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  1. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #1

    Degree of certainty

    hi ,

    I have learned that "may,might,could" used for degree of certainty in present and future and past , and "will" used for degree of certainty in future.
    will is 100% and other three ones are 50% or less.
    So, what about "can"?

    These sentences express degree of certainty:
    Banning smoking will help people to avoid the risk of illness. "It is about 100% certainty"
    Banning smoking may,might,could help people to avoid the risk of illness. "It is about 50% of certainty."
    Banning smoking can help people to avoid the risk of illness. "I don't know about this."

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Degree of certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post
    will is 100% and other three ones are 50% or less.
    You cannnot apply percentages to these words.

    'Will' shows absolute certainty in the mind of the speaker. The others express possibility. We have no idea how likely the situation is.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 17-Apr-2017 at 10:53.

  3. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Degree of certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    You cannno apply percentages to these words.

    'Will' shows absolute certainty in the mind of the speaker. The others express possibility. We have no idea how likely the situation is.
    Thanks teacher.
    In the grammar book that I read modal of certainty:It only introduces "will,could,might,may". for future or present certainty, and "can" is not used in this meaning.
    Source: English Grammar Betty Azar.
    Last edited by newkeenlearner; 17-Apr-2017 at 11:51.

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