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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    we may go to Spain in the end

    For some academic reason I wouldn't like to change the tense in the following sentence (to we'll go to Spain) and the expression in the end also should be there. Is the sentence correct and natural as it is?

    George wants us to go to Italy, James says we must go to France but I think we may go to Spain in the end.

    If it's wrong or unnatural could you correct it with as little change as possible? (Maybe some other modal verb should be used?)
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    For some academic reason I wouldn't like to change the tense in the following sentence (to we'll go to Spain) and the expression in the end also should be there. Is the sentence correct and natural as it is?

    George wants us to go to Italy, James says we must go to France, but I think we may go to Spain in the end.

    If it's wrong or unnatural could you correct it with as little change as possible? (Maybe some other modal verb should be used?)
    You can say "we may" or "we'll," but they have different meanings. We may means that you think you might or might not go. We will means you think you will definitely go.

    "In the end" is fine, but the sentence would still make sense without it.

    I would put that so-called Oxford comma before but. Others might not. (Or: Others may not!) (I actually avoid using may when might will fit. May sometimes means have permission to, so sometimes it can cause confusion. But its meaning is clear in your example.)

    What's a modal verb?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Charlie: https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/modal-verb.html

    We may go
    We might go
    We could go

    I'd stick with "may"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

    What's a modal verb?
    Modal verbs, or modals, are verbs like can, must, may, have to etc, used not (only) by themselves, but to "moderate" the meaning of the basic verb (sorry for my clumsy explanation).
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #5

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    For some academic reason I wouldn't like to change the tense in the following sentence (to we'll go to Spain)
    Some would argue that you're not actually changing the tense as they consider will to be a present tense modal, rather than a separate future tense. They would say that you're substituting one present tense modal verb with another.

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Some would argue that you're not actually changing the tense as they consider will to be a present tense modal, rather than a separate future tense. They would say that you're substituting one present tense modal verb with another.
    It's OK. I just wanted to use one of the modals - may/might, could, or must. Thank you, Tdol.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 16-Aug-2014 at 19:35.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Your first sentence is a comma splice. You should separate "Italy and "James" with a semicolon or a full stop/period. It would be common to use a comma after "France", but that would not be an Oxford comma. I agree with the use of "may" because the destination has yet to be determined.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    I wouldn't say "in the end" in that particular context. I would probably say "John wants to go to XXX, Fred wants to go to YYY, but we'll probably end up going to ZZZ".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I wouldn't say "in the end" in that particular context.
    It was important for me to have "may" and "in the end" in one sentence((( Is it possible that "in the end" and "may" could be in one sentence?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 17-Aug-2014 at 13:01.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: we may go to Spain in the end

    Yes.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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