What's the difference between them' so much as 'Given that they are so very different, in what respects are they similar?'

    b
    They have the same ending?

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    #4

    Re: modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    They have the same ending?
    As a matter of etymological interest, 'could' only has the same ending because a bunch of early prescriptivists thought it should look like the other modals; so they gave it a silent L. Chaucer, for example, used 'coude' (or maybe 'koude' - or maybe both [I haven't time to check]).

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