expressing "possibility"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by cableman, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. cableman New Member

    japanese
    hello, teachers.

    I'm confused with using modal verbs expressing "possibility".

    Are there any differences among followings?

    Learning a language can be a real challenge.
    Learning a language could be a real challenge.
    Learning a language may be a real challenge.
    Learning a language might be a real challenge.
    I think it's degree of possibility or... whatever but I'm doubtful about it.

    Thanks.
    cableman
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Except for #1, I would expect modifiers with these sentences:

    Learning a language can be a real challenge. (General statement of truth that can stand on its own, although modifiers can be used to taste.)

    Learning a language could/would be a real challenge if you had no access to books or native speakers.

    Learning a language may be a real challenge in view of your learning disability.

    Learning a language might be a real challenge, but it's worth it.

    These waere done in a hurry -- and there are certainly other endings to my examples -- but this gives you my first impression.
     

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