9.4. Ćwiczenia na Modalną relatywność

Strona w budowie

Exercise 53. Step-by-step, we can acquire the Modal relativity and spare our arrows. Let us remember they indicate the target time, not the verb form. We can begin with our virtual bimo. We mind our Modal time frame (Chapter 9.2). For all of this exercise, the frame remains open.

Link to the color code and virtual words

Relative time open frame

Example: may

Cue__Present and Progressive

Answer: may be bimoing, or

might be bimoing

Exercise 53__Example__Illustration

Exercise 53__Task

Exercise 54. Let us try real verbs. We can use exercise 53. Let us remember about minds as well as hearts: we can think our entire extents for them. We have associated this with 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. As in exercise 53, the relative time frame remains open.

Relative time open frame

Example: read, may

Cue__Present and Progressive

Answer: may be reading, or

2 cubes__Present Progressive

might be reading

1 cube__Present Progressive

Exercise 53__Example__Illustration

Exercise 54__Task

Exercise 55. We can compare Exercise 44, to connect our logic. Let us try “jumping” time extents. We give the relative time frames to underlined items. Our cues mean:

Exercise 55__Cue__One extent forward

Exercise 55__Cue__One extent backward

Exercise 55__Example

Exercise 55__Task1

Exercise 55__Task2

Exercise 55__Task3

Exercise 55__Task4

Exercise 55__Task5

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 does not mean we learn to confabulate. 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, without quotes.

If we use quotes, the search will show results for the specific phrase. This may make a difference, dependent on what we are looking for.

Example 1 has the Modal verb 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 time 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 us we can use BE ABLE TO rather than MAY, when we refer to the FUTURE. We might feel tempted to resolve on example 3 as, “the ensemble will be able to perform”. The matter here is yet about probability, not ability to play music. The ensemble can and is able to play music. 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 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
don’t reckon I COULD ever get any further than that if I was to live forever.


From the key: We keep individual perspectives, to target time extents, PRESENT, PAST, or FUTURE. In Huckleberry Finn, we can see this individual outlook in the phrases “you understand”, (example 3), or “I don’t reckon” (example 5). The phrases 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 personal 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.

__Smiley PNG

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 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.

Psycholinguistics says there always is a psychological dimension in language. Neural tissue alone cannot explain human individuality. However, our grammar travel has no psychic or supernatural connotations.

We learn to rely on ourselves, for own language skill. We can say we learn to be pragmatic. “Pragmatic” means “concerned with facts” as well as “realistic”. Pragmatics does not require experiencing everything we know about. It yet does not allow non-experiential reference for knowledge. In simple words, we do not take wild speculation for language work. Obviously, it would not be realistic to hope for supernatural help, at exams.

__Smiley joke PNG

Pragmatics can strengthen our logic. For example, language pragmatics can tell that our earthling up or down is relative to the surface of our planet, not the outer space. From the deep space and within another gravitation, we might need to go up the picture for the geographical South Pole (!)

There happens to be rumor that some magazine or newspaper teams punish latecomer employees with writing horoscopes ― “futures” for 1/12 of the humanity (there are 12 zodiac signs) must be untrue, and we are not really “under the stars”.

Milky Way__NASA
Milky Way, image by NASA

Our galaxy is among other galaxies. We can read about the Milky Way from NASA. If we do not understand all text at once, we can try to read as much as we comprehend, and leave the matter for later. It is important that we get American English as it is, that we do not read only form specially prepared resources, as grammar books.

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.

Exercise 56__Example

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 on our own. 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.

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Exercise 59__Example

1. What (will happen) about the present, however? 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, we can reckon on thinking and time. The wester COULDN’T think about a more beautiful present when it was in the mountains. Alternately, the wind COULDN’T HAVE thought about a more beautiful present, making the time 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 the Unreal Past or Conditional language patterns. 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

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