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The Loom of Language

When used in the first person after / or wc^ the verb shall is equivalent
to a particle indicating the indefinite luture Otherwise it retains its old
Teutonic meaning akin to mw>t or have to (e g thou tiiah not commit
adultery) In the first person the related form should is used after the
statement of a condition, as in / should be glad if he came In expressions
involving the second or third person^ will and would are generally equi-
valent to shall or should involving the first Otherwise they revert to their
original Teutonic meaning illustrated by the adjective willing This
distinction is not as clear-cut or universal, as arm-chair grammarians



f I can \ I could
	jag kan j«ig kunde
	jcg kan jeg kunde
	ikkan ik kon
	ich kaan ich konnte

f I shall \ I should
	jag skall jag skulle
	jeg skal jcg skuldc
	ik t&l ik zoudc
	ich soil ich sollte

f I will \ I would
	jag vill jag ville
	JCg Vll
 jeg vilde
	ik wil ik wildc
	ich will ich wolltc

I must
	jag m&ste
	ik meet
	ich muss

I let
	jag liter
	jeg lader
	ik laat
	ich lasse

f I may \ I might
	jag rnfi jag mitte
	jeg maa jeg mantle
	ik mag ik mocht
	ich mag ich mOchtc

would lead us to suppose Few English-speaking people recognize
any difference between (a) I should do this, if he asked me, (&) I would
do this, if he asked me
Since can and must are the most reliable helpers, it is best to use their
equivalents whenever either shares the territory of another such as
shall, haw*, may. The use of can and mutt is not foolpioof, unless the
beginner is alert to one pitfall of translation from English into any
Romance or any other Teutonic language* Like oughty can and must
form peculiar combinations with have (could tef> must havey ought to
have] for which the literal equivalent in other languages is have could,,
ham must, have ought. The easiest to deal with is can* It is correct to use
the corresponding German (konrim) or French (poiwoir) verb in the
present or simple past where the English equivalent is either can-could
or is able to—was Me toy eta5 but / could have does not mean the same
as I have "been Me to. It is equivalent to / should h<we been able to. To