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    #1

    might cause/can cause

    1-This medication might cause sleeplessness in certain people.
    2-This medication may cause sleeplessness in certain people.
    3-This medication could cause sleeplessness in certain people.

    4-This medication can cause sleeplessness in certain people.



    Which of the above correspond to which of the below:

    a-Maybe this medication will cause sleeplessness in some people and maybe it won't. We do not know.
    b-As regards certain people, there is a chance that this drug might cause sleeplessness in them.

    It seems to me that '1', '2', '3' are ambiguous, but '4' can only mean 'b'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: might cause/can cause

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-This medication might cause sleeplessness in certain people.
    2-This medication may cause sleeplessness in certain people.
    3-This medication could cause sleeplessness in certain people.

    4-This medication can cause sleeplessness in certain people.



    Which of the above correspond to which of the below:

    a-Maybe this medication will cause sleeplessness in some people and maybe it won't. We do not know.
    b-As regards certain people, there is a chance that this drug might cause sleeplessness in them.

    It seems to me that '1', '2', '3' are ambiguous, but '4' can only mean 'b'.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    I don't find any of them ambiguous and I don't find 4 to be only B. All four sentences are general warnings about a side-effect. One could argue that the chosen modal says something about frequency, but that is difficult to quantify. As they stand, all four sentences indicate a possibility.

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