BE

BE + of NOUN PHRASE

Why say “is of interest” instead of “is interesting“? ‘is of + noun‘ is more formal and in academic writing, we use the noun form of a word more often.  More importantly, ‘of+noun’ functions as a noun in this position.  Therefore, it can often collocate correctly with modifiers.  For example:  “greatest interest” is much more …

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subjunctive THAT clauses

There is no mention of ‘subjunctive’ in the English Grammar Profile.  There are some points such as the second conditional though that indirectly cover it. For this reason, we suggest that sentences using other subjunctive forms that are not conditional or listed elsewhere, be considered as C2. Here are that clause examples from Wikipedia: It‘s crucial that he be here by noon. …

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to be being

There is no entry in the English Grammar Profile for the continuous infinitive passive.  Therefore, we say this is a C2 grammar structure. A search in NOW corpus for: * to be being * 1 BELIEVED TO BE BEING HELD 18 The following example has past passive + infinitive + continuous passive: The driver of the lorry was believed to be being held by police. …

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can be + VERB-ing

Although there are a number of similar points in the English Grammar Profile for modal verbs followed by continuous aspect, there is not an entry for ‘CAN + continuous’. We predict that if future continuous affirmative is A2, should + continuous B2, might or may + continuous C1 that ‘can + continuous’ is at least …

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May be vs maybe (possibility)

Here we explain the differences between may be and maybe ‘maybe‘ is usually an adverb that means ‘perhaps’ or ‘possibly’. ‘may‘ is usually a modal auxiliary verb with many uses related to ‘possibility’, ‘permission’ etc. He is in Vietnam.  (sure.) He may be in Vietnam. (50% sure.) Maybe, he is in Vietnam. (50% sure.) ‘be’ …

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used not to

The following rare student writing example shows how ‘used not to‘ expresses modality: Also when I was younger, I used not to be allowed to drink coffee. PELIC Korean female level 3 grammar class. It sounds more natural to say: “I didn’t use to be allowed to drink coffee.” *In other words, she did not have permission to drink coffee.  Although now she is an adult and can. In the …

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TO BE + adjective

Here are the top 100 examples of how ‘TO BE adjective” are used in English. These come from a search in iWeb corpus for * TO BE _JJ 1 NEED TO BE AWARE OF 16993 We need to be aware of the data and information that we’re giving. Listen to this sentence. 2 . TO BE HONEST, 14943 To be honest, I don’t know if race relations will improve in America. listen …

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adverbs in mid position

Here’s an example of an adverb after a modal verb + academic collocation: We would likely address these issues one after the other in a sequential way. listen to this sentence In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 30 in the category of ADVERBS: MID POSITION between the subject and the main verb and after modal verbs, auxiliary verbs and ‘be’. General points such as these do not …

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will not be VERBing

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 32 in the category of FUTURE is defined: future continuous NEGATIVE WITH ‘WILL’ (won’t) An iWeb search for: wo|will _X be _VVG 1 GETTING 2959 2 GOING 2821 3 USING 2817 4 USING 2040 5 MAKING 1550 6 WILL NOT BE RETURNING 1537 Mamamia Kim Cattrall will not be returning as Samantha. …

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can be

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 98 in the category of modality is defined: GENERAL TRUTHS AND TENDENCIES: ‘can be’ TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: Their students can get good grades and their income can be higher. male China B1 We follow the EGP example patterns in iWeb: _NN can_VM be _R _J 1 RATES CAN BE AS HIGH 102 2 RATE CAN BE …

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If + PRESENT SIMPLE + MODAL CLAUSE

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 74 in the category of CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: PRESENT SIMPLE ‘IF’ CLAUSE + MODAL, FUTURE, POSSIBLE OUTCOME: introduce a possible future condition, with modal verbs in the main clause, to talk about a possible result. A search in TED corpus for expert examples: If you‘ve got a couple of final words you want to share, that would be great. listen So if you look that up, you can hear more of those tunes. listen PELIC …

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It can | could + be + said | argued | concluded | considered

The pronoun ‘it’ can be used where the subject is unclear at C1, and verbs such as ‘conclude’ are only used by C1 learners.  For example: It was concluded that it never existed. However, this post is about reporting with modal verbs. C1 point 208 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘can’ in passive reporting clauses in a more formal impersonal …

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negation with modality ‘not necessarily’

Here are examples of using stance adverbs with negative modality: It will not necessarily be progress for India if she simply imports the unhappiness of the West. listen Now‘s not actually a great time to talk. listen Here are two formally overlapping C1 grammar points in the English Grammar Profile: Point 200 in MODALITY/adverbs is defined as: ‘NOT NECESSARILY to express a possible exception to a general perception, i.e. not in every case. Point 23 …

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