Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 1,948
    #1

    modals

    Hi!

    It is unlikely that she believed it.
    She............

    How can I complete this sentence?
    Shall I say:
    She can`t have believed it. or,
    She may not have believed it.

    Thank you very much in advance.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #2

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Hi!

    It is unlikely that she believed it.
    She............

    How can I complete this sentence?
    Shall I say:
    She can`t have believed it. or,
    She may not have believed it.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Teia, do you have to suggest a possible modal equivalent for a test or something? If so, are these the only two modals you can choose from?

    Otherwise, I would say the closest choice of modal would be would, as in "She wouldn't have believed it."

    What do you think?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Romanian
      • Home Country:
      • Romania
      • Current Location:
      • Romania

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 1,948
    #3

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Teia, do you have to suggest a possible modal equivalent for a test or something? If so, are these the only two modals you can choose from?

    Otherwise, I would say the closest choice of modal would be would, as in "She wouldn't have believed it."

    What do you think?
    Yes, you are right. I have to insert a modal in the sentence but I don`t know which one. Is would fitter than can in this context? I mean is wouldn`t have believed it = it`s unlikely that she believed it ?

    The test does not give me any options I can choose from.
    Thank you very much.

  1. beascarpetta's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Austria

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 2,331
    #4

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Is would more appropriate than can in this context? I mean is wouldn`t have believed it = it`s unlikely that she believed it ?
    Given the choice I'd definitely go for
    she wouldn't have believed it.


  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,698
    #5

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Hi!

    It is unlikely that she believed it.
    She............

    How can I complete this sentence?
    Shall I say:
    She can`t have believed it. or,
    She may not have believed it.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    I'm sorry to barge in.
    Can't I say "She is unlikely to have believed it."??
    Does it sound odd or ungrammatical??

    Thank you.

  3. banderas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 1,512
    #6

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Can't I say "She is unlikely to have believed it."??
    Does it sound odd or ungrammatical??
    It is highly unlikely to have made a mistake saying so. Yes. It works for me.

  4. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,698
    #7

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    It is highly unlikely to have made a mistake saying so. Yes. It works for me.
    Thank you, as always, for your opinion, banderas.

  5. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #8

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    I'm sorry to barge in.
    Can't I say "She is unlikely to have believed it."??
    Does it sound odd or ungrammatical??

    Thank you.
    Well you can but that's not Teia's problem.

    Of all the modals, I'd choose 'would[n't have]'. If I wanted to paraphrase 'She can't have believed it' I'd use some sort of emphasizer - 'It's very/most unlikely that she believed it', or 'surely she didn't believe it'. In some contexts 'can't have' could mean 'It's absolutely certain that s/he didn't' - to use clearer examples:

    The defendant can't have stolen the jewels, as he was at home with his family. [Absolutely certain]

    'You can't have thought you'd get away with it!' [Maybe you did, but it was extremely foolish of you]

    But I'm digressing - which is what I accused tzfujimino of doing!

    b


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #9

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Hi!

    It is unlikely that she believed it.
    She............

    How can I complete this sentence?
    Shall I say:
    She can`t have believed it. or,
    She may not have believed it.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    I don't believe that a straight 'would' is semantically equivalent to the original sentence.

    It is unlikely that she believed it.

    To me,

    1. She probably didn't believe it.

    OR

    2. She probably wouldn't have believed it.

    Number 1 shows the speaker is more certain while two could show that the speaker is less certain or appearing to be so, in other words there are being more deferential.

    Teia, you can of course say, either,

    She can`t have believed it. or,
    She may not have believed it.

    but they aren't semantically equivalent either. The first strongly negates the idea and the second, 'may', sits at 50% and below certainty. 'likely/probably' occupy the range from 51% to where 'must/almost certainly' take over which would be somewhere in the high 80% range.

    For something to be 'likely/probably' it has to be more possible than not, hence the over 50% start point.

  6. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,698
    #10

    Re: modals

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Well you can but that's not Teia's problem.

    Of all the modals, I'd choose 'would[n't have]'. If I wanted to paraphrase 'She can't have believed it' I'd use some sort of emphasizer - 'It's very/most unlikely that she believed it', or 'surely she didn't believe it'. In some contexts 'can't have' could mean 'It's absolutely certain that s/he didn't' - to use clearer examples:

    The defendant can't have stolen the jewels, as he was at home with his family. [Absolutely certain]

    'You can't have thought you'd get away with it!' [Maybe you did, but it was extremely foolish of you]

    But I'm digressing - which is what I accused tzfujimino of doing!

    b
    Thank you, BobK.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Modals
    By Kitt1919 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Nov-2007, 11:44
  2. Modals --> Double Modals
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2007, 02:40
  3. modals
    By emre in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2006, 06:39
  4. modals
    By mehes monika in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-Feb-2004, 18:51

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •