ellipted modal – alternative question

Point 30 in the category of QUESTIONS is defined as:

alternative questions with two clauses and ellipsis (of the modal) in the second clause, often as a hedging device.

*Both of the English Grammar Profile examples contain ‘maybe’ and do not invert as questions usually do.  They both seem like weak suggestions.


It is quite impossible to find examples of the above grammar due to the length and complexity of the search string.

What if you could make the genetic changes to eliminate diabetes or Alzheimer’s or reduce the risk of cancer or eliminate stroke?

There is a limit on the length of queries on iWeb, so we can start with parts that are no longer than 5 tokens.

*Both the EGP examples begin with “Maybe”

. Maybe _P _VM _VVI

1 . MAYBE I ‘LL TRY 537 (I manually checked 100 and none are questions)
2 . MAYBE I ‘LL GET 386
3 . MAYBE YOU CAN GET 372 (there are questions, but no ‘or’)
4 . MAYBE I SHOULD TRY 370
5 . MAYBE YOU CAN HELP 368
6 . MAYBE YOU CAN FIND 336
7 . MAYBE I CAN GET 327
8 . MAYBE IT WILL HELP 293
9 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY 291 (there are questions, but no ‘or’)
10 . MAYBE WE CAN GET 287
11 . MAYBE YOU COULD TRY 274
12 . MAYBE YOU CAN TRY 252
13 . MAYBE I WILL TRY 249
14 . MAYBE YOU ‘D LIKE 237
15 . MAYBE YOU COULD GET 221
16 . MAYBE I SHOULD GET 218
17 . MAYBE I SHOULD GO 218
18 . MAYBE I SHOULD START 218
19 . MAYBE YOU ‘LL GET 195
20 . MAYBE YOU WOULD LIKE 188
21 . MAYBE I CAN FIND 181
22 . MAYBE YOU CAN USE 177
23 . MAYBE WE ‘LL SEE 173
24 . MAYBE WE ‘LL GET 170
25 . MAYBE YOU ‘LL FIND 169
26 . MAYBE YOU CAN MAKE 153
27 . MAYBE YOU COULD MAKE 152
28 . MAYBE I WILL GET 147
29 . MAYBE I ‘LL GO 145
30 . MAYBE WE WILL SEE 143
31 . MAYBE I ‘LL GIVE 136
32 . MAYBE I SHOULD MAKE 136
33 . MAYBE I SHOULD GIVE 135
34 . MAYBE I ‘LL SEE 134
35 . MAYBE IT WILL WORK 132
36 . MAYBE WE SHOULD START 132
37 . MAYBE I ‘LL MAKE 131
38 . MAYBE I SHOULD TAKE 130
39 . MAYBE YOU COULD USE 128
40 . MAYBE IT WOULD HELP 126
41 . MAYBE YOU COULD ADD 125
42 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO 125
43 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER 124
44 . MAYBE YOU WILL FIND 123
45 . MAYBE YOU CAN GIVE 121
46 . MAYBE YOU COULD FIND 116
47 . MAYBE YOU CAN TELL 114
48 . MAYBE I CAN HELP 110
49 . MAYBE I ‘LL START 109
50 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE 109
51 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET 103
52 . MAYBE I ‘LL TAKE 100
53 . MAYBE WE CAN HELP 100
54 . MAYBE IT WOULD WORK 99
55 . MAYBE WE COULD GET 99
56 . MAYBE YOU COULD HELP 97
57 . MAYBE I CAN MAKE 96
58 . MAYBE YOU CAN ASK 96
59 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK 96
60 . MAYBE YOU COULD WRITE 93
61 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD THINK 93
62 . MAYBE YOU COULD ASK 92
63 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD ASK 91
64 . MAYBE YOU COULD PUT 90
65 . MAYBE I ‘LL FIND 88
66 . MAYBE SOMEONE CAN HELP 87
67 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD START 87
68 . MAYBE YOU CAN WRITE 86
69 . MAYBE YOU COULD GIVE 86
70 . MAYBE IT WILL GET 85
71 . MAYBE YOU CAN TAKE 85
72 . MAYBE WE SHOULD GET 83
73 . MAYBE YOU CAN ADD 83
74 . MAYBE IT WILL TAKE 82
75 . MAYBE WE CAN FIND 82
76 . MAYBE I COULD GET 80
77 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD READ 78
78 . MAYBE I SHOULD LOOK 77
79 . MAYBE WE CAN MAKE 76
80 . MAYBE YOU CAN RELATE 76
81 . MAYBE YOU CAN SEE 76
82 . MAYBE YOU COULD START 76
83 . MAYBE YOU COULD TAKE 76
84 . MAYBE YOU WILL GET 75
85 . MAYBE I SHOULD ASK 74
86 . MAYBE YOU CAN START 73
87 . MAYBE I SHOULD CALL 72
88 . MAYBE I SHOULD PUT 72
89 . MAYBE WE SHOULD CALL 71
90 . MAYBE I WILL GIVE 70
91 . MAYBE YOU CAN PUT 69
92 . MAYBE YOU COULD GO 69
93 . MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHECK 68
94 . MAYBE IT WILL MAKE 67
95 . MAYBE WE WILL GET 66
96 . MAYBE THEY CAN HELP 65
97 . MAYBE I ‘LL PUT 64
98 . MAYBE YOU COULD LOOK 64
99 . MAYBE YOU CAN GO 63
100 . MAYBE IT WILL COME 62

or _VVI * * ?

1 OR CANCEL MY ORDER ? 80
(Some examples include: ‘Can I change or cancel my order?’ However, the EGP examples do not invert the subject-verb like typical questions)

2 OR CHANGE MY ORDER ? 45
3 OR CANCEL AN ORDER ? 30
4 OR DISAGREE ? WHY ? 28
5 OR CANCEL MY BOOKING ? 26
6 OR STAY THE SAME ? 18
7 OR CANCEL MY RESERVATION ? 18
8 OR EXCHANGE AN ITEM ? 18
9 OR OPPOSE THIS PLAN ? 17
10 OR DISLIKE ABOUT IT ? 17
11 OR DISAGREE WITH THIS ? 17
12 OR BUY A CAR ? 14
13 OR AMEND MY ORDER ? 14


14 OR OPPOSE THIS PROPOSAL? 14

*However, these are not preceded by a modal.  All the examples checked are:

To what extent do you support or oppose this proposal?

B2 vocabulary:
oppose, proposal
A search in the Movie corpus for collates:
  • Maybe you could negotiate a deal, or take them by force, that tends to be your method. (no question mark) context
  • You know what? I can’t change that vote stuck here. Maybe you could, um, like… Like, blog or tweet or something? context