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The Modal Auxiliaries Can and Could - A contrastive investigation of the modal auxiliaries can and could in descriptions in materials aimed for English tuition and the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus
Halmstad University, School of Humanities (HUM).
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The two modal auxiliaries can and could are investigated in this essay. Focus is on the correspondence between descriptions in grammar books and real-life data.

First four English learner grammar books aimed for Swedish high-schools were analyzed. The uses and translations of can and could found in the grammar books were then compared to real-life examples from an English-Swedish parallel corpus.

It was found that three of the grammar books categorize the uses of can and could according to ability, possibility and permission in quite general terms and these uses correlated to the majority of the corpus examples. The forth book did not mention the possibility use and stated very specific uses of the modal auxiliaries. This grammar book did not correspond to the corpus data to the same extent as the other three grammars.

It could be concluded that the assumptions made about use correlated to a greater extent with the corpus than the assumptions made about translations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för Humaniora (HUM) , 2009.
Keyword [en]
Modal auxiliaries, English-Swedish Parallel Corpus, Learner grammar books, Can, could
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-2515Local ID: 2082/2917OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-2515DiVA: diva2:239733
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2009-06-03 Created: 2009-06-03 Last updated: 2009-06-03

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf