Question
24 July

  • Japanese
  • English (US)
Question about English (US)

What does this “it” refer to?

The preterites of the modal auxiliaries – could, might, would, should – can be used with the modal remoteness meaning without the grammatical restrictions that apply in the case of other verbs, where it is found only in a small set of subordinate constructions.

preterite = a past tense form of a verb

modal auxiliary = can, may, will, shall, etc… (not including do, is, and have)

modal remoteness meaning= the meaning you get when you use past tense but you don’t convey any pastness, as “would” and “won” in “I would buy that car if I won a lottery” have.

subordinate construction = a construction which has a subordinate clause, which is a clause within a larger clause (clause is a construction which has a subject and a verb), such as the “if I won a lottery” part in the previous example sentence.

I pasted the context in my own comment below.

Answers
Share this question
Read more comments

  • English (US)

  • English (US)

  • Japanese

  • Japanese

  • English (US)

  • English (US)

  • Japanese

  • English (US)
[News] Hey you! The one learning a language!

Share this question
Newest Questions
Topic Questions
Recommended Questions