“Could” with verbs of perception (was/were able to) vs Expressing specific action in the past

I’m puzzled about the usage of a modal verb could. My book “LONGMAN ENGLISH GRAMMAR PRACTICE” by L.G Alexander says that We use was/were able to or managed to (not could) to describe the successful completion of a SPECIFIC ACTION, for example, We were able to (we managed to) get tickets for the match yesterday … Read more

using would + have to in non-conditional sentences

Which timeline (past vs present vs future) does this sentence indicate? Project managers would have to organize copywriters, editors, and designers as well as feedback from clients or other stakeholders. Is it okay to use would + have to in “future imaginary situations” without having an if clause? Answer In a comment, John Lawler wrote: … Read more

The use of the grammar structure “if” + “would” in context

I stumbled upon it in this video. It is at 1 hour 21 minute and 42 second. If the Israelis would ever once just say we got screwed in 1948, and we are sorry it happened, we would be willing to make peace. I think it is quite clear that the sentence is conditional, thus … Read more

What time are we talking about in “She’ll have bought a new mobile/cellphone yesterday”?

I encountered this sentence when I was learning another language. I have never used such a sentence in English nor seen one, but it seems it exists. What idea does this sentence trying to convey? What time should we relate to? Answer Days of Future Passed In English we normally call this construction the future … Read more

Why did the use of “if you shall” and “if you should” dramatically decline?

Google Books statistics indicate that the use of the expression “if you should” and especially of the expression “if you shall” per unit of text length dramatically and steadily declined since the 1700s, as you can see in this graph. As compared to the 1700s, the former expression is nowadays used about 7 times less … Read more

Constructions after “have to”

According to Murphy’s English Grammar in Use you can use “have to” in all forms, and he offers an example in the past simple and another one in the present perfect tense. Hence, I was wondering if had to followed by a perfect infinitive would be feasible. In Spanish, there are two constructions very similar … Read more

Usage of “could” in past to indicate “statements of fact”

I am aware of the usage of COULD in the following cases (list from Cambridge Grammar (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/modals-and-modality/could)): possibility in the present and the future. suggestions and permissions past ability past single events with verbs of senses and mental processes Also, this makes clear that sentences like “I could visit you yesterday but I was lazy” … Read more

I’m trying to figure out why there is “to be” instead of “is” in the sentence

Why do I have to put “to be” instead of “is” or “will be” in the sentence below. Could you explain what grammar rule this is? What I should seek in Google? I didn’t expect the graphics of the video game to be detailed. I mean graphics turned out better then I thought. Answer When … Read more