The following resources have been used as reference for language use. The work is in progress.

Practical English Usage (Practical English Usage, Third Edition)


A Practical English Grammar


A Practical English Grammar: Exercises 1 (Bk. 1)


A Practical English Grammar: Exercises 2 (Bk. 2)


English Grammar in Use: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English – with Answers


B.D. Graver, Advanced English Practice: With Key




The Economist



Antoni Prejbisz, Gramatyka Języka Angielskiego


Marian Auerbach, Marian Golias, Gramatyka grecka


Lidia Winniczuk, Lingua Latina : Łacina Bez Pomocy Orbiliusza


Łukasz Koncewicz, Słownik łaciński



The governing body of the American democracy is the Congress. It comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is located in the Capitol Hill, showed in the picture above.


Many researchers derive democracy from ancient Greece. How could we compare ancient Greece and modern America? Ancient Greeks actually developed a proto-democracy: they happened to have kings and queens, depended heavily on military leaders and bequeathed elitism. America is a democracy. There have been no kings or queens of the USA. The head of the state is the President. The President resides in the White House.



Both the Congress and the White House are in Washington D.C. that is, the city named Washington in the District of Columbia. Washington D.C. is the capital of the USA.


District Columbia is on the American East Coast.


The state of Washington is on the West Coast.


We can get maps of the USA at the National Atlas website,
We usually tell the name of our location along with the name of the state, if we give our address in America.


Washington state got its name after George Washington, the first American president. The state is the only American state named after a president.



There are many places named Washington in America. George Washington remains a very prominent figure. He fought for American freedom in the Revolutionary War against England. He was President in years 1789-1797, after the War.


The American Revolutionary War had its written formulation
in the Declaration of Independence.

Link to post on the Declaration


The Revolutionary victory brought another historic formulation,
the American Constitution.



American government was built “from scratch” by the Founding Fathers. Some, as Thomas Jefferson, described their perspectives on the State. Elective monarchy patterns as of Poland, for example, did not win ground. Poland was a chronically fallen country. The monarch was a lifetime position, and commoners hardly had civil rights. Hereditary monarchy forms as of England obviously did not offer any better security for the freedom of the people.


James Madison wrote,


The constitutional reallocation of powers created a new form of government, unprecedented under the sun. Every previous national authority either had been centralized or else had been a confederation of sovereign states. The new American system was neither one nor the other; it was a mixture of both.[38]


The “new form of government” is democracy,
only by far more advanced than Greek prototypes.

Compare the History US site,

Video: America gets a constitution



Should the following narrative look too simple to be telling the truth, let us think there is no natural language to require consult with volumes on philosophy, for correct structures. We can take a break from the volumes.


10.4. More workout for real-time talk

Ten minutes can be a very short while, to think about a nap. It would be very long, to think about a break in conversation. We can try with a friend, over the phone: we agree to remain silent for 10 or 20 seconds, and our friend does not look at a watch. On another occasion, our friend does the thing for us. Though we would have looked at our watch before, the time is most likely to feel longer.


Language learners vary in strategies. Some would take a longer time to put thoughts together, and allow for breaks in conversation. Some would remain a colloquial level of language, to avoid breaks. Some learners choose to practice, to be efficient with regard to time as well as style and correctness.


Exercise 63. We do not have to comprehend the word “if” as belonging with Form Relativity only. We can change “if” for “whether”, in contexts to tell about circumstances or results rather than provisions or causes. We have the “if” underlined, in the exercise.


We can use abbreviated auxiliaries, to practice spoken comprehension. We also can reorder the phrases as well as use Inversion, for style and flexibility.


Example: She did not know if she was right.


Answer: She did not know whether she was right.


Example: If he hadn’t been extremely busy, he would’ve remembered about the coffee.


Answer: Hadn’t he been extremely busy, he would’ve remembered about the coffee.


Alternately: Had he not been extremely busy, he would have remembered about the coffee.


1. If she weren’t reading the calligraphic, she’d be sleeping.


2. If he was writing, reading, or talking, the colloquium had him busy all the time.


3. If he hadn’t heard from Bill then, he’d be writing him a letter now.


4. If it weren’t such a good quality, she’d think it a mere prank.


5. If it sustains the quality throughout, it’ll compare with the Bodleian Horace.


6. They will / can see in the library, if they get the Medici print.


7. If it weren’t so conscientious, he’d throw it in that Babbitt’s garden next door.


8. If it proves necessary, she’ll have it carbon dated.


9. If it is as good as it looks, it might be of worth even as just a calligraphic.


10. If it hadn’t been deprived of the front matter, it would be easier to find out who made it.


Further journey brings the Causative and the Passive, our “have it carbon dated”, in example 8, and “had been deprived”, in example 10.


Exercise 64. We can use the word “if” also in the sense of the word “when”. Grammatically, it is up to our choosing, if we speak the premise or the result first.


The exercise is not grammatically difficult. Let us think how we would say it, as in exercise 33 and exercise 34.


Example: IF you provision in the condition, may stipulation precede in position.


Answer: May stipulation precede in position, WHEN you provision in the condition.



1. You’ll make your adage suit, IF you toot the root in the foot.

(We can look up word stress patterns in dictionaries, to emphasize them by matching).


2. IF the comma won’t curse or ban, a dot might bid the span.


3. IF the verb does not adjust, the pronoun must never entrust.


4. IF a Modal will emend, diction can commend a robust complement.


5. IF meanings collate and debate, may syntax negotiate.


Exercise 65. It is most often up to ourselves to decide, whether to mediate our language structures with Modals at all. The arrow cues show the target time extent.


Example: If there 1. (be) other Little Tinies, the Little Tiny 2. (can be) one of many similar beings.



Answer: If there were other Little Tinies, the Little Tiny could be one of many similar beings.


Alternate: If there are other Little Tinies, the Little Tiny is /  can / could be one of many similar beings.


A. “If I 3. (be) only one of many Little Tinies, I 4. (be) actually a Little Tiny”, the Tiny hypothesized. She 5. (be) strictly an inch tall and she 6. (want) a measure for her dreams. “A cubit 7. (be) the length of your forearm right to the tip of your middle finger”, she 8. (reckon).




B. However, a cubit 9. (be) factually about 17.5 inches. “If you 10. (have to think) about an inch to think about a cubit”, she went on hypothesizing, “my cubit N 11. (can be) a cubit, as I am just an inch tall. Still, I 12. (have) my length”.



C. She 13. (visualize) a cube. “If you really 14. (need to consider) measures, you 15. (figure) on a cube of a dream”, she made another hypothesis. Nothing was positively two-dimensional. “Even if you 16. (reason) on your forearm simply, you 17. (will make) it out for three-dimensional”, she 18. (speculate).



D. “If nothing 19. (be) truly two-dimensional, dreams 20. (be) non-two-dimensional, too. You 21. (can have) a cube of a dream, if you 22. (want) to tell whether your dreams are big or small?” She 23. (start) to entertain the theory.



E. “Then, if you 24. (agree) to a measure, you 25. (can add up) cubes with dreams like with anything else. Well, but a Thumbelina 26. (can have) a cube of a dream, if cubes 27. (be) cubits big, too?” The Tiny 28. (sigh) with uncertainty.



Exercise 66. Let us be back with the grain of sand. The word “if” is not the only word to help make hypotheses. Let us try the words “as” and “when”. They can work as conjunctions. “As” would agree with the premise. “When” would allow an opposite sense. We can know the study of meaning as semantics.


Example: “If I N 1. (be) a grain of sand, I 2. (be) more prone to be of a like mind with a westerly wind”, the grain of sand thought.


Answer: “If I were not a grain of sand, I would be more prone to be of a like mind with a westerly wind”, the grain of sand thought.


A. “If wits N 3. (be) a real thing, you 4. (can evade) the matter of their shape”, the grain of sand deliberated. The grain of sand did eight hours of thinking about composite things a day. As the eight hours N 5. (be) immaterial, the faculty the grain of sand employed during the time N 6. (can be) immaterial either, it concluded.


B. Obviously, the faculty you used to ponder on composite things 7. (have to be) the reasoning faculty. Wits, whatever their quality, 8. (have to be) of a shape, the grain of sand felt.


C. Therefore, it 9. (be) uncanny for a grain of sand and a wind to be of the same mind. “A thought 10. (can be) genuinely the same, when the wits 11. (be) not?” Possibly, asking the wind its opinion N 12. (can decide) on the issue, the grain of sand 13. (analyze).


D. Alternately, the phrase “the same thought” 14. (may become) just a way to speak about potentially very dissimilar things. Still, the phrase “the same thought” truly existed and had its real shape. “What 15. (happen), if you 16. (translate) it to another language?”


E. The grain of sand (wonder) for five minutes. The phrase sure (may change) in its look. Then, the term “shape” N (will be) as easy to comprehend. “The same thought (will render) the same shape of mind if you (give) it the look of another language?” The grain of sand immersed in thought for another five minutes.


Exercise 67.
We can join Jim Colderstone in winter Alaska. Alaska has the largest population of bald eagles in the USA. We can mark Modality with the letter M. We do not have to use a Modal everywhere the letter M is. We can use more than one Modal where the letter M is, too. We are in the grammatical PRESENT. We include Expression.


The exercise is open-ended: no one can or may prescribe a natural language.


When Jim ran into the office (Chapter 6. The Present Perfect or the Past Simple), Jill was not there. She left him a letter, before going on her Paris vacation. We cannot demand insight into private correspondence. The exercise only renders the message, in a mystified way. With friends, we can try to guess what Jill might have written after a minor discord.


Example: You M N 1. (have) the ambition to be the colder stone if you M 2. (be) in the winter Alaska yourself.


Answer: You would not have the ambition to be the colder stone if you could be in the winter Alaska yourself.


A. It M 3. (be) enough that you 4. (go) EPIC terrestrial and you M 5. (see) that the temperatures 6. (favor) a Colderstone for the role.
(We can go, if we want to go EPIC terrestrial ourselves.)


B. Although you M N 6. (go) to Alaska to do STEM paperwork only, you M 7. (like) the ridges of new green and the cool breeze in a shiny spring Alaskan morning.
(We can go for STEM programs.)


C. Space and time M 8. (become) a source of perplexity if you 9. (think) about times outside the present. As for the talk, if you 10. (look) to word form alone, you M 11. (resolve) there are too many forms with too little sense.


D. Humans M N (be) logic strictly. And temperature, for the senses to come together well, M N 12. (be) the source for all feeling.


E. If they N 13. (have) a place in a human discourse, words M N 14. (tell) anything exact. The place yet 15. (be) only hypothetical. This 16. (be) the human person to make language possible.


Let us take our story generally to A PAST time extent.


Naturally, you would not have the ambition to be the colder stone, if you could be in winter Alaska yourself.


Alternate: Naturally, you would not have had the ambition to be the colder stone, if you could have been in the winter Alaska yourself.


The alternate can “anchor” our discourse in a specific time span and geographical place. The time-anchored alternate would say, “there, then, that time, that winter: THE Alaska”.




FROM THE KEY: Grammar resources vary so vastly in guidance on Modal verbs and the Conditional or Unreal Past that we may feel we need a comparison on language forms. When we work out own, independent perspectives, we become able to use our language logic consistently. We need to be consistent, to be correct.



It may / can be enough that you go EPIC terrestrial and you may / can see that the temperatures would favor a Colderstone for the role.


It could / might / would be enough that you went EPIC terrestrial and you would / could see that the temperatures might / would favor a Colderstone for the role.


If you went EPIC terrestrial, you would / could see that the temperatures might / would favor a Colderstone for the role.


It is enough that you go EPIC terrestrial and you see that the temperatures favor a Colderstone for the role.


If / When / As you go EPIC terrestrial, you see that the temperatures favor a Colderstone for the role.


1. It was enough that you went EPIC terrestrial and you could see that the temperatures favored a Colderstone for the role.


It was enough that you went EPIC terrestrial and you saw that the temperatures favored a Colderstone for the role.




Please mind, our Relativity is linguistic. Auxiliary time is relative to the main or head time. When we make hypotheses, we shift word form in a principled way: past forms tell about the present, present forms about the future, and we use anchors to tell about the past. The shift shows a relative reference because it is regular.




Feel welcome to continue with the language story in Part Three (!)


Part Three of the language voyage can bring

  • Jill’s library in plain canvas ― the speech part and the determiner manner and matter (it is not realistic to hope to memorize all uses of the articles, a, an, or the, and the generative way remains correct, as above);
  • Chantelle’s travel to the Book Cliffs ― verbal nouns and other ways of syntax to the notional time;
  • Reported speech, the Passive, and many more components of our language landscape.

10.3. Workout for real-time talk

Envisioning language study as travel in a dimension, we could think about virtual words as guarding us against steep slopes. Let us warm up.


Exercise 60. We practice targeting time extents. We can use another virtual word, thimo. We can give it the gillyflower color, as for bimo. We may abandon the invention later. Our thimo has the sound “th” (ɵ). Learners happen to substitute or mistake it for other speech sounds.


Link to the color code and virtual words


We can practice our tongues. We may pronounce bimo [bImoU], with the tip of the tongue pressed against our lower teeth. Then, we can try phimo [fImoU], with the tip of the tongue against the lower teeth, still. Keeping our tongues firm at lower teeth may take conscious control.



After, we can say thimo [ɵImoU], with the tip of the tongue at the upper teeth. We do not press the tongue against the teeth. We let a little air between.


This can help us become more aware and in control of our tongues.




Virtual words can help focus on syntax. We can do the exercise only in our thought. Even if we choose to write, we remember to conceptualize, as in the mind practice of chapter 1.2. We regard our linguistic Form Relativity.


Example: If you thimoed, you bimoed.
future-simple-arrow(The forms “thimoed” and “bimoed” show there is no form relativity.
The cue shows our target grammatical time is the FUTURE.)


Answer: If you WILL thimo, you WILL bimo.


1. If you thimo, you bimo.


2. If you WERE ABLE TO thimo, you WERE ABLE TO bimo.present-simple-arrow


3. If you thimoed, you WOULD bimo.past-simple-arrow


4. If you HAD thimoed, you WOULD have bimoed.future-simple-arrow


5. If you thimo, you WILL bimo.past-simple-arrow


6. If you thimoed, you WOULD bimo.future-simple-arrow


7. If you HAD thimoed, you WOULD have bimoed.present-simple-arrow


8. If you thimo, you WILL bimo.present-simple-arrow


Exercise 61. Let us try “jumping” time extents as in exercise 55 and regard Expression. We provide the arrow cues for the target grammatical time. Our “jumping” symbols are,


extent-forward“One time extent forward”


extent-backward“One time extent backward”.


Let us mind to say “thimo”: if we want to thank someone, we’d better not tank him or her. We may compare a few more examples: than (a comparative), tan (brown skin color to result from sunbathing), these (a demonstrative), tease (to irritate), thin (not thick, heavy, or broad), tin (a metal).


Let us try to think about language information pools more: we do not rigorously follow syntax; we try to be flexible.




In questions, we can ask about the result first.


Example: If you (PREMISE) thimoed, you (RESULT or CONSEQUENT) bimoed. {?}


Answer: DID you bimo, if you thimoed?


We are going to preserve the language information, asking about the premise first, as well.


Example: If you (PREMISE) thimoed, you (RESULT or CONSEQUENT) bimoed. {?}


Answer: DID you thimo, if you bimoed?


We can be specific about our Interrogative Expression and place the question mark. We can start using our cues and symbols.


Example: If you thimoed {?}, you bimoed.


Answer: DO you thimo, if you bimo?


Example: If you thimoed, you bimoed {?}


Answer: If you thimo, DO you bimo?


We can place the letter N for our Negative Expression specifics.


Example: If you thimoed {N}, you bimoed.


Answer: If you DON’T thimo, you bimo.


Example: If you thimoed {N}, you bimoed {N}.


Answer: If you DON’T thimo, you DON’T bimo.


Example: If you thimoed, you bimoed {N}.


Answer: If you thimo, you DON’T bimo.





1. If you thimoed, you bimoed {?}extent-backward


2. If you thimo {N}, you bimo.extent-forward


3. If you thimoed, you WOULD bimo {?}extent-forward


4. If you HAD thimoed, you WOULD HAVE bimoed {N}.extent-forward


5. If you thimo, you WILL bimo {N}.extent-backward


6. If you thimoed, you WOULD bimo.extent-backward


7. If you HAD thimoed, you WOULD HAVE bimoed {?}extent-forward


8. If you thimo, you WILL bimo {?}extent-backward


9. If you thimoed {N}, you WOULD bimo.extent-backward


10. If you HAD thimoed {N}, you WOULD HAVE bimoed {?}extent-forward


Exercise 62. We can use Form Relativity with the Progressive. Let us try real verbs and remember about our proper egoism (compare subchapter 8.1., the earthling basic variable).


We may combine language features. Unlike in real life, the exercise provides brief stretches of language and mapping aspects. Unlike in real life, we can take as long as we care and we never need to feel stressed. As in real life, we may think about the examples as a story.


We can be back with someone we met in exercise 37. Ms. Seges also appeared in Part One of our grammar course. We did not get to know her name then. We were learning about personal pronouns. If we have read the note for exercise 56 in the key (and in subchapter 9.4., Modal relativity practice), we know that “we” can be a personally neutral figure of speech (I do not presume you remember all detail).


Ms. Seges no bckgr


The same note mentions figurative thinking. We do not claim our story to be true. We can imagine Ms. Seges is home, in her study. Mr. Seges ― we never met him yet ― returns from a literary meeting.


“Honey, I’m back. What are you doing?”


I’d be reading horoscopes.” (Ms. Seges never reads horoscopes.)


“That is …?” (Mr. Seges does not believe Ms. Seges would ever read horoscopes.)


“This looks like a calligraphic copy of Vespucci’s letters. It was slipping out of our backyard hedge, no covers or front matter.”


Hadn’t it sure taken a lot to make such a book, I’d suspect that Babbitt next door. Bill once wrote me the book I was looking for was as likely to be obtained as a calligraphic of Vespucci’s originals. It was completely a legend, he checked with the Freeman’s.”


“About legends, my favorite Chicago blend is . . .”


“Honey, I would have remembered about the coffee; but I was so preoccupied…”


“I’m putting that with my records. The coffee is not completely a legend. It exists somewhere in Chicago.”__Smiley joke PNG




Let us mind our rich text interpretation, as for exercise 55, in subchapter 9.4. Babbitt is a character by Sinclair Lewis, an American writer. The Freeman’s are a famous auction house to specialize also in books. Amerigo Vespucci described his voyages in letters to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici. Calligraphic copies were still quite a habit for most important documents, in Vespucci’s times.




Not only books and their covers could be stylish. Inversion can be a matter of style. It does not indicate a question in the pattern Hadn’t it sure taken a lot (of work)”, above.


Relative forms also allow “were” (the past plural of the verb to be) with I, he, she, and it. We can say, “If I were, If he / she / it were…” to hypothesize generally about the PRESENT and now. Forms as “If I / he / she / it was…” may sound more particular, they are yet up to personal choosing. “Were” is more widely acknowledged, especially in school contexts.


Formal American English uses full forms of verbs. Let us take it into account.


If I was Santa, I would not be (wouldn’t be) looking for a spare bag now.


If I were Santa, I would be (I ‘d be) a book Santa: I would give away kids books.


Let us mind that skimming can encourage effective learning, as we noted in chapter 10, Grammar relativity galore. Feel welcome to have a peek into exercise 63 in subchapter 10.4., before doing this one.


We have the value {IN} next to the verb to go with the Progressive. The target grammatical time is indicated. We can stay {ON} our human and logical extents for qualities, hearts and minds, and ignore Progressive cues.



Example: {PAST}, he, N 1. (be) extremely busy, 2. (remember) {IN} to bring that brand coffee.


Answer: If he had not been extremely busy, he would have remembered to bring that brand coffee.


We can ignore the marker {IN}. We remember our syntactic HAVE becomes an anchor, compare subchapter 10.1. Our arrow cues would be as follows.



For Modal patterns with the feature {IN}, we can resolve simply to remember we do not say “maying” or “musting”, and the feature {IN} has to come with syntactic expansion. Our arrow cue may remain as for real-time, non-perfect progressive patterns. The cues are ancillary, and we need to mind the head time anyway, with Modal verbs. If to make arrow cues of another color, is up to individual choosing. We also can add the letter M to structures we want mediated with Modal verbs.


Please think if to use FORM RELATIVITY in example 2. A non-relative form will show a number of activities different from the relative. We can use Modals other than WILL, too.


1. {PRESENT}, she, N read {IN} the calligraphic, she, sleep {IN}.
(She worked on her new book all night.)


2. {PAST}, he, N write {IN}, he, read or talk {IN}.
(The colloquium was very engaging.)


3. {PAST} and {PRESENT}, he, N hear {IN} from Bill then, he, write {IN} him a letter now.


4. {PRESENT}, it, N be {IN} such a good quality, she, think it a mere prank.


5. {FUTURE}, it, N sustain {IN} the quality throughout, it, compare {IN} with the Bodleian Horace and Francis Crease talent.


6. {FUTURE}, they, look in the library, they, get the Medici print.
(Someone most probably made it from the Medici print.)


7. {PRESENT}, it, N be so conscientious, he, throw it in that Babbitt’s garden next door.


8. {FUTURE}, it, prove necessary, she, have it carbon dated.


9. {PRESENT}, it, be as good as it looks it, M be of worth even as just a calligraphic.


10. {PAST} and {PRESENT}, it, N deprive of the front matter, it, be {IN} easier to find out who made it.


Feel welcome to some more exercise. We are gradually getting independent of cues. Real-time, we people speak without them.
10.4. More workout for real-time talk

Link 10.4. More workout for real-time talk

10.2. Linguistic relativity: the logic and the progressive

We would not have variables for something only virtual, just as we would not have only virtual progress. This is why we might doubt the Progressive forms with auxiliary time. Let us return to our basic pool of language information to make Modal patterns. We join the Person, Aspect, grammatical Time, Modal relativity, and auxiliary time.




To make patterns as, “If we were lazy, we would have BEEN doING something else for the past hour” (subchapter 10.1), do we need to shift our variables to the hypothetical time span, or abandon language form relativity, for the feature ING? We make the auxiliary time with the auxiliary HAVE.


Could we consider this relative, auxiliary HAVE a verb of the same capacity as with real time? In a pattern as,

“If you had eaten the cookie, you would not HAVE had it,”

if we took the HAVE in the phrase “would not HAVE (had)” for an antecedent, we would imply someone never had a cookie, and we are talking about eating it for some absolutely abstract cause.


The relative HAVE even must be an anchor to close the hypothesis time. Our time frame for a pattern as, “We must have logic”, is relative and open.
We must have logic.




For a pattern as, “We must have been logical”, the time frame will be closed.
We must have been logical.



Let us return to our picture for syntactic expansion from subchapter 8.1. The earthling basic variable.




We can expand a verb phrase as “to work on logic”.



We do not say “*will may” or “*will must”. The Modal verb form can be only PRESENT or PAST, or 1st or 2nd. We do not say “*we are maying”, “*we are mighting”, or “*we are musting”. Our relativity extent always keeps the variable {ON}.




Let us mind, the verb phrase is not everything. Our expanded phrase originally was “to work on logic”. In our minds, when we speak, we gather on the verbs as well as other speech parts we need. This is when language features would make information pools. The star is to symbolize such an information pool.


We people would make information pools whatever language we speak. In English, we often use the same word forms as nouns or verbs. It is the syntax to tell the speech part role. This even has to be that we make information pools, to manage.




We can associate information pools with information economy. In subchapter 9.3, we considered the Modal economy for interrogative forms as “Didn’t you have to…” / “Did you have to…”, rather than “*Mustn’t you have…” or “*Must you have…”




In pools, we also can think about features as transferred. The arrow is to show it. We can picture the relative, auxiliary extent as expanding from the variable {ON}, our earthling basic variable.




We can think our natural brain networks are able to carry the Progressive feature to activate it with the auxiliary rather than main time, when we decide.




All along in our journey, we do not have to stay with the same visuals for all time. We can take the elements we see with extents above, and imagine them as pooling language features.


Sometimes, a feature would exclude another. We do not say “*have mayed” or “*have musted”, for example. We have the features on opposite sides. Features also can merge, as the ING for the Perfect Progressive, or nullify one another, as our syntactic anchor HAVE. We can refer to our Modal net, in subchapter 9.2.

Have fun (!)




Feature pools would mean these have to be our persons, to decide on the language forms we make. We can learn best in exercises. Feel welcome.
10.3. Workout for real-time talk.

Link 10.3. Workout for real time talk

10.1. Linguistic Form Relativity: thinking real-time

However there might be no error-free people, the president quotes here absolutely do meet the requirements for standard American English. This is the kind of English we seek to verify our grammar.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, by FDR Presidential Library & Museum


“No group and no Government can properly prescribe precisely what should constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is concerned.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, American President.


Theodore Roosevelt


More than that, and breaking precedent once more, I do not intend to commence any sentence with these words ― “If George Washington had been alive today”, or “If Thomas Jefferson”, or “If Alexander Hamilton”, or “If Abraham Lincoln had been alive today…”
Theodore Roosevelt, American President


Calvin Collidge__1910
CALVIN COOLIDGE in 1910, Library of Congress


“If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me, I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress.”
Calvin Coolidge, American President




We have built our language structures joining the grammatical Person, Time, Aspect, and — with Modal verbs — Modal form relativity and auxiliary grammatical time. We can name all these elements our language information. Let us picture our basic information pool, for structures with Modal verbs.




Let us try to integrate Modal relativity and the Conditional or “unreal grammatical time”. For the President quotes above, grammar books may not tell whether a structure is a Conditional, an Unreal Past, or Modal use — and we may doubt patterns, if we do not get clear guidance on telling them apart. More, some grammar books will say the 3rd Conditional has the Past Perfect in the premise, and the Conditional theory does not tell real time (!)


With Perfect tenses, our syntactic HAVE helps tell about real time. It has an open, real-time frame. To compare space, we might think as about paths or routes on real ground.




With the Unreal grammatical time or Conditional, HAVE brings hypothetical time. It is not part the real map, then. It comes with an auxiliary compass for relative time, and makes a closed, relative time frame. We attach the auxiliary compass to the Modal.




Naturally, it is work on real maps to matter, and humans map even the outer space.



We use Modal frames when we are not conclusive about real time, we yet keep the Modal verb on the real time extent. We always use words in real time, and we would not say we could work, if it were impossible.


If we said we CAN or MAY work, the hypothesis would go into the FUTURE a little. The Modal frame remains open as long as we do not close it with auxiliary HAVE.






Language is not a record or chronicle. It does not require absolute certainty about things coming true, for the thought to be real.




Let us think how the Modal frame closes. If we said someone MAY HAVE worked, we would give the hypothesis a time frame closed with regard to our main or head, real time. Saying, “She MAY HAVE finished by tomorrow”, or “She WILL HAVE finished by tomorrow”, we would close our hypothetical time on tomorrow. Let us think someone would ask, in the grammatical PRESENT, “What HAS she BEEN doing?” An answer as, “She MAY HAVE BEEN working” would close the hypothetical time on the time of speaking, just as the question.


We can use our auxiliary time extent with all grammatical time, the PRESENT, PAST and FUTURE. We yet need to mind the Form Relativity (Chapter 10).


PRESENT Modal forms tend towards the grammatical PRESENT or FUTURE. Modal shapes we class as PAST tend to refer to the PAST or PRESENT.




We can use PAST Modal forms with regard to the FUTURE. We can say, “We COULD do this tomorrow.” However, we would not close the time frame. We would not say, “*We COULD HAVE done this tomorrow”.


We can use some of the grammatical PRESENT Modal forms with a closed time frame, regarding the FUTURE. We can say, “It WILL HAVE ended tomorrow”, “It OUGHT TO HAVE / SHALL HAVE ended tomorrow.” We express our degree of CERTAINTY, evaluating the FUTURE, then.


Let us mind that CAN is special. We use it to tell what we are really able to do; we have the skill, or even mastery and finesse. Some grammar resources discommend using it with a closed Modal frame, generally.


For PROBABILITY, CONTINGENCY, or POTENTIAL, we leave the Modal FUTURE frame open: the future is an open context.


It is a context open to the extent that being tentative about a result, we can say “Maybe it WILL HAVE ended tomorrow”. If we decide to view the structure as the real-time Future Perfect, the real-time frame will be open.
Real time open frame


Let us recur to the hypothesis that “unreal time” uses the Past Perfect, as in “If I HAD eaten the cookie, I would not have had it that later time” (compare Chapter 10, the grammar relativity galore).


As all Perfect tenses, Past Perfect has our green HAVE. It always implies antecedent matters or regards, also with the Infinitive. We may remember from Chapter 9.1. that the antecedent might even belong with the Future, as in “I will remember to HAVE learned”.


Right next in our journey, we learned to have the antecedent for a syntactic anchor, with the relative or auxiliary time (Chapter 9.2). We analyzed a few examples.


Orange handle turned out41a. I thought the handle MIGHT HAVE / COULD HAVE broken off.
(I was not there; I did not know.
It turned out it was still in place.)


Let us think if our language information might transfer features.




The Conditional or grammatical “unreal time” often are backtrack logic: we look to the consequent, to speculate on the premise. We can view the phrase had eaten as a transfer of the syntactic anchor from the consequent. We can perceive a similar transfer with the Passive, where the object becomes the subject and the predicate adapts.





Grammar resources might label the quote from Theodore Roosevelt as the 3rd Conditional, Unreal Past, or even the Past Unreal Conditional, dependent on the grammar approach solely.


“More than that, and breaking precedent once more, I do not intend to commence any sentence with these words ― “If George Washington had been alive today”, or “If Thomas Jefferson”, or “If Alexander Hamilton”, or “If Abraham Lincoln had been alive today…”


Grammar resources might view the quote from Calvin Coolidge in terms as above, plus some approaches would tell the phrase “I WOULD have made progress” is a Modal modification of a real-time “I HAVE made progress”, also owing to the phrases “what seemed” and “I CANNOT see”, one in the grammatical PAST, and the other in the grammatical PRESENT. We can mark the forms.


If I HAD permitted my failures, or what seemed (FORM: PAST) to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me, I CANNOT see (FORM: PRESENT) any way in which I WOULD ever HAVE made progress.”


If we mark the word form, we can get best support from the words by Franklin Delano Roosevelt:


“No group and no Government CAN (FORM: PRESENT) properly prescribe precisely what SHOULD (FORM: PAST) constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is (FORM: PRESENT) concerned.”


Classing entire stretches of language as Conditional or Unreal Past, we might feel lost for the main time, in everyday speech. We can try linguistic form relativity. The picture can be as simple as below, of three logical extents to regard a time.


One extent would regard the main time, here the grammatical PRESENT. Another would regard the form relativity. Here, we could use the Modal form “may” where we are using “might” as well. The third extent would be our forget-me-not, relative time: we use it when we want to close a Modal frame.




Then, we can have as many relativity extents as we like, and we do not have to chunk our language for fixed patterns. The presidents’ quotes do not look any such process. More, we do not have to think we would be making unreal statements.


__Smiley joke PNG


Our feature transfer shows the map main variable as {ON PAST}, and it has the syntactic HAVE for an anchor:
“If you had eaten the cookie, you would not have had it then.” {ON PAST}.


We can see we also can expand our syntax with the variable {IN}.
“If we were lazy” {ON}, “we would have been doing something else for the past hour” {IN}.


To decide how and when we expand our syntax, let us consider the Progressive feature. Feel welcome.
Chapter 10.2. The relativity logic and the progressive


Link 10.2. Linguistic form relativity -- The logic and the Progressive

Chapter 10. There is grammar relativity galore

Tall as mountain peaks, language goals and targets are reasonably high (chapter 6.5). We get higher, when we aim high. We yet should not view our targets as solid rock only. With Modal verbs and patterns such as the Conditional or Unreal Past, we need to think about something we might picture as reflection of language form.


Let us see if we could integrate the The Modal time frame with guidance on the Unreal Past or the Conditional.





There has been much dispute over the Conditional. Some grammarians reject it altogether. Let us remember that labeling does not change the objective language reality. It cannot decide on how linguistic forms may work within human discourse.




We do not have to adopt the Conditional. We can use Conditional patterns, to compare language forms. We mind our target grammatical time, the PRESENT, PAST, and FUTURE.


We can practice with the verb to have. It can mean keeping something, tolerating something, or eating something. As a syntactic verb, HAVE may provide the auxiliary time for Modal verbs. Let us look to the syntax and negotiation of meaning: how do we eat a cookie and have it?


Our cookie is perfectly digestible. To choose on the word sense, we can underline the have to mean keeping, tolerating, or eating. We look to the premise (if you eat the cookie) and the consequent (you do not have it).




__PRESENT field

91. If you eat the cookie, you DO NOT have it.



If you eat {PRESENT}, you DO {PRESENT} NOT have






__FUTURE field

91a. If you eat the cookie, you WILL NOT have it.



If you eat {PRESENT}, you WILL {PRESENT} NOT have




We began our journey viewing WILL in the PRESENT Field of Time.


Verb form will regarding three fields


We can compare Modal uses of WILL
53. She WILL be reading now.
(I am sure she is reading now.)




__PRESENT field

91b. If you ate the cookie, you WOULD NOT have it.



If you ate {PAST}, you WOULD {PAST} NOT have






PAST field

91c. If you had eaten the cookie, you WOULD NOT have had it.



If you had eaten {ANTECEDENT PAST}, you WOULD NOT have {ANTECEDENT PAST} had









91d. If you had eaten the cookie, you WOULD NOT have it.



If you had eaten {ANTECEDENT PAST}, you WOULD {PAST} NOT have




We have marked our HAVES: If you HAD eaten the cookie, you WOULD NOT HAVE had it then. The syntactic HAVE is green. The head verb, the notional HAVE is mauve and underlined. It may mean keeping, tolerating, or. . . eating something. We can compare examples about Chantelle Règle having her extra Larousse, in Chapter 8.1.


Syntax can make us prone to interpret the notional HAVE as keeping something, in examples as 91a―d, though we can have meals as well as eat them.
__Smiley PNG


Do we have to adopt the Conditional, to use Conditional patterns? Let us compare ideas. Some grammars will say we use the First Conditional when the probability of something is high, and we use the Second for things more probable than those in the Third. Grammars that reject the Conditional support structures they name the Unreal Past. Let us consider the probability for saying,


92. If I WERE you, I WOULD . . .
(Please find the comment on the use of WERE also in exercise 62.)




Skimming can be part an effective learning strategy. We can go backward and forward in our study guides, to get a picture of the language itself. The more study guides, the better.

__Smiley PNG




The PROBABILITY to become another human individual literally and ever really is ZERO, for everyone.


92a. *I AM you . . . / *You ARE me . . . ?
(There is zero probability, even if someone pretends another person.)


Example 92 could be the Second Conditional or Unreal Past. Regardless of the label, it conveys zero probability, for the PRESENT, PAST, as well as FUTURE.


What would be if he were …




… if he were her … and she were him …?



Bob says an unreal past could not exist without an unreal present or future, and he really wants to go to the Himalayas. Alice says there never could be literally such a time as unreal time; just as well, you could try to have a cat for an unreal dog.

__Smiley joke PNG


Chantelle says the world’s worst advice she ever got always began with someone saying, “If I were you…” She skips the phrase owing to her language economy, also when she listens. She feels different about saying or hearing, “If I were in your shoes…”


Mature African American woman eating healthy salad in kitchen


“I’d have fresh veg every morning.”

__Smiley PNG


Bob is not thinking about the high Himalaya: he is too small. It is not only in highest mountainous areas that we may want to manage, however.




93. If you HAD NOT taken care of it, this handle WOULD HAVE broken off.




Within the probability approach, example 93 is the 3rd Conditional, which tells about the least probable events. The example yet might be telling about a prevented thing.


Let us think about probability a little further.


93a. If you take care of this handle now, it still MIGHT work.
(The probability is low.)
1 cube__no temporal reference


We can transform the example and say,

93b. If you take care of this handle now, it WILL work.
(The probability is very high.)
5 cubes__ no temporal reference


Both 93a and 93b could receive the same label of the First Conditional, and they differ in PROBABILITY very much. In 93a, taking care of the handle is probable to result in its working. In 93b, the probability amounts to CERTAINTY. Taking care of the handle is sure to bring a working condition.


PROBABILITY is not going to explain on the use of forms. Let us try LINGUISTIC RELATIVITY.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt


“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, American President


Let us sum up. For theory or guesswork, we can use
PRESENT verb forms to speak about the FUTURE,
PAST forms to speak about the PRESENT,
ANTECEDENT PAST forms to speak about the PAST.


Feel welcome to
10.1. The time frame on linguistic form relativity.

Link 10.1. Linguistic form relativity -- the time frame

9.4. Modal relativity practice

Our experience with Modal verbs initially might be that “time is short”, especially when we speak. Only good, flexible linguistic habits can make us feel more comfortable.


Exercise 53. We can warm up with virtual words and arrow cues. Let us mind the arrow cues indicate the target time, not the verb form.
Link to the color code and virtual words


For all of this exercise, our Modal time frame remains open (chapter 9.2). We mind the Modal relativity: we can use PRESENT as well as PAST Modal forms, for the grammatical target PRESENT.

Exercise 53__Example__Illustration

Relative time open frame

Example: may


Cue__Present and Progressive


Answer: may be bimoing, or


might be bimoing




Exercise 54. Let us try real verbs. We can use exercise 53. Let us remember about classic grammar stative verb use. The use refers to existence (view in the American Heritage dictionary), and derives from the Latin word “sisto,” to place; compare Perseus word study tool. In our grammar, we use the variable {ON}, for the stative use, also if it takes ignoring other cues.


As in exercise 53, the relative time frame remains open and we mind the Modal relativity. Real-time also requires that we consider how probable something is. We have our cubes here, for guidance.


Exercise 53__Example__Illustration

Relative time open frameExample: read, may
Cue__Present and Progressive


Answer: may be reading, or
2 cubes__Present Progressive
might be reading
1 cube__Present Progressive



Exercise 55. Let us try “jumping” time extents. We mark the relative frames and target time, for underlined items. Our cues mean,


extent-forward“One time extent forward”


extent-backward“One time extent backward”.


Example: In Washington D.C., you WILL BE ABLE TO visit the Library of Congress.


Answer: In Washington D.C., you can / may visit the Library of Congress.
PRESENT SIMPLE arrowRelative time open frame


1. After a day of a hop-on and hop-off the Washington trolley, you MAY feel you should have bought a two-day ticket.


2. In Washington, we were renting right on the Potomac. The area was lovely. You just HAD TO take a walk along the river.


3. You MUST book your seats in the Lisner Auditorium. The American Air Force jazz ensemble may perform live.


4. You NEED TO give up on wading in the waterfalls of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park. It is not allowed.


5. You MAY enter the National Gallery of Art on first-come basis.




From the key: natural language happens to involve rich text interpretation. The “Washington trolley” will be the Washington trolley tour, for example. Kids as well as adults, students as well as teachers, use the rich interpretation quite often. It would be cumbersome to provide all details every time we speak, whatever the language.


We learn to check on facts and trivia. Here is a sample search over Google. We can just type Washington trolley in the search field.


Example 1 has the Modal phrase “MAY feel” for a nodal reference. The phrase “SHOULD have bought” is a subordinate. We can have a peek at MAY for the PRESENT and FUTURE, in chapter 10.1.


We can view HAVE TO also with a real-time closed frame and the Infinitive. A phrase as, “We

had to have worked hard”, could tell about a fact, not a hypothesis or opinion.


Many grammars will tell we can use BE ABLE TO rather than MAY, when we refer to the FUTURE. However, if we resolve on example 3 as, “the ensemble will be able to perform”, we imply the ensemble might have difficulty playing. The matter here is about probability. We can think about MAY with an open relative frame, to suggest prospect: “(Tomorrow) the American Air Force jazz ensemble MAY perform live”.


In example 5, we talk about permission. We may choose to say, “We will be able to / We will be allowed to…”


Exercise 56. We can try “targeting” time extents. Our target time extent is the one in which we “land”. Let us be flexible, especially with examples 3 and 5.


A target can be a goal to achieve. Linguistics uses the term “target” for goals in language and speech. Our articulatory targets, for example, are speech sounds as we intend them.


We can refer our examples to American literature. Let these here invoke the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.


Telling language styles is part every language learning, and comes early in life. The story here has dialectal American English. We cannot follow this style in formal writing. The language forms yet are not erroneous, as they are consistently dialectal. Further, it does not mean the stories do not have grammar cognitive variables. We can think about them, reading.


Example: I thought I WOULD behave a while if I COULD.


Answer: I think I WILL behave a while if I CAN.


I think I WOULD behave a while if I COULD.
(We mind the Relativity.)


1. But how CAN we do it if we don’t know what it is?


2. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you HAD TO come to time.


3. And more ― they‘VE GOT TO (HAVE TO) waltz that palace around over the country wherever you want it, you understand.


4. It fetched us a dollar a day apiece, all the year round ― more than a body COULD tell what to do with.


5. Well, three or four months run along, and it was well into the winter, now. I had been to school most all the time, and COULD spell, and read, and write just a little, and COULD say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don’t reckon I COULD ever get any further than that if I was to live forever.




From the key: The phrases “you understand” (example 3), or “I don’t reckon” (example 5), tell the time of the narrator, the character to tell the story. Human lives are not just stories, but the narrator time can help comprehend the notional time, the time of the person who speaks. Naturally, there is no universal notional time. We have to learn to keep own notional times. We can have our notional time for our psychological time, too.


Narratives or stories often use the personal pronoun we. In our grammar story, the pronoun we is to help avoid judgmental comment. It is a personally neutral figure of speech. We can discuss language without assuming on me or you.


The phrase “if I was to live forever” is an example of figurative thinking. Chapter 10 has more. Part Three expands on speech parts, as in “three or four months run along”.




Exercise 57. Let us try to choose our Modals. We can stay on associations with Huckleberry for a while.


Example: He MAY / WILL be in the woods now.
(I know that he is in the woods.)


Answer: He WILL be in the woods now.


1. Let us not worry about it. There WILL / CAN be no advantage to it.
(It is certain that there is going to be no advantage.)


2. They HAD TO go / MAY HAVE gone out to the woods.
(The woods are not the only way.)


3. You SHOULD learn / SHOULD HAVE learned the way through the woods.
(Now is the time to learn.)


4. You MAY / WILL get lost in these woods.
(It is certain.)


5. They HAD TO get / MAY HAVE gotten lost in the woods.
(We are looking for them. The only way is through the woods.)


6. You SHOULDN’T/ CAN’T get lost in these woods.
(It is impossible. You know the way very well.)


7. He DIDN’T HAVE TO get / COULDN’T HAVE gotten lost in the woods.
(He knew the way.)


8. They MUST HAVE / MAY HAVE gotten lost in the woods.
(They took the way through the woods.)


9. You MAY / HAVE TO avoid the way through the woods.
(It is not safe.)


10. You WOULD HAVE / SHOULD HAVE gotten lost in the woods.
(That was certain.)




From the key: In example 4, the Modal verb WILL tells about CERTAINTY for the PRESENT and the FUTURE. The FUTURE is usually an open context, the way life on Earth has been. We use WILL when we are sure or resolved about something. We may compare example 3 in Exercise 55 and try to avoid the cumbersome, soothsayer style in our English.




Exercise 58. Our story is now about general POTENTIALITY and PROBABILITY, in the grammatical PAST. We do not require an auxiliary time extent. Our relative time frame remains open. We can be back with the dayfly from exercise 43, in subchapter 7.1.


Example: The dayfly (can think) about matter, without butterflies.


Answer: The dayfly could think about matter, without butterflies.


1. The dayfly (consider) it somewhat rude of the butterfly to make reservations on the wings. They (may differ), but there (be) no reason for the remark. Anyway, now the butterfly (have to be) far away, with its wings.


2. The dayfly (start) to think about infinity. If there (be) infinity, the word “infinite” (can) only denote it. You (need) five letters to write the word. The letters and the word (be) undeniably finite.
(NEED can be a head verb. Compare Appendix 1.)


3. There (have to be) some matter to the alphabet, the dayfly thought. Five letters (can make) an eight-letter word (!) You just (need to compose) them. The number of possible words you (can make) with the alphabet (have to be) innumerable. That (be) the closest approximation to infinity the dayfly (may envision).


4. Letters also (can express) numbers. The dayfly (think) about other alphabets. If there (will be) anything universal about all letters in the world, that (can be) the essence of writing. Nothing as universal readily (occur) to the dayfly, however.


5. Letters (may take) various shapes. Only language (may give) writing its matter. The dayfly (start musing) if there (may be) universal thoughts.




From the key: in example 1, the phrase “might differ” tells about holding to an opinion. We can give it an open frame. It is up to our choosing if and what opinions we hold. Further journey has more detail on Modal frames and nodal time.


We can be back with the westerly from exercise 44.




Exercise 59. The westerly is in the mountains. So far, our Modal time frames were ready for us: we only adapted the verb. Now, we have to decide if we open the frame or close it. Generally, we are in the grammatical PAST. On top of everything, we think about Expression: we learn to manage big, real-life language information pools.


Example: The westerly (can gambol) on the shore a little longer, but it (gather) to go see the future: the mountains.


Answer: The westerly COULD HAVE gamboled on the shore a little longer, but it gathered to go see the future: the mountains.


1. What (will happen) about the present time ? The westerly (can perceive) something indivisible and intermediate about time. Time (be) in a way continuous. It (have to consist) of parts, however.


2. The present (have to border) on the past and the future. The present (be) somehow intermediary between the past and the future. However, how long (will) the present (be)? Sometimes, you (can view) the present as lasting as long as a day. Sometimes, it (will last) a split second.


3. Well, you (can) N (exist) only in the future or only in the past. With this regard, there always (will be) a present moment that (will be) the only present. There (will be) N anything of the past or the future, in the present?


4. The wester (get) to the mountains. They (be) its present now. The wester (can) N (think) about a more beautiful present. It (need) N the ocean view to see something beautiful any more.


5. How these beautiful mountains (can emerge)? The wester (speculate) if  winds (may shape) part their structure.




From the key: With example 4, if we say the wester “COULDN’T think about a more beautiful present”, we place the matter in the mountains. Alternately, if we say the wind “COULDN’T HAVE thought about a more beautiful present”, we make the frame to the time before it came to the mountains, when it was on the shore, in exercise 44.




Grammar books will have much advice on Modal verbs with patterns named the Unreal Past or Conditional. For a comparison, let us try a grammar theory of relativity. Our use of the word “relativity” is not about physics or families. It is linguistic. See chapter 10.


Link to chapter 10. Modal__Conditional or Unreal Past

9.3. Detail on Modal chemistry and economy

Modal Expression, especially the Interrogative or Negative, can give us some trouble, unless we approach the matter as science in a field: we analyze the molecules, see how they are doing, and make a model.



We can recur to chapter 5 , as well as compare appendix 4.


61. We CANNOT skip the exercises.


62. We MAY NOT skip the exercises.


63. We WILL NOT skip the exercises.


64. We SHOULD NOT skip the exercises.


65. We OUGHT NOT TO skip the exercises.


66. We SHALL NOT skip the exercises.


67. We MUST NOT skip the exercises.


The form SHALL NOT may imply a conclusion, a decision ― more often in British English than in American, however. American English has the Modal WILL for resolves. The Modal CAN attracts the particle NOT directly. They become one word, CANNOT. We may come upon the form CAN NOT in historic texts, as the Gettysburg Address.




President Abraham Lincoln gave the speech at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863. The form “can not” is rarely used today. Feel welcome to read the Address as well as to do the voluntary extra practice.


In the Affirmative, MUST NOT can mean that something is forbidden or strongly discommended. NEED can take on the regular negative. The auxiliary is the verb to do.


68. We DO NOT NEED to memorize dictionaries.


We can use the short form DON’T, when our contexts are not formal.
68a. We DON’T NEED to memorize dictionaries.


NEED can take a Modal negation, too. The Modal form may be more emphatic.


68b. We NEEDN’T memorize dictionaries.
(There is definitely no need to memorize dictionaries.)


HAVE TO takes the regular negative.


69. We DO NOT HAVE TO memorize dictionaries.
69a. We DON’T HAVE TO memorize dictionaries.


Our paths can diverge for NEED in the auxiliary PAST.


70. You DIDN’T NEED to memorize this.
(Something didn’t need to be done and it was not done.)


71. You NEEDN’T HAVE memorized this.
(You did, but you COULD HAVE left it alone ― the thinking is about a hypothesis.)


Let us tackle the Interrogative. This is the Modal to move here. Chapter 5 shows Inversion, along with the Negative Interrogative.


72. We CAN work a lot.
CAN we work a lot?


73. We MAY work a lot.
MAY we work a lot?


74. We WILL work a lot.
WILL we work a lot?


75. We SHOULD work a lot.
SHOULD we work a lot?


76. We OUGHT TO work a lot.
OUGHT we TO work a lot?


77. We SHALL work a lot.
SHALL we work a lot?


78. We MUST work a lot.
MUST we work a lot?


In Negative questions, the linguistic chemistry may depend on the form we use, short or full.


79. CAN we NOT work a lot?
79a. CAN’T we work a lot?


80. MAY we NOT work a lot?
80a. MAYN’T we work a lot?


81. WILL we NOT work a lot?
81a. WON’T we work a lot?


82. SHOULD we NOT work a lot?
82a. SHOULDN’T we work a lot?


83. OUGHT we NOT TO work a lot?
83a. OUGHTN’T we TO work a lot?


84. SHALL we NOT work a lot?
84a. SHAN’T we work a lot?


In questions, MUST NOT may ask about the proper course of things.


85. MUST we NOT work a lot?
85a. MUSTN’T we work a lot?


HAVE TO takes the regular Negative Interrogative.


86. DO we NOT HAVE TO work a lot?
86a. DON’T we HAVE TO work a lot?


Let us catch on to the Modal NEED in the grammatical PAST. It behaves more and more like a regular verb, in contemporary American.


87. DID you NOT NEED to work a lot?
87a. DIDN’T you NEED to work a lot?


Please compare,
88. NEEDN’T you HAVE worked a lot?


Expression 88 would be so rare that an American might consider it incorrect. Why is this? Asking questions involves making hypotheses. Unless we ask a question for no reason or purpose and expect no answer at all, we make our questions thinking about some PROBABILITY at least. Beside inversion, we can use the question mark or intonation, to make a question.


Let us regard language economy. In a language information pool, we may not need to provide information more than once.


86a. DIDN’T you NEED / HAVE TO work a lot?


An American could consider an alternate incorrect,
86b. *MUSTN’T you HAVE worked a lot?


NEED and MUST express a high degree of CONTINGENCY or CERTAINTY. Hypotheses with them might vary from those with other Modals: so many things SHOULD BE DONE and they never are (!)


With high CONTINGENCY or CERTAINTY, we can net the hypothetical time: we have a strong hypothesis in the Modal alone. Here is our model (click to enlarge).



Please compare the absolutely correct in American,
89. SHOULDN’T you HAVE read this all?


There is a structure close to the Modal verbs MUST, NEED, OUGHT TO or SHOULD. It is TO BE (SUPPOSED) TO.


90. You WEREN’T (SUPPOSED) TO get the gizmos.


We can recur to the structure later in the grammar journey. Let us now exercise our brains in Modal relativity practice.


Link to chapter 9.4. Linguistic form relativity