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Something that must be discussed

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Modal verbs and passive voice are two important elements of the English language. Both can be used to communicate a variety of nuances and meanings in writing. Understanding how these two elements interact can be useful for mastering the English language.

What are modal verbs?

Modal verbs are special verbs used to express permission, obligation, possibility and other related ideas. They are used to modify or enhance the meaning of the main verb. Some of the most commonly used modal verbs in English include: can, could, would, should, shall, may, might, must, and ought to.

Example sentences:

She can finish the project in a week.

You should submit your application by the end of the month.

What is passive voice?

Passive voice is a grammatical construction used to show that the subject of the sentence is the recipient of an action rather than the source of the action. It is typically used when the focus of the sentence is on the recipient of the action, rather than the source of the action. When using passive voice, the verb is conjugated in its past participle form.

Example sentences:

The project was finished in a week.

Your application must be submitted by the end of the month.

The connection between passive voice and modal verbs

When using modal verbs, it is possible to use passive voice to make a statement. This is because modal verbs are used to express a variety of notions, such as permission, obligation, and possibility. Therefore, passive voice can be used to express these concepts in a clearer way.

For example, when expressing permission, it is possible to use the modal verb “can” or the passive voice form “may”.

Active voice:

You can do the project.

Passive voice:

The project may be done.

When expressing an obligation, it is possible to use the modal verb “should” or the passive voice form “must”.

Active voice:

You should submit your application.

Passive voice:

Your application must be submitted.

The same principle applies when expressing possibility. It is possible to use the modal verb “could” or the passive voice form “might”.

Active voice:

She could finish the project in a week.

Passive voice:

The project might be finished in a week.

When to use passive voice with modal verbs

When using passive voice with modal verbs, it is important to consider the context of the sentence. If the focus of the sentence is on the action that is being done, then it may be more appropriate to use passive voice. For example, if you are talking about a project that was completed, it may be more appropriate to use passive voice instead of active voice.

Active voice:

She can finish the project in a week.

Passive voice:

The project can be finished in a week.

However, if the focus of the sentence is on the person or subject doing the action, then it may be more appropriate to use active voice instead of passive voice.

Active voice:

You should submit your application.

Passive voice:

Your application should be submitted.

Modal verbs and passive voice are two important elements of the English language. Understanding how these two elements interact can be useful for mastering the English language. When using passive voice with modal verbs, it is important to consider the context of the sentence. In some cases, it may be more appropriate to use passive voice, while in other cases, it may be more appropriate to use active voice.

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