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using modal verbs to give advice

Discussion in 'English Only' started by lizzie chen, May 10, 2005.

  1. lizzie chen Junior Member

    GZ
    China Chinese
    hi people!
    here comes my question.
    there's a lot of modal verbs in English such as may, could, should, might, can, have to must, ought to etc. i wonder when we wanna give advice to others,(or ask for advices), how should we choose one appropriate from all these madal verbs? to put it in another way, i wanna know the order of the modal verbs, the tone of whice is "heavier" and which is "lighter". hope you understand what i mean.
    thank you in advance.

    lizzie
     
  2. ayed Senior Member

    Riyadh
    Arabic
    I personally prefer the following:
    1-You had better set up your staffs
    2-It is recommended to work hard
    3-It is better to do your assignment
    4-It is advisable to do such and such
    5-It is good to do ...ect.

    As for the rest of what you have just said above, I really do not use them except when I command my sons.

    Thanks
    Ayed
     
  3. Eddie

    Eddie Senior Member

    Nassau County, NY
    USA - English
  4. el alabamiano Senior Member

    Alabama
    Like Eddie, I don't really understand your question. However, I'll make some corrections/suggestions for you:

    Hi, everyone! (addressing everyone as "people" sounds condescending/patronizing to me.)

    Here's my question--there's a lot of modal verbs such as "may", "could", "should", "might", "can", "have to", "must", "ought to", etc.--and I'm wondering, when we want to give advice to others (or ask for advice,) how do we choose the appropriate verb? To put it another way, I want to know the order of tone, ranging from the "heaviest" to the "lightest". I hope you understand what I mean!

    Thanks/thank you in advance!
     
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I think I understand your question.

    • Mild suggestion: might, may, could, can.

      Q: Where can I learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You might/may/could/can find a lot of information in the links that the other posters gave.


    • Stronger suggestion: should.

      Q: What can I do to learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You should read the links that the other posters gave.


    • Obligation: ought to, have to, must.

      Q: What can I do to learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You ought to/have to/must read the links that the other posters gave.


      Q: I still have many doubts about phrasal verbs!...
      A: You ought to/should have read the links that the other posters gave!
     
  6. dods Junior Member

    Philippines/English-Tagalog
    in relation to that, which is appropriate between shall and should in the case below:


    "I've been invited by my friend for a dinner with his family or with him alone. Which dinner shall or should I choose?"

    thanks very much.
     
  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Both are acceptable.
     
  8. suzzzenn Senior Member

    New York
    USA English
    Hi,

    Outsider, excellent review! The only thing I would change is the placement of ought to. I think ought to and should express the same strength of advice. I would also include had better and have got to in the must/have to group.

    I am creating a webquest (website to be used as a classroom supplement) to teach advice modals! If anybody wants to take a look and give me feedback and suggestions, private message me and I'll send you a link.
    Susan
     
  9. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Thank you for the corrections, Susan. :)

    Here's an updated version of my post above:

    • Mild suggestion: might, may, could, can.

      Q: Where can I learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You might/may/could/can find a lot of information in the links that the other posters gave.


    • Stronger suggestion: should, ought to.

      Q: What can I do to learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You should/ought to read the links that the other posters gave.


    • Obligation: had better, have (got) to, must.

      Q: What can I do to learn more about phrasal verbs?
      A: You had better/have (got) to/must read the links that the other posters gave.


      Q: I still have many doubts about phrasal verbs!...
      A: You should have read/had to read the links that the other posters gave!
     
  10. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Hey Outsider;
    I commend you on your list..You Should take a bow.!!!!

    The only thing that I think..and wish to add, is that it also depends a lot on the tone of voice that the speaker is using in relation to the placement of 'should' and 'ought to'..it could also be mild...

    'Oh..I don't know..should we go?'...'what do you think?'..(to me that is quite mild)


    And you maynot disagree with me!..for it might not be such a good idea..and I could get a little upset..and decide that I can not play with you in the forum anymore..so you ought to think about that.........:D

    tg;)
     
  11. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Yes I concur with Outsider;
    both can be used..but..'should' is used in everyday English more..(at least on the planet that I inhabit):D
    p.s..no need for the 'a' before dinner...

    tg;)
     
  12. lizzie chen Junior Member

    GZ
    China Chinese
    thank you very much, el alabamiano. i really appreciate your sincere help. i will pay more attention to my wording next time. thanks again for your advice!

    lizzie
     
  13. lizzie chen Junior Member

    GZ
    China Chinese
    thank you all for your help, especially the clear explanation made by outsider. i'll read all your( pl.) explanations and links, try to figure it out.
    lizzie
     

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