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Thread: Modal

    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 1,814


    I believe I posted this subject yesterday, but I can't find that post. So I have to type again. If anybody sees my post, please give it to the Lost and Found. Thank you. :?

    There are some scriptures I heared from a movie, 50 First Dates.

    Henry: I have a question. Do you know my name?
    Lucy: (Pondering) No.
    Henry: (VERY frustrated) :(
    Lucy: What's your name?
    Henry: Henry.
    Lucy: Henry, I have something to show you. Will you come with me?
    Will you come with me?
    Would you come with me?
    Can you come with me?
    Could you come with me?

    IMHO, the four variants are almost the same. Just that would/could are the polite form of a request. I, personally, don't think that will/would deals more with one's willingness while can/could dealing with ability.

    What do you think, teachers or learners?

    Maybe I was too stupid to click on the preview icon, and thought I had posted it.

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 61,536
    There are slight differences that could be implied, though they could also be used pretty much the same way. 'Can you' is less of an invitation and moreof a check to see if you are free.

    • Join Date: Jun 2004
    • Posts: 1,369
    My boss could ask me over saying "Can you come here one moment please", meaning, if nothing urgent prevents me from coming, I must come. A colleague would probably use another modal, or add something like 'if you don't mind", or simply make sure orally that the tone of the query is not bossy.


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